Hardly surprising in these anxious times. With many of us kept awake by the worry worm, wriggling its way through our nocturnal thoughts, making each of our concerns seem worse, I thought I’d share a few helpful tips on dropping off, ones that I’ve used and found to work.
- Imagine you’re standing on a sandy beach, close to the water’s edge, and the sea begins to gently lap around your feet. Is it cold or warm, a pleasant sensation? Are you getting deeper?
- Walking alone along a windy clifftop on a clear day. What’s the sea like? Do the crushing waves engulf the black rocks with sparkling white spray?
- Looking at a map of the world, working from left to right, try to name the capital of each country. Likewise, try to figure out the population of each country, hopefully you drop off to sleep before you reach 7.2 billion.
- Starting at A, run through the alphabet thinking of as many foods as you can starting with each letter, then move on to the next one. E.G., A – avocado, apple, apricot, anchovy, aniseed. B – beetroot, blueberries, blackberries…
- Work through a list of US presidents or British prime ministers backwards. E.G., Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton…, or Johnson, May, Cameron, Brown, Blair, Major…
- Try willing yourself to sleep, think of sleep and only sleep. Imagine what sleep is like. Is it fluffy with warm breezes wafting around your face? Your eyes going to sleep, your mouth, your nose, neck, shoulders, working slowly down your body…
- Something mathematical, like doubling figures, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192… See if you can get to a million.
They’re all mind games. Try making your own versions, anything to stop you tumbling into an endless vortex of worries, one thing leading to another. Just don’t go there!
If none of these work, try reading for a bit. You may end losing your place in the book, but you’ll get some sleep.
I’ve just started writing a new novel, based on a short story I wrote last year – The parents I did not know.
In the novel, A life turned (working title) a man looks back on his troubled past and his unusual relationships with his parents to consider the impact on his life.
To read the first chapter go a, A life turned.
My recent publications
Life in four stories
All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.
Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.
By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.
My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter.
Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit.