Conquering Insomnia

    So this year just hasn’t been the best. Tragedy has stricken with my highs school peers, finance issues, and a few other things that have been really bothering me.
    Well along with this, I’ve had some insomnia problems. It felt like I was pulling an all-nighter with friends running on caffeine. So I have lots of energy, but feel really worn out.
    I’m normally a pretty private person, but can warm up to a few people, and even then I still don’t say everything in my mind. I think it’s just a guy thing But I know that talking helps, it get’s what’s in my head out. Kind of like slowly releasing air from a balloon. I must say that talking feels a little better.
    Before, I would take some kind of sleeping pill every night, and still stay up late stressing about things. Sleeping medicine causes your body to become drowsier; it doesn’t make you fall asleep. It also doesn’t give you the same kind of refreshment natural sleep gives you. I’d also look at small screens which somehow are like a stimulant to your mind. Texting and video games aren’t the best things right before sleep.
    A friend told me to exercise. Normally I’d get exercise from being busy or from going on long bike rides. Which I haven’t done for months. It’s hard to exercise when feeling worn out, but just a run from my house to our barn (somewhere between 25-45 yards from my house) made me feel pumped, then a run back. I still had energy to do more, but I’ve been really lazy sense august, so the lazy instincts kicked in. But that night, I felt a lot better. Rather than getting like 1-2 hours of sleep, I got about five. So each day, I’ve been trying to a small amount of exercise, still not much, but better than my routine I’ve been having.
    I’ve also been trying to make my sleeping environment better. Before I sleep texting, playing video games, writing stuff up on my laptop, and listening to loud music takes place. (Some people may laugh or make jokes here). My bed is not a place for any of those things. I can text while standing, video games on the couch in the living room, laptop on a table, and music -it’s an iPod, I can take it where ever I want. So now I turn off my phone and anything else that might have some kind of bright screen off and under my bed to charge. I use the computer (family one) before I go to bed, which still stimulates the mind, but hey, I’m a facebooker. Then I make sure my room is a peaceful environment. If I’m having trouble relaxing, I will put on some soft music (like soft jazz, or some piano music -I hate classical). This helps me not think about stress and more on the song itself, which is relaxing in general. I also get any other distractions (lights outside my room, TV in living room) out of the way; it’s easy for me because I choose to be the last one to bed in my house. This way it’s completely peaceful
    Then one night, I was thinking about stress and as usual, I wrote it out. Normally when I write things out, I do it with all the lights out on my laptop, which is really bad for your eyes at night, especially right before you go to sleep. Thinking about this information, I figured, okay, why not write in a journal like I did before I wrote things out on computers.
    On paper, it was a lot different. It felt more real and fluid. Plus the only things I’ve been writing on paper have been notes for school. Another thing I did differently was that I wrote out all the events that happened in my day, and labeled it “Today”. Yes this sounds like a diary, but it’s not, it’s a journal. For the past few days I have been writing the bigger events that took place in the day. Then under it, I would label, “Other”. I wrote about philosophies, notes about life, stress, plans, and whatever might fit. Which helped out too.
    Now, the thing that makes this a lot different from other people’s journals (most people do the day-to-day event thing, philosophies, poetry, or stuff like that) is that I’ve been writing letters to specific people. Not always, but when someone has done something that helped me, I would write out a letter of appreciation and compliments. These letters are a little bit different. There are some to people I wouldn’t normally write a letter like this too and some that I have written letters too. They can be role models, teachers, friends, basically people who left some kind of mark. Each day I write one letter to one person. As I stated before, sense its on paper it’s more real.
    I will admit that I still have some problems sleeping but each night; I sleep better after following this routine. Each day I also learn new things.
I’ll just restate the main things that have been helping:
Talking
Exercise
Peaceful sleeping environment
Handwritten journal
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