Sunday, 28 February 2016

Dickens versus Insomnia

Life is stressful in our house at present. Work stress for both husband and me; GCSEs for Kate.  And uncertainty about next year's plans too. Kate has to choose A levels and a new school for September and there are decisions to be made for all of us.  As a result there is a fair amount of grumpiness and, for me, sleep problems as I tend to wake at night and worry about things.  I've written about my battle with insomnia before and my attempts to deal with it have had limited success.  I'm now bored with the Mindfulness book audio tracks I used for a while to help reduce stress.  It does work in helping me switch off, but it sometimes seems such a waste of time lying there thinking about 'just this breath in and this breath out' when there are more interesting things to do. ( I kind of feel the same about 'relaxation' in yoga)

So I have a new weapon. I recently discovered audio books, thanks to Christina who has blogged about her love of 'reading' this way.  After a few technical hitches I succeeded in downloading to my phone Dickens' 'David Copperfield' for 99p, choosing this mainly because of price: if I didn't like the audio book experience, I wouldn't have wasted much money.

One of the problems with my insomnia is that it affects everyone else.  If I get up and go downstairs, it's cold and it disturbs my husband; the Kindle 'Nook', my birthday present last year, which is designed for reading in bed, actually emits quite a bright light which disturbs my husband and my neck gets sore after a while.  Listening to my phone with headphones is less annoying for him. (Although not when I fail to put the headphones in properly, as I did last night, waking him up with a blast of DC!) And I can stay cosy and warm, lying down fully relaxed with my eyes closed as I listen.

So I'm loving listening to 'David Copperfield', a classic I never quite got round to. It's narrated by someone called Peter Batchelor whose voice is fairly inoffensive although he attempts a squeaky voice to convey David as a child which is a bit annoying. So, instead of visualising nightmare work scenarios or rerunning things in my head at 3am, I'm picturing Aunt Betsy riding her pony trap through Canterbury or Uriah Heap rubbing his hands, or Mr Micawber telling David of his latest financial problems.  Brilliant.  I don't sleep any more, but at least I am relaxing and,
after a hour or sometimes two, I go back to sleep.  It's 32 hours long. I have 23 left so it was well worth the 99p.  And plenty more Dickens to go.  And then I might start on Hardy.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you find some peace listening to stories. During the night, when I am sleepless, I prefer radio programmes because these are shorter and it is easier to find the spot when I fell asleep. 32 hours is mighty long. A level decisions are difficult, we are at the same stage with Sam but at least he gets to choose 5 subjects rather than 3, less difficult to choose I think. Good luck. x