The Warm Milk Journal

A nurturing place for people who can't sleep

Looking Forward To A Good Night Sleep Tonight


I am looking forward to a good night sleep tonight and this is why:

  1. I am happy
  2. I feel good about my life
  3. My daughter is happy
  4. I am in love with the most wonderful man in the world
  5. I ate a healthy delicious dinner tonight (portabello mushroom sandwiches, couscous with greek olives and feta cheese, and brocoli) with a Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. I am getting ready to go for my evening walk (my Ipod shuffle is charging as I write this)
  7. I am looking forward to Mothers Day tomorrow
  8. I am in The Now

I wish for all of us a good night sleep. Be safe. Be well. Know that you are not alone. You are loved.

Good Night

Debra : )

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May 9, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, Self-empowerment, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A word listing activity for when you can’t sleep


In your journals, as fast as you can, write down as many words as you can that:

  1. start with “tr”
  2. start with “ch”
  3. start with “la”
  4. end in “le”
  5. end in “er”
  6. end in “ous”
  7. start with “dr”
  8. end in “ion”
  9. start with “z”
  10. start with “qu”

This exercise ought to tire that monkey mind right out and get you sleepy again.

Good night.

April 29, 2010 Posted by | insomnia, lists, puzzles, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Who, What, and Why of The Warm Milk Journal


Who am I?

I am a 43 year old mother, second grade teacher, and enthusiast of many passions such as: working out, the beach, the outdoors, yoga, reading, writing, cooking, gardening, and travel. For many years I was challenged with anxiety for a variety of reasons:raising an autistic child, financial and health challenges, living in Seattle’s climate for 15 years, having a people pleaser personality etc.

This anxiety was pretty well contained during my waking hours. At night, however, it was a whole other story. Panic attacks and sleeplessness were common night time experiences. For a few years I was on a low dosage of Clonazapem (an anti anxiety drug) just so I could sleep at night. I have been off this drug almost three years now.

Currently I reside in sunny Florida, am happily employed, sleeping well, and enjoying life. I have worked hard these past few years to learn how to break some old habits of behavior, change negative ways of thinking, and stopped doing things that were no longer serving me. I read many excellent spiritual and self help books, went to empowerment seminars such as Tony Robbins’ Finding the Power Within, and did everything I could to actually put these new life skill tools I learned to use. I am still a work in progress but I can tell you that I have never been happier in my life. I am relatively anxiety free now, very rarely have a panic attack,  am drug free, and only occasionally wake up in the middle of the night (usually because my precious partner is snoring).

Who I am not: It is probably important for me at this point to state that I am not a doctor, therapist, or any kind of medical or mental health professional. Always, of course, seek the advice of your health care professional for any medical condition you have. I am not going to promote or discourage the use of sleep or any other kind of medication. That is between you and your doctor.

What is The Warm Milk Journal?

The Warm Milk Journal is a place for people to visit who are having anxiety and insomnia issues. Here, people will hopefully find a distraction when they can’t sleep, ideas for getting better sleep, ideas to become the most centered and healthiest people we can be,  diversions such as journal prompt ideas to get the mind on something else,  community, and  support.

Why The Warm Milk Journal?

I know what it is like to have anxiety and not be able to get a good night’s sleep. It can be very miserable. When I was in that state I did not feel very good about myself or my life. I feel so good now thanks to some new tools I have learned in recent years. It is my goal to help people and for people to know that they are not alone. There is a good many of us out there with these issues and we can get better and be there for each other.

Debra : )

April 28, 2010 Posted by | anxiety, insomnia, journal writing, Self-empowerment, The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Financial Stress Causing You To Lose Sleep?


One area that keeps many of us up at night is finances. For many, these are difficult economic times we are in. In recent years I have experienced financial hardship. I got a divorce last year that really has been quite devastating to my financial life and good credit. Here are some things that I am learning to do:

  1. Look at our finances realistically. It is hard to fix something until we know exactly what we are dealing with. This means get an accurate snapshot of income, all expenses, liabilities, etc.
  2. Create a budget
  3. Deal with unpleasant matters (in my case it is dealing with my bank and my ex). The more we avoid and put it off the worse it will become over time and contribute greatly to anxiety and sleeplessness.
  4. Practice the principles of prosperity. There are many good books on the subject and I will go into these ideas in greater detail in future posts. Being thankful for what we have and tithing are two good starting points.
  5. Know that we are not our credit scores or finances. These are just numbers on someone’s computer.
  6. We are bigger than our “problems”
  7. Be in the now and breathe
  8. Know that this too shall pass

April 23, 2010 Posted by | finances, Prosperity | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will it matter next week, next month, next year, ten years from now?


99% of what we worry about never even happens. In the scheme of things, chances are the thing that we are currently tossing and turning about right now will be of little consequence next week, next month, next year, and years from now. We can easily build up our fears in our minds and they seem so BIG and SCARY and URGENT and IMMINENT. AGhhhhh…..!

Let’s give ourselves the gift of a little perspective and know that it really isn’t that bad.

Worry Journal: Many sleep experts recommend keeping a worry journal. Write down what is worrying you and then write down something that you can do to move it in a more positive, forward direction.

Set up a worry time: another idea that I see recommended is to set up a worry time. You can, at a set time in the day, write all of your worries down in your journal. Then, when your mind does begin to worry you can remind it that it has already had its worry time and it will have to wait until it worry time tomorrow.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Spirituality | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Warm Milk Journal’s Mission


The mission of the Warm Milk Journal Is to be a nurturing, comforting place to visit when you are having a hard time sleeping.

The Warm Milk Journal strives to accomplish this mission specifically by offering:

  1. ideas that promote a good night’s sleep
  2. journal prompts to get you writing and your mind focused on something else besides your insomnia
  3. inspirational articles to encourage good health, peace of mind, and living fulfilling lives

April 21, 2010 Posted by | The Warm Milk Journal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mandalas: Coloring as Meditation


There is something very relaxing about coloring. As a student I always seemed to be doodling on my notebook while listening to a teacher’s lecture. I teach second graders. Sometimes I will put something out for the kids to color when they need to be calm and regain their focus. I am not sure what the science is behind this, but it seems that coloring does calm our nervous systems down. It gives our minds something to focus on too, in a very relaxing way.

When you are anxious and can’t sleep at night, I highly recommend drawing and coloring. I have a set of high quality pastels that I use to draw abstract-like pictures. I just enjoy the combinations of color, lines, and shapes. It truly relaxes me.

If you want to color something that is drawn already for you, I recommend mandala coloring pages. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means “whole world” or “healing circle”. Mandalas are usually in a circle with all kinds of intricate patterns to color in and meditate on.

You can find  Mandala coloring books at the main bookstores and websites. One website I have used recently for my classroom is http://www.coloringcastle.com/mandala-coloring-pages.html. They allow you to download Mandala coloring pages for free. There are many sites out there. Have fun looking. You can print several pages ahead of time so that when you are up late with insomnia you just have them at the ready.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Meditations, Tips to help insomnia | , , , , | Leave a comment

“So- Hum”: a simple meditation for better sleep


Sometimes, the simpler an exercise the better. You can do this meditation lying in bed or sitting up in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath. Inhale. Exhale. When you inhale, begin to say or think “so”. When you exhale, begin to think “hum”. Keep doing this as long as you can. Other thoughts will drift into your mind. Treat them as passing clouds in the sky. Allow them to pass without giving them much attention. Continue to concentrate on your breathing and your mantra: “so” inhale, “hum” while exhaling.

After some time you may stop with the mantra and just breathe. I have used this mantra before and it really does work to make me sleepy.

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Meditations | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tension Exercise


If you are lying there in your bed, wide awake- do this:

  1. On your back, close your eyes very tightly for a few seconds. Then relax eyes, leaving them closed.
  2. Raise your eyebrows ten times up and down. Relax.
  3. Scrunch your nose ten times. Relax.
  4. Open your mouth wide open and close it ten times (we hold an enormous amount of tension in our jaws).
  5. Nod your head up and down ten times. Relax
  6. Turn your head to the side ten times. Relax
  7. Shrug your shoulders up and down ten times. Relax
  8. Clench your fists. hold them for 10 seconds. Relax.
  9. Flex bicep muscles in arms for ten seconds. Relax
  10. Tighten abdominal muscles for ten seconds. Relax
  11. Tighten glutes for ten seconds. Relax
  12. Tighten both legs for ten seconds. Relax
  13. Tighten calves for ten seconds. Relax
  14. Scrunch up toes for ren seconds. Relax
  15. Tighten up and tense as many parts of your body as you can think of at one time for ten seconds. Relax.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Physical Exercises | , , , | Leave a comment

Affirmations for Anxiety and Insomnia


One of my favorite little books that I have owned for years is Heal Your Body by Louise Hay. In this book she lists many physical conditions that people have, the underlying mental causes for them, and then offers an affirmation to say and focus on to heal the condition.For our purposes here at the Warm Milk Journal I would like to share with you what she has to say about anxiety and insomnia.

Anxiety: Results from not trusting the flow and the process of life.

Affirmation for anxiety: I love and approve of myself and I trust the process of life. I am safe.

Insomnia: Results from fear. Not trusting the process of life. Guilt.

Affirmation for insomnia: I lovingly release the day and slip into peaceful sleep, knowing tomorrow will take care of itself.

Try writing these affirmations down in your journal. Close your eyes and meditate on them.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Meditations | , , , , , | 3 Comments