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Emails to my Therapist

Getting To Sleep Faster


getting to sleep faster

Dear Nicholas, Good conversation today–face-to-face in person! Your coming to town only a couple of times a year does encourage focus in the therapeutic hour. Lots of good take-away especially about getting to sleep faster.


My notes:


For getting to sleep faster at night…

Paradoxically, use a morning ritual.

Start the day with:

*stretching before getting out of bed

*a tall glass of water

*meditation that need not be long at all

Then later in the day, repeatedly get back into zoned-out meditative state for just a moment or few.

Result: I’ll be less efficient and yet more effective through the day as a result of letting my mind wander–and then my mind won’t start churning minutes after I lie down at night.

Wonderful! I’m truly feeling more effective already.


Result I’ll have to see to believe: by doing these things, I’ll find that my over-indulging in sweets will diminish. (Skeptical snort…)

Other Problems Solved

My disturbing time-wasting fascination with online scandal news?

Well, I have a healthy lively curiosity, you say, and then there’s the relevance to my story-telling line of work to consider. (This is what my psychologist husband refers to as normalizing.) But for best sleep, no scandal just before bedtime. Good idea!

Best take-away of all: Don’t try to get myself “whipped into shape” to do right and be productive. Instead allow myself to do what I need to do. An excellent re-frame!

And a very satisfying conversation, Nicholas. I’m looking forward to putting into practice my new morning routine.

And of course it was a pleasure to see you again, in this 49th year of our acquaintance. That’s starting to be a lot of years. I rely on there being lots more.


But what about wrapping up a blog post at 12:18  a.m.  That won’t cause any sleep problems, will it?




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  • August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Good sleep is a gift from the gods.

    • Peggy Payne
      August 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm Reply

      Certainly it feels divine, Bob. In fact, I could easily nod off right now.

  • Robert Braxton
    August 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Being male and all, I do a couple of things: 1) wear a crocheted head “sock” (as I call it) capable of coming down over my eyes (but not suffocating me!); 2) read (with spouse nearby) before “turning in” – she tends to be the one who zonks off – after which I collect her eyeglasses and insert book mark, turn out electric lamp. If later I find myself NOT sleeping, I recite “my” poem (repeated): ” sleep deep sleep / deep sleep deep / sleep deep sleep /// deep sleep deep / sleep deep sleep / deep sleep deep ” – round and round and round (since I wrote it and have a tacticle sense – I can “walk” along it sort of like rosary / prayer beads – (is this self-hypnosis?)

    • Peggy Payne
      August 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm Reply

      Marvelous poem, Bob. I may borrow it. Can’t women also wear a crocheted head sock.

    • August 20, 2019 at 6:23 pm Reply

      I’d sure call it self-hypnotic Bob – nice little poem/mantra/induction. bob

      • Peggy Payne
        August 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm Reply

        I’m glad you offered a professional view on this,

  • Robert Braxton
    August 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm Reply

    yes you may (borrow) – I have (literally – if not literary – ally) tens of thousands (poems) where first second and third lines have same number of syllables – in this case 3 3 3 – another 3 3 3 – like quilt patter nine-patch (read Sue Bender books). By the way, after reading book “HEAVY” and the other “How to Kill slowly …” etc. I discovered and read the five-seven-five by Charlie R Braxton – both writers Jackson, Mississipi (Eudora country).

    • Peggy Payne
      August 20, 2019 at 6:35 pm Reply

      Been meaning to read Sue Bender, Bob, and Heavy sounds terrific. Thanks for the three syllable mantras.

  • August 23, 2019 at 6:59 am Reply

    I was facing this problem few months ago. Stretching your body and feeling a relaxed is what makes your mind feel stressfree.

    • Peggy Payne
      August 27, 2019 at 2:06 am Reply

      Sounds like you solved the problem you were having, Oliver Jack. Nice work!

  • Amey Miller
    August 26, 2019 at 9:48 pm Reply

    I loved this post, and returned to read it again. From myself and my various acquaintances, it would appear that sleep problems are rife in the wisdom years. I was surprised to get some very good help at the UNC sleep clinic, by tailoring their many suggestions to my own situation. I also do some version of the advice here in this post, and good to see the way Nicholas approached it.

    But my favorite was the “stop trying to whip yourself into shape” advice. I think this is a fundamental re-imagining of what we have been often, and still are, told. A Buddhist teacher I like says “The beating has to stop.”

    Thanks, and Best, Amey

    • Peggy Payne
      August 27, 2019 at 2:05 am Reply

      I’ll bet stopping the beating would alone go a long way to stopping insomnia, Amey. That’s another good way of putting it. Wishing you good sleep!

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