So if something is planned for next month, or the month after, I can really see where it is, and how many days are between now and then. Telling me that something is two months away does not convey useful information to me. I have to see it. I can see it all. I need these calendars to stay on track with where I'm supposed to be and what I need to be doing. Otherwise, things sneak up on me. "I need to get my papers together for the taxes; oh, that's a long way off, I have plenty of time" or "That trip is coming up, but it's not til next month." 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I'm poor at judging time. I can't tell how long I've been doing something. If I'm playing a computer game (I don't anymore) hours can pass and I'm not aware of it. I'm no good at estimating how long it will take to do something, or how long it will take to get somewhere. This uncertainty contributes to the sense of being rushed. If I'm about to start something, a project, or a trip, my strategy now is to guess how long it will take and add fifty percent. Also now I'm aware that anytime I'm doing a project at home, it will require three trips to the hardware store. I will never manage to pick up everything I need on just the first two trips. I can count this into my time estimate. Dr. Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist, discovered that he could train a dog to drool just by ringing a bell. He began his experiment by ringing a bell every time he gave meat powder to a dog. After repeating this pairing over and over again, the dog began to associate the bell with food. Once this connection was learned, Dr. Pavlov only needed to ring the bell and the dog would drool, expecting a forthcoming meal. How does this experiment relate to insomnia? Have you ever fallen asleep in front of the TV in the living room, and then gone to bed and felt wide awake? If this is a common event for you, you may be experiencing something called "conditioned arousal." Conditioned arousal happens when the bedroom is associated with being awake rather than with being asleep. If pain or stress has kept you awake for a few nights in bed, the brain can learn that the bedroom is a place for being awake and alert. Even if the pain and stress get better, it can still be hard to fall asleep in the bedroom because of this learned association.

At this point, the teacher embodies open-monitoring through her guidance of the practice by using such words as, "Noticing whatever comes in the moment as we sit here, observing sounds, thoughts, emotions, sensations in the body including the breath. Not directing your attention anywhere, not looking for or holding on to anything, but rather receiving sensations. Noticing the movement of experience, sensations arising, staying for a while, and leaving to be replaced by another and another," and using such metaphors as thoughts as clouds in the sky or leaves being carried downstream. All of this reflects the attention to the movement of experience as a participant-observer rather than as the protagonist in his own story. Just like with Dr. Pavlov's dogs, these associations happen unconsciously, without our awareness. They can be difficult to change once they are repeated enough times. This is why making changes to your behaviours around sleep can be important for managing insomnia. I just can't judge time well. If I have a day or a weekend off, I get excited about all the things I'm going to get done, some fun things and some "catch up." So I make a list. But then I need to put some of the things in parentheses or just cross some of them off, because I'm never going to get all that done. Then I'm just going to feel disappointed and down on myself. Part of the problem is, I start thinking, "Wow, I have all day Thursday off!" Well, I do have all day Thursday off, but I don't have all day Thursday to get things done. By the time I have my prayer time and eat breakfast and read the paper and shave and do my exercise and shower and dress and check my phone messages and my e-mail, half the morning is gone. At least. And then, of course, it is expectable that unexpected things will come up. And if I have some extra time off, I want to spend some extra time with my wife. So if I say, "I have a week off." or "I have a day off." it gives an unrealistic picture of the time available to accomplish things. So I've needed to learn to be realistic in what I think I'm going to accomplish. And to always make a short to-do list off the long one, and then to focus on one thing on the list at a time.