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Useful And Fantastic: Restful Nights

Val Yule brings excellent advice on how to obtain and enjoy a good night's sleep.

I had so many sleepless nights with pain in my adult life, that now that I do not, I often just lie in bed enjoying feeling comfortable, with the sort of luxury feeling sunbathers have when they lie in the sun for hours

The mattress. I have the most comfortable mattress in the world, which is pure rubber, about forty years old. It far surpasses any inner spring or waterbed. (It is also the most environmentally friendly, in how it is made, how long it lasts, and the many uses for the rubber when it finally wears out. It is allergy free and hard for bugs, because it can be washed and the cover washed. Not that I have ever had either problem.)

A pure rubber mattress is not good for heavy people who wear it out in the middle, but lovely for everyone else. Well worth the cost. (Note: not the same as artificial foam rubber.)

I also have satin pillow-slips, which are bliss to put your head on. So I lie in bed in absolute comfort, whichever way I lie.

I can also put out a finger to turn on the radio or a CD, or a hand to pick up the phone or a notepad or a book, and the extra pillows to sit up.

Our street is mostly quiet at night, and I lie and enjoy listening to the silence, and in the early morning to the birds. The possums, and the occasional car or late teenagers.

My favorite night CDs include some Vivaldi and Pachelbel’s Canon on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_PachelbelI – they are so sad that they comfort.

Night radio – I like the 5.30 a.m. humorous BBC shows with their wit and intelligence and fun – although I cannot make out what most of the Goons are saying, and I doze off during My Music and My Word and Just a Minute and Many a Slip though I try not to. Some of the Bioneers just before them some days is inspiring but less fun.

Night reading before sleep. Something to carry in my doze-dreams – a poem from A Poem a Day,a magazine I like, something inspiring, or funny a biography, a re-read childhood book. I read till I feel sleepy or too tired to keep going. Some people meditate, eg practise emptying their minds or practice a dream state or imagine they are hovering over the world like angels. Or they think of times they were sleepy and had to stay awake. Some people count – eg all the relatives they can think of, or sheep running a maze or kelpie dogs going over fences.

I remember the people and scenes and events I have enjoyed in my life. ‘And we in dreams behold the Hebrides.’

Inventing things that need inventing. I can supply lists for anyone who would like to get into the spirit of this one.

One interesting invention is my history-camera, so that I can make films of any time in history, as well as of what is happening now. This is VERY interesting as you can imagine – solving theological problems or making them worse. Finding crimes being prepared and putting the film up on YouTube.

Another is a contagious ‘plus-ease’ (the opposite of a disease) that affects men’s libido (and women’s), so they desire affection not sex. This has enormous consequences for relationships, including prostitution, and stops population growth because men only want sex as the consummation of a loving relationship.

My truth paper, which automatically prints the truth in black, lies in red and purple if nobody knows – this has interesting consequences to think about.

An invention that short cuts the food chain so we can put rocks into a little machine and it comes out sausages or what you like.

And a sleep button so that you can program yourself to when you want to sleep and wake. A button that can help control unpleasant emotions would be good, but rather dangerous – that one needs more thinking.

Solving other problems of the world, including using magic. Many problems look as if only magic would solve them. For example, press a button and the weapons of the world explode when people try to use them. Or fizzle, now I come to think of it.

Alternatives to gambling and other self-harm.

The Middle East. I thought of a slow earthquake that let in the sea between Israel and Palestine, filled up the desert Dead Sea area, but also gave Gaza enough risen Mediterranean Sea land for Palestine to be able to become viable. (But that would also depend upon stopping large families – which are also one of the main problems Israelis fear about Arabs.)

Some races have intolerance to some forms of alcohol. On this principle, since people at present don’t mind vomiting or morning afters, another ‘plus-ease’ spreads by which drinking alcohol fast sets of hiccups or something similar. Drinking slowly they find they can enjoy it more though they cannot drink as much.

So you see, there is plenty to think about, and even the troubles of the world don’t impinge so painfully at 3 a.m. if you have ideas or magic to solve them.

You can also think up poetry - and if you are not weary, even write it down.

Using night-time for thinking keeps the brain ticking over, which is good exercise for it.

Drastic measures - Decide: If I am not asleep in ten minutes by the clock, I will get up and (something I should do but do not want to). This thought can be very good at getting you straight off to sleep – or else you do what you have been putting off. Letters for example. Drawback is weariness, and needing daytime sleep. But if you have all the time in the world to sleep, daytime sleep matters less.

Getting up and having a drink or a meal if you are not asleep I ten minutes is less drastic, and often works. Some people have a thermos by their bed. Or even have a shower. Or do something you would LIKE to do.

The worst thing is to lie in bed and worry about not sleeping. Avoid even thinking about not sleeping. Going through ALL the Night-Enjoyment and Sleep-Producing Ideas above if necessary. Any time you catch yourself thinking ‘Oh dear, I am not sleeping,’ or worrying about things instead of thinking about solutions, you give yourself nought out of ten for Ways to Sleep.

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