Can’t Sleep? A Guide to the Land of Nod, Part II

So, you can’t sleep and, instead of tossing around some more in bed, you got up to do some surfing on the web. You found this site and clicked, hoping for some help, eager for a few zzz’s. Well, I might be able to help you by introducing you, one at a time, to a few established principles about sleeping and sleep hygiene. If I don’t help you sleep, then maybe I can help you feel better about not sleeping and productively use the time you now have while awake.

Can't sleep

Chemicals might mess up your sleep


You may be the last person in the world to hear this, but that cup of coffee you had just before bed might be keeping you up. It’s got caffeine in it, you know.


Actually, there’s quite a few people who sleep better after drinking a cup of coffee. I’m one of them, and I keep finding more every time I ask. I have a theory that the caffeine can work the same way that a stimulant paradoxically helps a hyperactive kid settle down by activating that part of the mind that organizes the rest.


The best thing is to know yourself how you respond to the foods you eat and the chemicals you put in your body. Don’t just rely on what you read on the internet.


Also, don’t believe your body’s initial reaction to the food or drink you just had. That double of bourbon may have put you out, but three hours later you’ll be up again as the cells of your body cry out for more. Every drug has a withdrawal phase in which you experience roughly the opposite of what you felt when you first took the drug. So, if you want to sleep for more than three hours, you might want to stay away from the liquor cabinet, and that pack of cigarettes, and that stash of cocaine you keep behind the microwave.


If you’re an addict in early recovery, you might as well forget about sleep. Just don’t expect it and be happy when you get it. No one in early recovery is able to sleep well, sometimes not for months. You screwed everything up with the chemical use and you’re just going to have to reset it. Accept it. You didn’t mind staying up all night when you were partying, so open up that book you’ve always been meaning to read.


Published by Keith R Wilson

I'm a licensed mental health counselor and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor in private practice with more than 30 years experience. My newest book is The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad. I recently published a workbook connected to it titled, How to Make an Apology You’ll Never Have to Make Again. I also have another self help book, Constructive Conflict: Building Something Good Out of All Those Arguments. I’ve also published two novels, a satire of the mental health field: Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic, and Intersections , which takes readers on a road trip with a suicidal therapist. If you prefer your reading in easily digestible bits, with or without with pictures, I have created a Twitter account @theshrinkslinks. MyFacebook page is called Keith R Wilson – Author.

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