How To Go To Sleep

You wouldn’t think anybody as lazy as I am would have any trouble with this, but you’d be wrong. Being very nearly immobile by nature and being sleepy are not the same thing.

Very early in life, Mr. Alphabet and I became dear friends, and he comes to my rescue when I find myself lying sleepless. The quickest way I’ve found to drift into dreamland or, alternatively, amuse myself as I lie sleepless is to make alphabetical lists of fives. Five female names beginning with subsequent letters of the alphabet — Ann, Abigail, Althea, Ashley, zzzzzzzzz…. Or five male names on through the alphabet. Or Biblical names. Or cities. Wherever I drop off one night is where I begin the next night.

Lately, I’ve been doing book titles. This one has lasted me a good, long time, because wandering through my mental stacks sidetracks me into thinking about the books, which unhitches my cart from the horse of everyday reality, and it rolls backwards down the hill of consciousness into the valley of sleep. If that metaphor isn’t better than a sleeping pill, I don’t know what is.

Do you have any tricks for getting to sleep?

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character can’t get to sleep. Why? Does the character want to sleep or want NOT to sleep? What does he or she do?

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “How To Go To Sleep

  1. David (ghost writer)
    Twitter:

    September 20, 2012 at 10:36am

    I am glad this technique works for you. For my part, the effort of coming up with names would keep me focused, thinking and therefore awake. I need to vacate my head of thoughts, or else I stay awake.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      September 20, 2012 at 11:54am

      Sometimes it does, David. Usually, though, sorting through all the titles I know fuzzes me out, and I’m gone! 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      September 20, 2012 at 9:26pm

      @Mary — I do that, too! 😀 Sometimes that gets too exciting, though, with swordfights and whatnot. But, if you can’t sleep, you might as well be entertained, right?

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      September 20, 2012 at 9:27pm

      @Mary — I do that, too! 😀 Sometimes that gets too exciting, though, with swordfights and whatnot. But, if you can’t sleep, you might as well be entertained, right? And I always read before bed until my eyes cross. Sometimes, I have to back up the next night and read what I thought I was reading when I was actually half asleep. lol!

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  2. Jane

    September 21, 2012 at 10:12am

    More unwanted advice?

    Get a really nice, comfortable armchair. Put a footstool in front. Oh, and place this in front of the TV. Now put on your favorite show, preferably a new episode you really want to watch. Within minutes, you will not know what hit you. Snoozeville for sure.

    (At least, this keeps happening to me.) 😉

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    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      September 21, 2012 at 6:32pm

      Oh, yeah! This is particularly effective on Sunday afternoon. There are entire seasons of reruns of Perry Mason, Wild Wild West, and Mission Impossible that I’ve only seen the first and last ten minutes of.

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