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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » The Real Danger of Chronic Insomnia (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Doug Higley
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Something is becoming very clear with this latest bout of not sleeping (almost at all). Aside from the touted medical drawbacks, there is something else that could be worse.

In my case it's an overactive brain...racing through every nonsensical scenerio...a full catalog which seems designed to prevent sleep at any dropping of the eyelids.

Becomming worn out at about 3am seems to not matter much...it's as if being bitten by the Energizer Bunny...in the midst of all this normal functions seem to be ok...I'm not grouchy to the Wife, I still laff at fart jokes...I spent 14 hours 'doing' Disneyland a week ago after aproximately 52 minutes actual sleep the night before and nearly none for two weeks. It was the most fun we had in years there! So the new danger?

Now here is the rub...even though one is up all night ALONE...at the computer or the work bench or riding a bus...one is not alone...you are with yourself. Unending. Now I get along with my self very nicely yet the other night (last night?) Mental Danger Signs were posted...is it possible? I had run out of things to think about? I had run out of all the conversations to rehash and future contacts? Nothing more to think to my self? No more solutions and puzzles to solve, philosophies to discuss and or dismiss? This was it? I would now be a blank slate like some ex only interested in the state of their sock drawer? hmmm.

Time to write another book or learn a language or just languish in finally luxuriating in a blank mind...Peace after all and some winks. Ah...40 winks...wait...who thought that?
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MagicSanta
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About 15 years ago I had major insomnia. Same thing, I'd be exhausted and lay down and stuff would start running through my mind about work, what if a family member dies, what if I get fired, why didn't I tear into that sweet young thing when I was in the eighth grade, what if the big one hit, what if a plane hit the apartment building, what if...what if...it drove me nuts. When I did sleep I'd often have night terrors and stop breathing, it was a joyful period.

The first thing I did was rather than thinking of all the nonsense in my life I'd imagine the route from home to Reno, where I often went because I had property there and my wifes family etc.. I'd imagine the highway, what it looks like on the side of the road, and I usually went to sleep. The biggest key to getting to sleep was I decided that I wasn't going to care about anything I couldn't control. Seriously, I just stop giving a #@!@ and that really helped a lot. There are also techniques to sleeping, you can look them up but the ones I remembered were

Wake up at the same time every morning.
Go to bed when you are tired. Only use the bed for two things, sleeping and @)))*@Q#ing, not for watching TV or reading.
If you are not asleep in 15 minutes get back up and go read or watch TV then when you are tired hit the rack again.

I've stuck with that and when I go to bed I'm usually out in five minutes. If I am bothered by something I get up and do something to get it off my mind. The one thing I changed was rather than thinking of stuff that I can't control I run through performance pieces, visualize the entire show....that bores me to sleep.
landmark
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Two words: Ammar videos.


Jack Shalom
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Oh man...I can't recall offhand who it is but a well known magician's videos always..., always,...puts me to sleep. I've never watched this guys entire video because of it.
evolve629
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One big thing is don't do anything that reward your insomnia. I mean if I go get myself a slice of cake or something I enjoy in the kitchen, even a small thing like a soda pop, that reinforcement will prompt you to remain sleepless or wake up at 1 or 2 a.m.
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
My favorite part is putting the gaffs in the spectators hands...it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside! - Bob Kohler
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You ought not do anything in bed other than sleep. Well, maybe one other thing ... but no TV, no books, no work, and NO PONDERING, because it never ends, and all of those things (well, except for THAT) condition you away from seeing bed as a cue to sleep.

If I need help, I sometimes take my long-ago Bible teacher's advice: "Start to pray and the devil will put you to sleep" - actually I found that it works, perhaps just by getting my mind of the issues I'd been ponderiung about all night. Alternatively, you might put your skills to use remembering or formulating a nice fantasy ... yes, about THAT ... or, who knows, fantasizing a walk in the woods or a swim at the seashore, you can try ... just like turning off a light switch, for me (probably too much information, but what the heck).

Heck, Doug, what about fantasizing yourself in Indiana Jones getup discovering or capturing the real version of one of your Zibits?
Doug Higley
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Thanks but this post is not about remedies and solutions...been thru them ALL. I don't care anymore, it is what it is...

I just find it facinating that it is the sleep time when we can get away from not just the daily grind but ourselves...having 23 hours a day with only ones self to talk and listen too comes to a point where intelligent thoughts give way to...uh...not much. Solitary confinement with added time for misbehavior? I should have better Karma than to run into my own version of the 'End Of The Internet'. So it's down to this...playing Checkers and Chess online. Not very original but it's better than the sock drawer.
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MagicSanta
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I told you I'd come over and be your student, your middle aged chubby student, and I can learn the way of the Higley....
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Sorry to inject a sober and directed note into what you started as a musing, but I wonder if what you aren't seeing is the need for a paradigm shift (whatever that might mean).

I'm in the habit of getting up after a couple hours at night, and playing WEBBOGGLE or devouring the customerssuck.com boards (such stories!) - and then after getting 4 hours sleep if I'm lucky, having to give in to the inevitable demands of those who disturb my recliner-chair-in-front-of-the-TV sleep during (oh, what do they call those ... oh yeah!) business hours. And after that kind of messed-up rhythm, I'm fairly useless day AND evening. And, being a person with almost no self-discipline, it's been futile to try to get back into sync with the rest of the planet, yawning day and night (pretty bad when you're driving on the interstate). It really is a health issue, and I know what I need to do, but I haven't done it any more than I've dealt with my weight and my diabetes.

And now my two young'uns are becoming nocturnal, too! I tell them I'm installing a bar on their ceiling so they can both put on black capes and hang upside-down like bats all day ... maybe if we just give in and move to the opposite hemisphere, we'd magically be back in sync (though we'd have to learn Chinese).

Anyway, my point is, I'm no better adjusted than you, but at least I know exactly what it is I'm failing to do (it shames me, really, to be so weak).
mvmagic
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There is an interesting fact about insomnia that most people don't know. Its called micro sleep. that's how people suffering from severe insomnia survive (it can kill you, there is actually a neurologival disorder that prevents you from falling asleep permanently-and that kills). Micro sleep is basically "bursts" of sleep, very very short. In fact, so short one doesn't even know they occur. Generally they happen throughout the day, and the effect-the amount of sleep-is cumulative.

Also with very active thinkers who suffer from insomnia, that's not always the case. Its possible that people like that keep dreaming about the things they think about and thus dream they are awake.

I have worked at a sleep clinic while the OR has been closed in the summer so I know something, though my knowledge aint that vast.

Also I am not saying this is the case with Doug, just general info.
Sent from my Typewriter
Doug Higley
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Mvmagic: Possible here in both cases...also possible that the ridiculous and absurd of the dream state is carried over between bouts of awake time...but if that were the case I would be more prone to politics. However it is possible even in such a state, one could retain their dignity thus rule out political (congressional and senatorial) thoughts...that evil I'm afraid must be carried out fully aware and awake. Smile
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stoneunhinged
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Doug, assuming I understood your original post (which is a *** big assumption, given my mental capacity), your problem is that 23 hours of awake time is now leaving you bored.

Is that about it?

Wow.

Can't help you there, buddy!

Jeff
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Doug, I believe Harry Lorayne has some product pitching to do on this subject to you. He'll be along shortly.
Doug Higley
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Haha...probably a pass Matt. Extremely sales resistant. I did buy something from him at Tannen's in the mid 60's though. ;-)



Jeff: Not at all bored. Just shocked that I cleaned out my cranial storage unit.
Or so I thought! I think I found a hidden basement of prior knowledge that needs some updating so should be good to go for another long haul.
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Josh the Superfluous
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What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Doug Higley
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Haha I love this line!!!

"Zebrafish, also known as zebra danio, have become popular research subjects because they are cheaper to breed than mice and they have a backbone that better represents the human nervous system than fruit flies."

Well Duh...I think they need to study Harry Reid for a Fruit Fly backbone.

Thanks Josh (as usual)
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Josh the Superfluous
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You're welcome.

Gangster: Soon you'll be sleeping with the fishes.
Doug: But I have insomnia.
Stanford scientist: They do too.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Josh Riel
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Nothing's worse than getting in the middle of a discussion between a Stanford Scientist and a Gangster.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Doug Higley
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Oh yeah? I was almost between two Joshesesses

phew...close one.
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Josh the Superfluous
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Yah.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
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