Menopause and the crazy sleep schedule; natural sleep aids; sleepwalking; boxing myself into a small space

Wow, I had a real festival of sleep this weekend, something I rarely do.  I am not a recreational sleeper.  My typical routine is to work on the computer until I feel done, then do some yoga stretching and move into the living room to sit in my easy chair (purposely not a recliner!) to read.  Next to the chair, I have a desk with my laptop and phones on it.  So, when I move to the living room, I am in the winding down for the day mode.  This takes a few hours as I read and proof read, because I am also checking Facebook and seeing what my pals have been up to. I do this reading and laptopping for a few hours until I typically fall asleep in my chair. When I wake up usually minutes later, I jump on the couch and pull the indian blanket over me and that’s where I sleep my 3 or 4 hours.  When I wake up,  I do my morning meditation, come in here to do this blog and then I may go back to sleep another hour or two after that.  It is for those final hours that I may actually make it into my bedroom.

Sometimes I get so involved in my work – which is fun for me – that I miss segments of sleep.  It’s often not until I look at the date/time on my Facebook posts that I realize I have been up almost around the clock.  It’s at those times, the “tired and wired” stage I call it, that I call in the big guns to make me sleep right away.

No, not prescription medication, although the over the counter Benadryl/Sominex will do the trick for me in emergencies. I don’t take medication except in emergencies, because I find that the chemicals running through my system affect my intuitive abilities, plain and simple.  Since my intuition is my bread and butter, I just don’t do pills, period.  I prefer to take 2-3 valerian root (standardized only) herbal capsules along with 2 Melatonin capsules. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain and believed to maintain regular sleeping patterns.  I particularly like the Melatonin sprayValerian root has traditionally been used for centuries as a sleep aid and for relief from nervousness, restlessness and stress-related anxiety.  This herbal cocktail relaxes me right to sleep for my usual 3-4 hours at a stretch.

The sitting area in my living room has everything I need right there.  I’ve got the desk, the computer, the office chair, the phones, the easy chair, the tv, and my short fainting couch.  That’s where most of the sleeping takes place.  The kitchen is off to the right, behind the hanging curtain with the smiley sun face on it.  In fact, this whole area I am describing is 13 x 36, including the kitchen.  The rooms are all in a line with each other.  Sometimes I spend entire days and nights in that space.  I began thinking, here I have this whole house and yet I spend half the time living in a space that measures 13 x 36.  And doing so happily.

That’s like 80% of my space that I am not fully living in.  Yes, I like sleeping on the couch, but my bedroom is such a much more wonderful place to sleep.  It gets completely black dark and stays very cool and the bed is very cushy and dreamy.  Those are things I love about a sleeping space.  Yet I choose to sleep on the couch, which is hard and shorter than I am tall, in a room illuminated by the lighted altar at the opposite end.  The bedroom gives me the best sleeping experience by far, yet too often, I just don’t feel like moving that far.  I was comfortable enough where I was, half asleep.

That made me ponder, where else am I too comfortable in my half sleep, and missing out on a far wider expanse of life than I am living now?  Yes, I see where I am boxing my own self in, so to speak, but it’s a very comfortable and fun box I’m in.  Like being trapped in Paradise.

That’s one reason I like coming across new people, people who don’t do what I do, people who do things I know very little about and have not experienced.  Like one friend does archery and so I’ve been Googling that and think I might like to give it a try.  I lke anything where precision and focus determine the result.  That I can do.  Whether my body will cooperate, well, maybe not at first but it will soon follow as I train it by practice.  Like each year some friends go to Macchu Picchu and before I go, I’ll know to train myself by walking and doing lots of steps and stairs, so I am able to fully appreciate all the trip has to offer.

There’s nothing worse than being in the midst of wonderful stuff I can’t use or participate in because I’ve limited myself by my own actions and my own sleepwalking.  Where I limit myself to living in 500 square feet when the whole house is available to me.  And in my past life, limiting my activities because I had 50 extra fast food pounds, but wasn’t ready to make a change in eating habit.  Limiting myself by no longer joining in strenuous physical activities that friends around me were doing, activities I used to love.  Or again in my past life, limiting how much I could spend on the car I really wanted or fun vacations with friends, because I’d spent that much on shoes and electronics all year instead.

But we do these things without thinking.  We don’t plan it out.  We just fall into it.  It takes someone outside us to point out what we might be missing, what we could be experiencing if we just step outside the small space we’ve dug ourselves comfortably into.  Something new to spark interest, or maybe just renew interest in a former spark. No, I am not talking about hooking up with former lovers, I am talking about remembering how much you used to love to write or travel or paint or garden or dance.  Renewing a spark for something you used to love to do, that expands your perception and your world, too.

Something that takes you out of your small space and lets you live far more of the potential that is there waiting for you to find it. Your small space may be your house, it may be your job or your body.  Your small space is whatever you have confined yourself to, wherever you are limiting yourself.  Ask trusted friends what they think your small spaces are, and consider what they say.

I think I don’t always have to make changes in my life, but I do have to make changes in my thoughts, to keep myself in the flow of the fullest experience life has to offer me.

Where in your life can you use some expansion?

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