Monday, 24 April 2017

Why I Don't Follow Advice for Insomniacs

I've been an insomnia enthusiast for a few years now and it would appear that I'm not likely to lessen my dedication to it any time soon. When it first started, I just assumed it would eventually disappear and I'd revert back to sleeping through the night and feeling refreshed and ready to face the world each morning. Only, it didn't pass. It still hasn't.    
After a year of so of feeling absolutely dreadful and reading all sorts of advice and tips about how to cope with insomnia, I gave up. Nothing really seemed to work. All that advice about  not reading made me wonder what I was actually supposed to do instead; and the whole 'not thinking' thing, made me think more (I'm awkward like that).  In honour of many years spent considering my difficultly gettin' snoozy, I haven't really discovered things that DO work, but I have uncovered a list of things that have no impact whatsoever.  As a seasoned sleep deprived woman, I now laugh in the face of insomnia advice.  I can usually be found doing this in a somewhat maniacal fashion, on my own, very late at night.  

Why I Don't Follow Advice for Insomniacs

Drink Hot Milk:

Unless you're worried about a Vitamin D deficiency or have rickets, don't bother with it. Drink wine.  

I'm only half kidding.  Sometimes, a few drinks sends me to sleep and other times it disrupts me even more.  However, milk, Ovaltine, or any other milky drinks (White Russians aside) just upset my tiny bladder.  It's one thing being awake during the night; it's a whole other thing actually prising yourself out of bed, in the dark, trying not to break your toe on the edge of the bed as you fumble your way to the bathroom in desperate need of a pee.   

Don't Read Your Kindle:  
Why not? I bought it, so surely I should be getting my money's worth?  Apparently, though, the light will wake me up.  No, no, no!  The glare from a strobe light being shone in my face by the Spanish Inquisition will keep me awake. That dull light from that tiny little screen?  Don't make no difference, sister.  Read my Kindle, don't read my Kindle:  I'm still not sleeping.

Don't Watch TV:  
WHY? Can't I watch just a little bit?  I promise I'll keep the volume down so as not to disturb the sleeping people. PLEEEEEEEASE??? 

This is another one that doesn't really have any impact.  Unless, of course, I happen to catch a bit of The Apprentice or some other reality rubbish. They should prescribe THAT at the sleep clinic. Sometimes, the TV can take my mind off lying in the dark wondering why I'm still awake.  For a good while, in my early 20's, I tuned in to Sesame Street at stupid o'clock every morning and it was my saviour.  I still love you, Oscar the Grouch.   

How I look after a decent sleep

Warm Baths:   
Being cleaner doesn't make me any more tired.  I would love to know if I can read my Kindle in the bath before trying to sleep, or is it just in bed I shouldn't be using it?   I'm confused.  Either way, it don't work.  

Kalms/Night Nurse/Zonkital: 
Basically, any kind of herbal remedy I've tried (and there's been a few) have been entirely ineffective.  I take prescribed medication at night and that doesn't always work, so nothing else really has  a fighting chance.    

Being Tired: 
Tried it. Try it every night, mainly around 8pm when I think I could sleep for DAYS, and then I go to bed and BOOM....wide awake.  I can put in an 8 hour shift, drive to the leisure centre and swim 40 lengths, get home and make dinner, and I'm still twiddling my thumbs come 11pm.   

Clear your mind of all thoughts....  yeah, right.


Leave. Do it now.  I can't clear my head for long enough for meditation to stick. I'm all 'I wonder if the house is on fire" and 'what the hell was that odd noise that almost certainly sounded like an axe murderer??'

You know, normal everyday thoughts that invade your brain at the most inopportune moments and won't go away.  I've tried, but my brain's too active.  ALL THE TIME.   

Yoga/Gentle Exercise:   
Nope.  Nothing here, either.  Aside from the fact that I'm absolutely not bendy or flexible in any way, shape or form:  I just don't like it.  Yoga, that is. I don't much like other exercise, either, but I do it every day regardless because IT'S SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME TIRED.   

To be honest, I've spent years reading different points of view and advice, but generally find it doesn't make great deal of difference to me. The only thing that keeps me sane during the time I spend awake is listening to Audio books. They don't particularly help me sleep, but they do distract me from the nonsense that whizzes around my brain and DOES stop me sleeping.  Unfortunately, I'm now so reliant on them, I think I won't be able to sleep without them.  

Seriously, if my internet is down (and I live in Wales, so that's quite a common occurrence) I send myself into a state of panic if I think I'll have to go to bed without someone to read me a story...

I've amassed around 80 audio books in the past 5 years and, according to my stats page on the Audible app, I've listened continuously for 5 months.  Basically, after all that, I'm still knackered, but I have spent a fair bit of money and know a lot more stuff.   

Do you suffer from insomnia or have trouble sleeping?  How do you cope with it?

Suz x

This is not a sponsored post.    

Sunday, 16 April 2017

5 Fabulous Gin Cocktails for Easter Sunday

5 Fabulous Gin Cocktails for Easter Sunday

I used to hate Gin. I thought it smelled like bad perfume and would stare at my big sister and mum in wonder as they sipped it contentedly.  It wasn't until I moved to Wales, and sat in my new rented flat, away from all my friends and family, that I rooted out a bottle of Caorunn that I got as a leaving present and decided that, as everything around me was new and unknown, my drinks may as well be the same. That, and I couldn't recall which box I packed the kettle in.

Friday, 14 April 2017

5 Easter Adventures in North Wales

5 Easter Adventures in North Wales

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Things I Don't Understand: TV Edition

If you've ever read the blog before you'll be well aware that there are LOTS of things I don't understand. Seriously; it's quite worrying. Anyway, although I tend not to watch a great deal of TV, when I actually take time to sit down, I often spoil it for myself by making stupid observations. I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in this, but once I've noticed something, I find it difficult to stop concentrating on it. Just so you know, I don't go out of my way to notice these things.  It just kinda happens sometimes.

Friday, 31 March 2017

What's Occurrin' - March

Well, I finally made it out of the UK this month for my first trip of the year to Latvia and Lithuania, and these have had a *tiny* impact on what I've been loving over the past 31 days. This is a list of what's been occurrin' in my life in March 2017:

Ashley Monroe - The Blade:
I'm all about Ashley Monroe this month and have been non- stop listening to her recent album. My love of country music goes without saying and it's no surprise that I've downloaded an album from the Pistol Annies alum.

It's mostly an upbeat offering and I certainly prefer this album to The Rose, which was the last solo attempt. I can't help wishing that she'd just get back together with Miranda and Angeleena, though. I bloody love Pistol Annies.

Mission Impossible 67 - Rogue Nation:
Despite my desire to watch movies, I really haven't done too well on this front. In fact, the only movie I caught this month was the latest instalment (I think?) of Mission Impossible. This was only by chance, mind you, as it was being shown on the TV panel on the back of my seat on a LuxExpress coach from Riga to Vilnius.

Don't get me wrong though; it was excellent, and I find it difficult to argue with a movie that focuses on shooting and blasting action around various gorgeous global locations. It's the perfect combination of death, destruction and travel inspiration.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

A Day in the Life of an Anxious Depressive

I suffer from depression.  I'm also lucky enough to suffer for GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) because why have one when you can have two, right? 

For many years, I've gone from thinking I was odd, lazy, mad as a box of frogs, bipolar and, largely, just not made to fit into the world around me.  These days, although I know I'm none of those things during my calm moments (at least once a year; sometimes even twice) having a diagnosis doesn't actually make much of a difference to my days.   I still don't understand how my mind works and I find that others don't, either.  This is a typical day in my head:

depression, anxiety, anxious, introvert problems

5:45am:  jumped out of bed to nip to the toilet and starting worrying about all the things that could go wrong during the day.  Went back to bed; put on my audio book to drown out my inner voice as she's a neurotic idiot....

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Dyffryn Perspective...

We all know the story:  rural girl ends up in city and then moves back to country later in life, realising just what she's been missing all those years.  Falls in love with old high school boyfriend and calls off wedding to smart city boy, much to the complete disbelief of  his pushy poltician Mother. Oh wait....that was Reece Witherspoon, wasn't it? Thought I recognised it.

Anyway, city girl DOES move to rural countryside (in North Wales); doesn't fall for old boyfriend; doesn't have to cancel wedding, but absolutely does realise that she's been missing out on the kind of lifestyle she never even knew she wanted in the first place. 

Where was I?  YES! So, I wrote a previous post about all the new experiences I've had in Wales in the first few months of my arrival so,  to celebrate making it through my first year as a resident of Dyffryn, I thought I'd share all the other new things I've picked up.  
You're so welcome...

a year in north wales, living in north wales, what's it like living in north wales, a scot in north wales
More Talledega than Trawsfyndd..
I get it: it's a rural area and it can be tremendously frustrating to be stuck behind the school bus (every day, people.  Every. Day).  However, I have never been *so* annoyed by this that I've decided to overtake said bus, or any other vehicle, going round a bend when I had no idea what was coming towards me.