I have never been a good sleeper (my mother a’h said that even as a small child, I never wanted to miss anything going on, and would stay up into the wee hours). But as I age, my insomnia seems to be getting progressively worse. I’ve tried herbal and nutritional supplements, melatonin, Benadryl, Zzzquil and Nyquil (the latter works the best but I don’t want to take it on a regular basis because I’m a zombie the next morning, and it has a high alcohol content). My doctor would not prescribe Ambien, and I found the sounds on a self-hypnosis relaxation tape to be annoying. Even if I do manage to eventually fall asleep, I often awaken in the night and then remain awake for hours and hours.
Someone said my problem is “too much chatter” which totally makes sense to me. My mind is always, always working and doesn’t know when to shut itself off. As I stare up towards the ceiling or toss and turn, I am thinking of that day’s events, sights, sounds, smells; politics, relationships, Israel; health, the meaning of life; and from there I go off into some pretty crazy tangents. Last night at 4 a.m. I knew I had hit bottom when I came up with the following halachic shayla (question of Jewish Law):
A right-handed person has a terrible accident and loses his right leg, G-d forbid. He gets a natural-looking prosthesis. Which shoe does he put on first, the right or left? (According to kabbala, one is supposed to put the right shoe on first – – but what if it’s not a real foot?)
I mean, come on! Where the heck does my brain get this stuff, anyway????
(P.S. If you know the answer to the shoe question, be sure to write in!)