20091217

Alphabetical Order

When I can't sleep, I have a few techniques that I dazzle myself with in order to doze off. The first trick consists of a healthy dose of diphenhydramine. If that fails me, or if I manage to resist the urge to consume medication, I do the alphabet thing. It's simple, much like counting sheep.

The problem with counting sheep is that it requires too little thought and therefore my brain begins to wander again as the sheep roam about doing their own thing. So I have to do something more complex. [Once I wrote equations in my head, but I found I got so consumed with trying to remember complex ideas that I wanted to get up and write things down rather than sleep. So, I go to my good old alphabet thing.]

For ages (or since junior high school), I said the 50 States in alphabetical order. Then, when I got too used to that, I'd count how many states had A's, or double letters, or ending in vowels, etc. I rarely bore of this; however, on occasion, I like to mix things up for my brain. In these cases I list items in alphabetical order, based on theme, and repeat them until I eventually fall asleep. It never fails that eventually I just doze off with little recollection of where I even left off. For example, last night was animals...

armadillo
armadillo bear
armadillo bear crocodile
armadillo bear crocodile donkey
...you get the idea...this is my list...or as far as I got...
armadillo bear crocodile donkey elephant ferret giraffe horse impala jaguar kangaroo llama moose n..n...n...

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