I confess: I am emotional at weddings. The whole fairy tale thing and the promise of a happily ever after often bring me to tears.
Tears, or mental math? A no brainer, right?
Adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing – I tried them all and can report that doing the math works for me. Since I’ve consciously turned on the left side of my brain I don’t cry at weddings. And there’s an added bonus I’ve discovered: Math at bedtime helps me sleep better.
For years, I’d read a novel before going to sleep – usually a romance to sweep me away from the daily grind. I love Bev Pettersen’s racetrack mysteries…with hints of romance, and those regency romances like To Marry The Duke and My Own Private Hero or the contemporary Color of Heaven Series by Julianne MacLean. Reading books like these took my mind off the wagons that circled and tired me out.
Still, when I closed my eyes, my mind didn’t want to relax. It roamed and worried and plotted long after the books closed and I’d have fight to get to sleep, sometimes for hours. Many weeks I averaged three to four hours a night, did my housework in the middle of the night when I was awake and was tired most of the day. My doctor said sleeplessness is common as we age; that it is normal for me to sleep less as I grow older.
Yikes! His assurances didn’t make me feel better.
If I accepted that sleeplessness comes with ageing, then there’s no remedy because I wasn’t going to stop that process. So I read later into the night and sometimes when I put my novel aside I’d close my eyes and pray for sleep. Often, my mind raced over life’s problems, bills, and worries about family and things I had to do… deadlines to be met.
I’d done some research after the math remark and learned the right side of the brain works through scenarios, runs over plots, and I figure that’s also where all the worrying happens.
I wondered: If I focused on math after the reading, and rested that creative side before closing my eyes, would I get a better sleep?
Yes, it worked and here’s what I do now. I still read those great novels at night, but afterwards I spend five or ten minutes on Sudoku. The math seems to stop impatient and worrying thoughts from taking off to the right when I turn out the light.
A bedtime Sudoku works amazingly well for me. If you’re having trouble getting the hours of sleep you deserve, why not try this?
And why am I not surprised?
As a child, my mother used to tell me to count sheep if I couldn’t sleep and my father would suggest I count backwards from one hundred – more than once if it didn’t work the first time…
Did they have insider information back then? Not likely, but the tradition of counting sheep and counting backwards is still offered by parents of children who can’t get to sleep at bedtime.
My revelation is that doing a Sudoku at night helps me get a better sleep in the same way counting sheep might work for a child.
So my suggestion to you is this: If you’re not getting enough sleep and have to fight to get there, I suggest you try a bedtime Sudoku or do math problems after you read or watch TV. See if that helps. What can you lose?
To be continued in Part Two Blog: Musings – crying at weddings and readers’ emotional connections to text…right brain, left brain, and getting a good night’s sleep….
Monday, Dec. 16th
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