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For reasons

Eddie Mair | 10:18 UK time, Monday, 29 January 2007

I am working to establish - the blog has been a pretty dreary place for froggers of late. I apologise. We're trying to identify the problem and fix it. Postings go astray (I wrote one myself on The Beach early this morning and it hasn't appeared either) and there are huge time lapses.

None of this is helped having woken shortly after midnight and couldn't get back to sleep. Rather tired and grumpy now. Any good cures for pointlessly lying awake? Do you get up and do something? If you have any faith left in us - let me know. Will also try to find some fun audio to post to cheer us all up.


  1. At 10:59 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Dear Eddie,

    Firstly, thank you for caring and being so responsive to the Froggers' Plight.

    Secondly, don't reach for the coffee yet as it will probably make you feel worse at this stage. Try something like a nice herbal te. I'm not a person who always drinks herbal teas, but they do have their place, and I'd suggest that if you're feeling grumpy and tired, now is when you need one.

    Thirdly, getting back to sleep. These are things that have helped me on the very rare occasions that I've had insomnia: (1) Read. But only something undemanding and that you really enjoy. Really enjoy. It's one of the rules of life that, if you're enjoying a book, you'll fall asleep. And if you don't, you won't resent being awake anyway. (2) Take a warm bath before you go to bed. (3) Try drinking a herbal tea containing valerian root extract. There are several on the market. It isn't addictive and doesn't make you feel hungover the next day. It is, however, rather unpalatable, so take honey with it. The honey, too, will help stop you wanting to go to the loo in the night as it is mildly antidiuretic. (4) (This is a technique I used during a bad patch of insomnia some years ago and found helpful) Visualise some scenario that you find very relaxing. I used to imagine I was on a tropical beach, lying on warm comfortable sand, with a blue sky, etc., etc., and empty out my mind. But you may have a different scenario. Just think of something where you know you would really relax, and try to visualise it, think your body into the situation, relax muscle by muscle, and focus on the relaxation of your body. That will take up the braincell activity that would otherwise meander off into the world of worry.

    The worst thing is worrying about not sleeping, and that will guarantee you don't sleep!

    Sweet dreams, Eddie!

  2. At 11:04 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Molly wrote:

    Blog gone?......


  3. At 11:06 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Well, well, well. The comments section now works. I do hope you get a handle on the problems, because it's destroying the atmosphere of the frog.

    Good luck. I'm back to my new treehouse to enjoy the excellent weather.

    See y'all on the ice

  4. At 11:10 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    I always try and design my perfect house. But by the time I've argued with myself about where it's going to be I've fallen asleep.
    Or get up and make a cup of tea and tell the dog how much you love him. He won't mind being woken up for that.

  5. At 11:22 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Cures for pointlessly lying awake - I do know that all the experts recommend not doing same. If you are pointlessly awake, then you must make yourself get up and do something (usually have a cup of tea and a biscuit is the advice). Don't do anything too exciting because apparently that defeats the purpose, just something kinda somnambulent. Not sure when you are supposed to give up doing that and go back to bed again though.

    As you will have gathered, I am not an insomniac - my problem is staying awake. So you are asking the wrong person really. While we're on the subject then, does anyone have any cures for not being able to get out of bed?

    This blog is an equal opportunities advice gatherer.

    uhuh, guess what, that was a maliciously fast post, grrrrrr

  6. At 11:22 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, I submitted half an hour ago. Aunt D on the next thread has submitted since then. So, the Bloggage proceeds apace.

    Poor Eddie, we know it's not your fault!

    (And, to add insult to injury, I've now got the malicious posting message. Talk about rubbing salt in wounds!)

  7. At 11:27 AM on 29 Jan 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    It's 'black' Monday for this 'ere blog.

  8. At 11:29 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Eva Sye wrote:

    We’ll see you at the nice end of Monday, 5 o’clock don’t be late, you have been warned.

  9. At 11:38 AM on 29 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Depends what's keeping you awake ....hopefully not the blog!! White noise (a fan etc) works for me but drives others mad. The crowd noises from Match of the Day's pretty good too. Or Patricia Hewitt...

  10. At 11:38 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Mr Simmons wrote:

    Mr Mair,

    No faith at all.

    The BBC, what do you expect?

  11. At 11:40 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Lewis wrote:

    I used to have an excellent cure for insomnia. I had a textbook - I won't say which one in case the author reads this - which I was meant to read. To this day I don't know what the third paragraph contained, I never managed to finish the second one before falling asleep!

  12. At 11:50 AM on 29 Jan 2007, White City Watchdog. wrote:

    A useful address.

    The Secretary to the Governors - Complaints Committee
    Room MC3 D3
    Media Centre
    Media Village
    201 Wood Lane
    London W12 7TQ

  13. At 11:57 AM on 29 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Morning Eddie......hope you are feeling a bit less grumpy now? But if you really want to know what tired and grumpy is, try having a wide awake bouncy 4 year old who doesn't understand that 4am is actually STILL THE MIDDLE OF THE BLOODY NIGHT!!!! (Sorry, lost it a bit there - must take deep breaths!!!). His hour of waking is getting earlier and earlier lately - if it carries on like this I will end up ranting like the Monty Python sketch about getting up before I've gone to bed!!! Anyway is it time to go home yet? Oh no its only 11.45!

    Oh and yes we still have faith in you, fear not! Try not to take the burden of responsibility totally on yourself - we all know technology is great, when it works!

  14. At 12:06 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    The best cure I have found for pointlessly lying awake in the middle of the night is to go for a walk in your head.

    By which I mean choose a route you are familiar with, but which is not associated with your current life and mentally walk step by step along the way.

    I use the mile long walk I took to primary school in a village I left at the age of fifteen, so it's an old memory. The effort of concentrating on not cheating and just jumping ahead half a mile means I'm always asleep long before I get to school!

    Of course I'm assuming the bloggage even let's you read this.....

  15. At 12:44 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Gillian wrote:

    This may cheer you up Eddie......just heard a sound-bite of yours on You and Yours, re an item about ''salvaging'' items on beaches. It certainly cheered me up, hearing your dulcet tones unexpectedly. I suggest you go and fill out your repeat-fee claim form asap!

  16. At 12:57 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Mrs. Naughtie wrote:

    Dear Shirley Muir,

    "Swings and Roundabouts"
    The Frog seems to have croaked, but the
    Newsletter received 12.45(ish).
    "And love may grow. For all we know."
    on the other hand:

    "For all we know we may never meet again
    Before you go make this moment sweet again
    We won't say "Good night" until the last minute
    I'll hold out my hand and my heart will be in it ."

    Sounds messy.
    Mrs. Naughtie

  17. At 01:01 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Dr Richard Lawson wrote:

    No point in pointlessly lying awake, since it is pointless, and it associates bed (wrongly) in your mind as a place to pointlessly lie awake.

    Either (a) get up and do some task that you have been putting off or (b) get up and write a list of things to do, then when bored and finished, get back in bed and read (this displaces the looping thoughts that are keeping you awake) until book slips out of hands, and if not asleep instantly, focus attention on your breath and count one-two, one-two with that. Also, reduce tea and coffee if this a frequent problem. Or you could..but no, this is a family page.

    Come back in a month if that doesn't do the trick.

    Sleeping pills are a mug's game.

  18. At 01:07 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Box of Frogs wrote:

    One thing that cheered me up after a wakeful night - because of foxes in the garden, is that I won't have the tune quoted in the Newsletter stuck in my head all day. Because I have no idea what it is. Small things can make such a difference.

  19. At 01:41 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Wolf wrote:

    My cures for not being able to sleep:

    - Throw out cats. (It doesn't put me to sleep, but it helps, particularly if they woke me up in the first place.)

    - Watch TV (Flood yourself with the dumbness of television. I tend to nod off in 7 minutes, I timed it.)

    - read book "Risk assessment for Software Development" (time to nod-off: instant)

    - Alternatively, double-bluff yourself. Try and stay awake, keep eyes open. Enjoy the time to think about things in peace. Either I come up with some great thinking, or I go to sleep. I wouldn't know which one happens more often, because in the morning I can't remember.



  20. At 01:49 PM on 29 Jan 2007, The Obituarist wrote:

    For the Blog

    The dead they sleep a long, long sleep;
    The dead they rest, and their rest is deep;
    The dead have peace, but the living weep.

    ~Samuel Hoffenstein

  21. At 01:57 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Get some lavender oil, Eddie, and sprinkle a little on your pillow.

    Combine that with "good sleep hygiene" - no rich food late, avoid caffeine and chocolate, keep work out of the bedroom, read something relaxing in the half hour before sleep, etc.

    And, when it comes to the inevitable "wake up", put on a relaxing music channel and lie there as though asleap with your head on the pillow and your eyes shut - the rest is almost as good as sleep.

  22. At 01:59 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, since my Eddie left me,
    I found a new place to dwell.
    It's down at the end of lonely street
    at Heartbreak Hotel.

    You make me so lonely baby,
    I get so lonely,
    I get so lonely I could die.

    And although it's always crowded,
    you still can find some room.
    Where broken hearted lovers
    do cry away their gloom.

    You make me so lonely baby,
    I get so lonely,
    I get so lonely I could die.

    Well, the Bell hop's tears keep flowin',
    and the desk clerk's dressed in black.
    Well they been so long on lonely street
    They ain't ever gonna look back.

    You make me so lonely baby,
    I get so lonely,
    I get so lonely I could die.

    Hey now, if your Eddie leaves you,
    and you got a tale to tell.
    Just take a walk down lonely street
    to Heartbreak Hotel.

    [Sigh - and sound of splashing as another frogger falls off lilypad ......]

  23. At 02:04 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Even you, Eddie?

    And, yes, that being-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night thingy is so irritating.

    I wonder, is it worse when you're (one is) lying next to someone who's sleeping sweetly/ snoring loudly? Or when one is /you're alone?

  24. At 02:13 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Lying awake cures:

    1. Sudoku - oh, you don't, do you? :o(

    2. Read a coffee table book. The bigger and heavier the better. Totally unengaging of brain, and physically tiring to hold up while lying in bed. When you're struggling to keep your eyes open, time to try again.

    3. Snuggle down in the warm and pretend it's nearly time to get up. Picture yourself getting out from under the snuggly duvet, running the shower, all those other tedious things that have to get done ... and then ... and then ... O joy ... remind yourself you don't have to do that for HOURS yet!

    4. Consider the pros and cons of going for a walk. PROs: exercise, streets are quiet, fresh air, good for you, time to think... CONs: you could stay where you are and stay warm and cosy.

    5. Write down whatever was looping in your mind when you first woke up. Everything about it. Every little niggly thought, every aspect, every last detail.

    ...or finally...

    6. Come over to Fifi's place for some free music lessons with all the other insomniac froggers!


  25. At 02:14 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Perky wrote:

    Eddie - having just written some bed-related copy, and used lots of interesting resources, here are some lovely sleep tips from the Sleep Council:


    Could it be a Sunday evening thing? I often find that I'm so busy thinking about everything that has to be done in the coming week that I can't sleep on a Sunday night. I wonder how many other people experience this?

  26. At 02:29 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Cures for pointlessly lying awake.

    1) whisky (or is it whiskEy?)

    2) the blog - hence intensely irritating if nothing is happening on it for hours & there's nothing new to read

    3) BBC World Service, listening in bed. All right except for the too-loud promotions of the world service itself, which WAKE YOU UP again, just as you were dozing off

    4) Fetching the cat from the cellar & letting him sleep on the bed. Somehow this is soothing, unless he wakes SO , in which case the subsequent domestic dispute makes it all hardly worthwhile...

  27. At 02:32 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Whisht wrote:

    ah, as Eddie blogged at 10.18 and its now 14.30 and there are still no comments displayed, my guess is that the time lags are still there....

    or everyone has given up.

    A friend told me yesterday about a way of getting to sleep that involved a small glass of port and a swig of Night Nurse*. Seems to do the trick.

    * Other ways of abusing the medicine cabinet are available. Always ask a pharmacist or dealer as to dosages if no label is available.

  28. At 03:58 PM on 29 Jan 2007, ian wrote:

    A cure for insomnia? How about listening to an interview with Ruth Kelly?

  29. At 04:14 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Peter Jones wrote:

    If you were at a loose end, you could always e-mail a copy of the newsletter to us all individually.....?

  30. At 04:19 PM on 29 Jan 2007, RJD wrote:

    Whisht (4 but very likely to change)

    I'd settle for a night nurse and forget about the glass of port!

  31. At 04:24 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Peter Jones - LOL - now that is creative use of found time!!
    Or maybe he could moonlight as a Moderator?? All hands to pump currently required, it would seem. Though, as I post, they are flooding in all over every thread......

  32. At 04:48 PM on 29 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    my tip is sort of along the same lines as Fifi's. Get up and make a cup ,of tea, watch overnight telly, whatever. Do it until you get cold, really shivery cold. then go back to bed and the warmth will have you dropping off immediately.Listening to the World Service is less drastic and also works, especially if it's somthing you really really want to listen to all the way through to the end.

  33. At 05:02 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Izzy T'me wrote:

    Cure for insomnia -

    Naming all the Archer's characters, alphebetically - I've never yet got to Usha!

  34. At 05:21 PM on 29 Jan 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Thanks for all the blogging updates, there isn’t really a main thread here for me to comment on the news (can we have one please?!) so I am wondering here why the police was so surprised at the calm response of the ex-soldier who killed his family.

    If we train people to be brutal, & they witness brutality, how do we expect them ever to become less like the psychopath who is now being charged? It is a fundamental dichotomy at the heart of soldiering, & one which has caused great sadness for many, even when the result has not been a death. I am a pacifist really, which is perhaps why I can empathise with the nature of the huge adjustments soldiers must have to make when they return to their families. It is not only domestic violence which families fall victim to, but deep emotional distress which devastates lives. Where are the support services, are there any, can you find out?

    & while I am on the subject of you finding out things, the mother who killed her children in Hackney will have appeared in court today, Westminster I believe. Can you find out for us this week if she had come to anyone's attention previously? There is no reason that any child should be able to die, except completely unexpectedly, since the plethora of guidance appeared after the Victoria Climbé Inquiry, unless Hackney social workers still have an unmanageable case load.

    While I am on a rant, anti-discrimination laws protect Christians too, sexuality isn't the biggest sin in the book & I am still tired of bigotry being paraded as faith. The outcomes for 'looked after children' are appalling & there aren’t enough people to adopt the sometimes challenging children who inhabit the care system. Catholics should show some compassion & recognise that there will be a way to signpost gay couples (should they ever walk through their door!) to other agencies.

    Thanks for listening!

  35. At 05:29 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Helen (34). Try The Furrowed Brow...(but I know what you mean)

  36. At 06:01 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Anne P (14): I use the mile long walk I took to primary school in a village I left at the age of fifteen, so it's an old memory.

    Did they keep you at Primary School that long because you were naughty?

  37. At 06:16 PM on 29 Jan 2007, madmary wrote:

    Great tips for insomnia. I suffer from it from time to time.

    My tip - DON'T drink tea if you get up, it'll only have you wanting to go to the loo just as you start dropping off.

    Reading works but can't be done if you have someone else in the room who objects to the light being on.

    Otherwise, I write novels in my head. I choose the first line very carefully, then try to write the first two pages. Make corrections in your head.


  38. At 06:22 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Eddie - look, you did that while you were on the air! Here we are wasting days of our lives trying to get posts to appear, then once they do, trying to catch up with 2 days' worth scattered all over the place! and you can just get through while you're supposed to be broadcasting! Phew.

    Enjoyed the prog though, especially the bit about the seaplane. I knew someone who was trying to do something similar, must look them up.

  39. At 07:26 PM on 29 Jan 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Thanks Eddie, but I thought I might not be able to make all my demands of you on the FB, & PM is a news programme still methinks!

  40. At 08:37 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Fifi: Sudoku is a no no when you can't sleep, because you're not alert enough to be able to do it propertly yet sufficiently awake to get frustrated.

    And I agree with the comments about cups of tea - while comforting, they create problems for later in the night. And they contain caffeine so don't encourage sleep. Similarly with alcohol (unfortunately).

    But honey - definitely good.
    And herbal tea.
    Possible other 'herbal remedies' available, no doubt, to some.

    Now moderators, you've got to stop this abusive stuff. I haven't posted for hours!

  41. At 09:31 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    My late father and my brother both fell/fall asleep in front of the TV every night, to the resigned signs of their respective wives. I have neither, but...

    when still at Uni, if I attended a seminar or lecture where I had no need to take notes, the first ten minutes were OK, then I would be fighting the sleep....by twenty minutes I was away. Then, at forty minutes, I would suddenly spring awake, and spend the rest of the hour wondering what the hell the lecturer was going on about...Lecturers were not that impressed by me, either. Perhaps why I'm not a high-flying academic these days..

  42. At 09:59 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    ...Did "The Last Flying Boat in Africa" ever get back?

    For those who don't remember, a team restored a flying boat enough for it to take to the air again. Problem was that it had had a forced landing on a lake that was rather small for the "runway" - seaway? - necessary to take off.

  43. At 10:20 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Sudoku's a no-no all the time as far as I'm concerned. If that's what it takes to save me from dementia, then I'm snookered because I can't get to grips with it at all!

  44. At 10:28 PM on 29 Jan 2007, confused wrote:

    I've never needed more than any book on management accounting or double-entry bookkeeping. If that's too heavy, I did find sections of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet had a similar effect. Whilst I did finish them, I've never slept so well in my life.

  45. At 02:40 AM on 30 Jan 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    The FB has left my brow furrowed! Posts appearing here but not there, where is a girl to post. & I am nothing if not demanding Eddie! But thanks to you all for being so responsive, it is great to have such fabulous interaction with our beloved programme & the team.

  46. At 09:50 AM on 30 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Flying Boats:

    My father was one of the very lucky few to travel on (I think) a Sunderland Flying Boat to South Africa in, I believe, 1949 or 1950, this before I was born. He used to tell us about this wonderful experience, landing in the Bay of Naples for refuelling, and on Lake Victoria, as well as many other wonderful places over a journey of five days.

    He described the interior of these fabulous hybrids: wood panelling, silver service, beds, coctail bars, etc. My father had grown up in very humble circumstances, so this was his first ever experience of anything so luxurious, and this combined with the strangeness of flying and floating left a lasting impression on him. His reminiscences left a similar impression on me, and the item on yesterday's programme has made me yearn to take up the challenge of following in his footsteps - well, in getting a taste of what he experienced, at least.

    When the family finally moved over to South Africa for my father to take up a post there, we travelled on the Union Castle ships, which became the only viable alternative after the Flying Boat services stopped. That, too, was a fabulous experience, but I would have traded it anyday to have gone in a Sunderland Flying Boat.

  47. At 01:29 PM on 30 Jan 2007, Fusspot wrote:

    Can HelenSparkles please note that an ampersand (&) does not mean the same thing as "and".

  48. At 01:42 PM on 30 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    One more thought on the 'pointlessly lying awake thing' - Quick crosswords. You don't have to think too hard, and you can challenge yourself to stay awake until you've finished it (hard, I find!)

  49. At 05:42 PM on 30 Jan 2007, Karen wrote:

    (27) Whisht

    As a pharmacist I cannot possibly condone this!! Anyway reading the Drug Tariff is far better than anything you can get from the medicine cupboard.

    My therapy for sleepless nights is to write the dream email to the person who is bugging your mind and keeping you awake (usually our finance guy). The important thing to remember is to press Delete at the end and not Send. I always sleep like a log after I've done that.

    I'm currently using the report I'm trying to prepare for our aforementioned chief beancounter as my sedative. The very thought of it makes my eyes heavy.....

  50. At 11:17 PM on 30 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Fusspot - elucidate please?

  51. At 12:14 AM on 01 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Fusspot (47), Valery (50),

    As I understand it "&" does mean "and", but implies a close relationship between the two things being linked -- 'Smith & Sons Ltd.', for instance, or 'Taylor & Taylor Groceries'. One is supposed to hear "and" when one reads it though -- it's not like it means something else altogther. I'm right aren't I Valery? So I would like 'elucidation ' too.

  52. At 02:58 PM on 01 Feb 2007, Fusspot wrote:

    Aperitif at 51, yes that is what I meant: "&" is not meant for use in place of an ordinary and. I find it jars when I read it but Miss Sparkles doesn't seem to be taking any notice of my plea.

  53. At 10:50 PM on 01 Feb 2007, whisht wrote:

    hmmmm.... it seems to me that pedants must have very sleepless nights....

    surely they'll know the best getting-to-sleep remedies!!

    and after a conversation about ampersands that foxed a couple of self described pedants we really are in the hands of experts here!!


  54. At 12:33 AM on 02 Feb 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Hiya Whisht :o). Don't let it keep you awake - as mentioned the other day, nothing keeps me awake!

  55. At 09:31 AM on 02 Feb 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Hmm, Fusspot, that is awfully fussy.

  56. At 12:43 PM on 25 May 2007, Pat Martin wrote:

    If you are lying awake just switch the World Service on and you will be asleep in no time- especially if it's something that you are interested in and want to listen to. Works every time for me.

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