True story. . . This past Saturday I set three alarm clocks in preparation for getting out of bed to do my Sunday morning Healthy Matters radio broadcast. It was the start of Daylight Saving Time here in the United States and the broadcast is done live. None of that sissy pre-taped business for me. Oh no. I drag my can down to the WCCO studios in chilly downtown Minneapolis to mumble my way through the show every Sunday morning.
But with that “spring forward” business with the alarm clock, I’m always worried that I’ll miss the show on this particular Sunday. So I set three alarm clocks.
You know what complicates the adjusting of the clocks ritual? It’s that the clocks are smarter than me. It used to be that before I went to bed on DST Saturday, I manually adjusted all the clocks. But now, most of them do it automatically. The nightstand alarm clock does. So does my backup alarm clock on my smartphone. But the microwave doesn’t. Neither does the one on the watch. So I go to bed not sure which device is going to change automatically and which ones aren’t so I get confused and some of them are correct and some aren’t and holy cow am I going to be an hour late and if I wake up at 3:00 a.m. and look at the clocks some are accurate and some are not and I’m going to miss the radio show and there will be the dreaded “dead air” time on the radio and . . . .
To help us learn more about insomnia, I’ve done a series of short interviews with Samantha Anders, PhD LP. Sam is a psychologist who specializes in behavioral therapy for sleep disorders like insomnia. I’m using more custom-made videos in this post. I hope you like it – if so I’ll do more videos in the future!
I think I may hold the world record for the fastest time in falling asleep. Usually I’m out about a nanosecond after my head hits the pillow. And that’s just at night. I’m pretty good at falling asleep just about anywhere during the day as well. I think it’s a relic from my medical training days where the ability to sleep anywhere at anytime comes in really handy.
So falling asleep? No problem for me.
But every now and then, somewhere around 2 or 3:00 in the middle of the night, I wake up. And when this happens, I almost immediately start thinking about a zillion different thoughts. Last week when I inexplicably woke up at 3:00 a.m., I started thinking about a creepy discovery that my wife and I had made earlier in the day. It involved rodents, birdseed, and a crack in our house’s foundation. So my mind was racing, lying in bed in the middle of the night, and nothing I could do helped me get back to sleep.
I seriously considered counting sheep until I realized that the specifics of how one actually counts sheep while lying in bed are not apparent to me. Do you envision sheep leaping over a fence like in a cartoon? Or do the sheep pass in front of you in a single file line? Perhaps there is an audio component and you count the “baa” sounds.
Does anybody really know how to count sheep to help insomnia? I’m desperate here. So let’s turn elsewhere for some tips on sleep.