But I can’t.
It’s the same thing every night. I go to bed at a decent time. Early enough that I should be able to get seven hours of sleep. But I never get seven hours. I can fall asleep, but can’t stay asleep. So I read instead. Do you know how many pages you can read of a George R. R. Martin book in a night? I do. Way too many.
Who’s with me here? Are you nodding your head? Insomnia affects a ridiculous amount of people. This isn’t something I’ve talked about publically, but I know I’m not the only one suffering.
Website after website is dedicated to helping people sleep better. Dozens of DVDs claim they’ll help you sleep instead of staring at the ceiling in frustration. And there are hundreds of books that promise to cure insomnia in six weeks, four weeks, or are loaded with tips to sleeping smarter.
I’ve tried all the methods. Yoga. Stretching. Relaxation techniques. Aromatherapy. More exercise. Less exercise. No lights. A little light. White noise. No noise. No caffeine. No booze. No electronics. No TV. No pets in the bedroom. But none of it has helped.
I’ve used a sleep tracker to actually see my sleep patterns and they’re awful. For example, this is a typical view of my sleep. Went to bed at 10:20 PM and got up at 5:30 AM. I should’ve been able to squeeze in seven hours. Nope. Not even close. I got 3 hours and 32 minutes. The dark blue represents sleeping time. Not a lot of that. And what I do have, is not in a block. I don’t think I even entered REM sleep. The light blue represents when I was restless and not asleep. The pink when I was fully awake and moving around.
Last week, I ordered a new mattress and it was delivered the other day. Do I think a new mattress will solve all my problems? No, but I hope it eases my discomfort and lets me stay asleep for longer periods of time. Crossing my fingers it helps.
But if it doesn’t, I have another problem. I’m about two sleepless nights away from finishing Martin’s A Dance with Dragons and need more books. All my recent purchases are from the one-more-chapter-then-I’ll-turn-out-the-light category. And one more chapter becomes two more and another. Then it’s 4:00 AM and I finished the book. Yeah, so not helping my sleep, but I get a great read. I recently finished Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher and I’m thinking about getting The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, but both of those fall into the gotta keep reading until I’m finished group. Can you help me out? I need recommendations!
What books do you love to read before bed?