These days I take melatonin, because most other things will make me too sleepy the next day and if I'm going to be sleepy from drugs I might just as well be sleepy from not sleeping, I suppose. Okay, I'm not entirely sure that logic is sound, but whatever. Sometimes I take xanax. I'm kind of afraid of those prescription sleep things that make you get up and make bacon in your neighbor's house at 4:00am, so I've never tried them. Plus, I can't really take something that will absolutely definitely knock me out because the truth is I'm never really sure if a child is going to come in and need something at any point during the night. Then we might both find ourselves making bacon in the neighbor's house. Child 2 would love that.
Anyway, melatonin loses its effectiveness for me after a long period of taking it, so sometimes, even when I do take it, I still can't sleep. And that's when I lie there, trying to figure out how to occupy my mind so that I will doze off.
Sometimes I try to do math problems in my head, but the sad truth is that I've completely forgotten my multiplication tables so that's just more frustrating than anything else. Or I'll try to count in some strange way, but then I always end up forgetting where I was or what my next number is supposed to be, and that makes me frustrated.
And then, of course, I turn to the old standby: Counting sheep. But I get confused about the mechanics of the sheep counting. Are they supposed to be jumping over a fence? I'm pretty sure they are, but... can sheep even do that? CAN sheep jump over fences? So I get caught up in trying to make my sheep (who have names, and are rude to each other) jump over the fence and I forget all about trying to count them. I imagine their struggle, with their short little legs (I don't even know if they have short little legs, actually) and how their sheep friends would tease them for it.
Okay, so maybe I'm supposed to number them, like cattle or something, and count them that way?
For some reason that works.