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Counting Sheep

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our
little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
- The Tempest, Shakespeare -

But what do you do when you can't sleep ? I, for one, count sheep, and it works on most times (although as a child, it was easier to imagine goats than sheep cuz my grandfather's home was next to a goat farm that fortunately didn't belong to us. But yea, counting goats was not the same as counting sheep cuz I never liked them goats - they stared. Then again, I also hated Granfather's chickens - they chased. Damn birds with agression issues).  

View from cousin Lorna's house in Kendal, Lake District

Close-up : Sheep dotting the green grass - a peaceful sight
I LOVED this place and still do :)
Last night was a struggle as I tossed and turned, and finally wriggled out of bed and got onto Twitter to moan about my sleepless state (I think the caffeine from our Desk meeting did me in but thank heavens I wasn't palpitating). Just the night before, sleep came over me like I was under a spell. My eyelids were desperately heavy beyond control and swift, sweet, sleep swept me away the moment I hit the pillow. I was completely dead to the world, only waking up nine hours later to a bright, beautiful day. No dreams, or at least I had no recollection of having had any. Perfect slumber.

Then there are days when sleep comes like a sheer cheese cloth hovering over the vision - I'm lightly drifted into slumberland, and very conscious of a series of gnawing short dreams that run like YouTube videos. I actually don't mind this type when I'm napping during the day - it kind of brings me to the edge, and just when I'm about to slump into this great oblivion, I'm awake and with that, I'm up to get on with the day. However, when this happens during real bedtime, it makes me mighty cranky. Sleep, disturbed by vivid dreams, is very disturbing indeed.

Worst of the lot is when sleep just doesn't seem to exist - like the body had forgotten how to switch off or something. It's a nightmare to be awake when the world around is dark and (supposedly) resting, and I can't. On Twitter last night, Jade suggested for me to read or watch TV, but it's a kind of sleepless state that had no remedies. A bad case was many years ago when I was completely sleepless for Three. Full. Days. Imagine that. I was a total wreck with all that distraction due to zero sleep. Nothing helped, not even the half Xanax by a doctor who thought I was depressed. A full tablet later, I slept for almost a full day. Panic and disorientation followed after, and losing myself that way was far more worrying that being wide awake!

That was the last time I took Xanax. Then on, I just fall back on the good, old method of counting sheep. Sometimes I write, clean or cook. I rarely have poor sleep these days, only occasionally when I do take coffee. Counting sheep is a conscious effort though - you would need to psyche up your mind first before you find yourself lulled to sleep. Ultimately, I suppose it's about keeping your mind focused on something that can prepare you for sleep. So if sheep farms don't work for you, try strip joints. Count the strippers :)
Whatever that works for you.


  1. Would you believe that listening to jungle noises is a common method of sleep inducement in the UK? If that doesn't work for you, I'd recommend taking regular exercise after supper.

  2. I don't count sheep, I mentally redecorate every room in the house

  3. GB: there are also 'sea wave' therapies, and it works for some, but late exercises seem to keep me awake too.

    NM: you must have plenty of ideas !

  4. For me you need to have some dimmed, warm colour lights, a nice hot chocolate, warm shower. Running around after two children helps me get tired too!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  5. I pick something that I am writing and try to work on it in my head. That usually puts me to sleep. Which probably means I have to spice up my writing.

  6. Oh, I'm having *huge* problems with sleep lately. But the sheep counting doesn't help. :S So I simply lay in my bed, sometimes even for a couple of hours, ant wait for the Sandman. -.-'
    Lovely blog. Following and supporting. :)

  7. Duncan : children ! That's the keyword there :)

    MP: I tried it a few times but it got me off the bed and on the laptop :)

    Mdias: Thank you and likewise ! :) I guess counting sheep puts me to sleep cuz that's how little I like numbers.

  8. hey u have a cousin who stays in lake district? that place is so pretty!


  9. Hello JD. Yes, Aloy's cousin actually. The place is memang so pretty...should visit :)


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