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Things I Worry About: Money

Australia MoneyAs I’ve mentioned, my insomnia is brought about from stress, anxiety and depression.  Even though I have a good job it doesn’t stop me from worrying about money.

I feel that no matter how much I work, money is always a problem for me.  I just can’t make ends meet.

When I first moved to Sydney, I didn’t have a job.  In order to live I applied for a lot of credit cards and lived off of those for a couple of months.  I put everything on credit, I had a boyfriend that lived with me and his income was helpful, but we split up during the first month here and he left me for another woman.

So there I was in Sydney.  No money, no job, all alone and all this stress made my insomnia so much worse than it had ever been.  I felt like it was impossible to get a job with my condition so I just started charging all the bills to various credit cards. [Read more…]

An Introduction to Insomnia

sleepy ladyI thought I should give everyone a little introduction to what insomnia is, how it effects different people, and dispel some of the myths that revolve around the disorder.

Wikipedia defines insomnia as a sleep disorder where the person is unable to fall asleep or to stay asleep for as long as they’d like. The article goes on to say that insomnia is considered both a medical sign and a symptom that can accompany several disorders that are characterized by persistent difficulty trying to sleep.

There are three different classifications of insomnia.  The first is transient insomnia.  Transient insomnia lasts for less than a week. The effects of transient insomnia are similar to the effects of sleep deprivation.

Acute insomnia is insomnia that lasts less than a month, but more than a week. Another name for acute insomnia is short term insomnia or stress related insomnia. [Read more…]

RANT: 1 1/2 weeks trying to get a removalist in Sydney

Removalist SydneyReally, is it that hard to do what you say? Honestly?

You say you’re going go to come and give me a quote, THEN COME AND GIVE ME A QUOTE!

You say you’re going to get back to me in two days, THEN GET BACK TO ME IN 2 DAYS!

You say it’s going to cost $450, THEN CHARGE ME $450!!!!

I just don’t understand people some times… I wonder how they stay in business!

Ok, so let me back it up for a second. 

When my house got broken into, I got freaked. Like REALLY freaked. I didn’t know if I could stay here.

I started jumping at every noise and wondering if every creak of a door or close of a window was someone coming to break into my place. I just couldn’t do it any more. I needed to get out.

So I started looking around at a few places and even though the rental market is TOUGH right now, I managed to find a place.

Great.

The people seem cool, the neighbourhood seems safe, the neighbours seem nice. Everything’s looking up.

I tell my current house mates and even though they’re not stoked, they completely understand why I’m doing it and that I have to get out for my own health.

So, onto the next adventure: finding a removalist in Sydney

I jump on the internet, find this great site claiming to have the best furniture removalists in Sydney.

I contact them, talk to some really nice lady named Joan, and she promises me that she’ll get someone to get in contact with me in 2 days.

She seems SO nice and SO good that I don’t even bother contacting anyone.

And you know what happens? NOTHING.

NOT A SINGLE THING.

No one calls. No one emails. No one gets in contact. Nothing. I’m left sitting in this house that I hate, waiting like an idiot for someone to contact me and nothing happens.

So I call back. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what’s happened. Let me get onto them again.”

Sure Joan. No worries. Let me see what you’re made of.

Turns out to be very little as once again, no one contacts me.

How is this even possible? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just my bad luck.

And then, three days later, they call me… “Oh, sorry, we’ve been flat out.”

Sure buddy.

Anyway, his appointment is at 3pm the next day. So I sit, and wait, and wait, and guess what? At 4pm, he turns up.

“Sorry, we were really busy…”

Sure buddy. I’m fine with putting my life on hold for you.

“We can have the truck here 7am thursday and all done in 2 hours. As long as everything’s in boxes and all packed up, it should be a piece of cake. It’ll be $450.”

Ok, great. I’m sick of this and want it done.

And you’ll never guess what happens, THEY ACTUALLY TURN UP AT 7AM ON THURSDAY!

I know… I was in shock as well. I though ‘Wow, they might actually be good quality’. Turns out I was oh so wrong…

Before they started, I asked one question because I wanted to make sure everything was still as they said: “It’ll take 2 hours and cost $450, right?”

The answer I got reassured me that my initial hunches about these guys were right.

“2 hours, yes. But $450? Sorry, you must have misheard me, I said $650…”

That was when I lost my cool and started yelling “I’ve never seen such a useless bunch of…” Needless to say, they didn’t stick around.

So I move onto this other group that also claims to have the best furniture removalists in Sydney.

Nice person that gave me a rough quote over the phone. Told me that someone would be around that afternoon at 4:30pm to give me a real quote. And to my shock and horror, they were!

Only $250, only took an hour and fifteen minutes, and were on time and careful.

AMAZING.

And it only took a week and a half all up.

So, the moral of this story is don’t trust anyone till they’ve proven that they mean what they say…

Just makes me wonder how some people are in business…

 

Trouble Sleeping? Music, Netflix, and Other Relaxation Strategies

How to watch Netflix overseasInsomnia is one of the hardest disorders to fight back against, because any big push made on the sufferer’s part tends to just cause them more stress, anxiety, or mental activity at a time when all they need is some restful sleep. That’s how it’s always been in my case, anyways. The harder I try, the harder it is to go to sleep. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem, so I wanted to share a few tips I’ve found helpful to quiet my brain and fall asleep when it counts most.

My favorite method for getting myself to fall asleep and stay asleep is listening to music before I go to bed and as I mentally prepare myself for sleep. Studies have repeatedly shown that different types of audio stimulus affect the human brain waves, so listening to a gentle, steady, and calming type of music as you prepare for bed can help your brain “settle down”. Researchers suggest slow music with steady, soft rhythms that mimic brain waves during sleep. You can also set your music on a timer, so that it turns itself off after you have managed to fall asleep.

Another trick I’ve learnt to make myself sleepy is to settle into bed and watch something calming and pleasant on Netflix. The Blue Planet series, featuring slow instrumental music, blue-toned ocean footage, and a guy speaking in a calm British accent, is my favorite to watch when I can’t sleep. Some other great options include movies based on Victorian literature, like Pride and Prejudice, or perhaps an educational series about painters. If your area doesn’t have Netflix, go here and learn how to watch anywhere in the world.

Further options for inducing sleep involve the use of natural supplements or medicines, such as melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland, and it is responsible for regulating a circadian rhythm. Light dosages of melatonin can help you achieve a more natural sleep cycle, although it does not work for everyone. Also, using the root of the kava-kava plant can produce a strong muscle relaxing effect, which might help insomniacs fall asleep or stay asleep. Be careful and do your research when deciding on a supplement to use, though.

Finally, I really want to say a few things about the effectiveness of breath meditation. Focusing on your breathing can be incredibly calming to the conscious state and has been scientifically proven to improve stress management skills and soften “mental noise”. Beginners are encouraged to try pranayama, a form of yoga breathing in which the back of the throat is constricted to create a sound like the ocean, which is incredibly soothing. Alternately, breathing in slowly for seven counts and out for eleven counts activates the sympathetic nervous system, which may help with calming thoughts.

I hope these methods are useful to all you late-night readers trying to get some rest! Good luck to everyone out there, and I hope to hear some success stories soon.