I was one of those children who had nightmares.  It was only a brief period of time- literally, it was just a passing stage I suppose.  I don’t remember what my nightmares were except that they involved my parents not liking me or not knowing who I was.  Strange right?  But I’d end up waking up and going into their room to sleep.  On their bathroom floor.  I know, even weirder!  They had an adjoining bathroom to the bedroom that was separated by a flimsy curtain.  I guess I didn’t want to disturb them while THEY slept so I decided to curl up on the bathroom floor.  I must not have been cold either since I kept doing it.  And you know what?  I don’t remember how I woke up because you would think I would remember one of my parents waking up or me waking up myself.  But I don’t. Hmm…

The second recollection of trouble sleeping is also strange.  My parents were on a trip and normally whenever that happened, my sister and I would sleep on their bed.  It was bigger and fluffy and PINK.  My poor dad.  On one particular night, I couldn’t sleep because every time I closed my eyes I saw black.  But it wasn’t just black, it was like swirly black with scratches of white.  And it was moving constantly.  I was freaked out and thought something was wrong with me.  Why else would I be seeing blackness with weird moving shapes?  I can still see it now when I think about it.  So I got out of bed to look for my uncle and tell him that I couldn’t sleep.  He asked me why but I couldn’t tell him in fear that there really was something wrong with me.  So all he could really do was tell me I was fine and everything would be ok.  Basically, just try to go sleep.  So I tried, and tried, and tried again.  I must have been awake for a long time before I fell asleep.  It was out of pure exhaustion that I finally fell asleep.  It was the strangest thing and I couldn’t forget about it.

To this day I have a hard time sleeping sometimes because my mind is going 100 mph thinking while it should be shutting off.  I have some of my greatest ideas when I’m going to sleep you know.  Things like what I should do tomorrow, things I need to buy, things I need to do, things I SHOULD do, etc.  Whether or not I remember when I wake up is another story entirely.

Trying to shut my brain down is hard.  But what I find helpful is taking a really deep breath.  I’m not talking about just breathing deeply, but taking a huge breath and exhaling.  It actually slows down my heart rate and clears my mind.  The only problem is if I start thinking again.  It generally works though.

Why I have to think such great things before I go sleep is beyond me.