I am back up to a healthy weight (after dropping 25 lbs after S). I am starting to actually USE my new Barbie Dream Kitchen and cook actual MEALS for myself again instead of my yearlong diet of toast or takeout. I am running a couple of times a week, walking on the beach every morning and doing a 10 mile bike ride once a week.
Now I just need to figure out how to have a full, decent nightís sleep.
On the plus side, I donít have 4 glasses of wine and then fall asleep on the couch in my clothes watching TV with every light in the house on and then wake up to infomercials at 3 AM hardly ever anymore. (Yes, I now own a Magic Bullet and a Shark Sonic Carpet Cleaner thing but I use them both so no regrets.) And I donít have as many F-Tard related nightmares these days, thank God!
Now that I've gotten to the point where I am regularly sleeping in my bed again, one of my problems was reading before going to sleep and then falling asleep with the light on, which inevitably caused me to wake up in the middle of the night and then not be able to go back to sleep. Now I try to read on my Ipad (reading light off) so if I fall asleep, the Ipad will soon fall asleep too. Taking this step to make sure I am sleeping in the dark has made a big difference but I still wake up a lot. Sometimes I can go back to sleep and sometimes I really struggle. Iím finally starting to sleep for more than 3 hours at a stretch and it feels SOOOOO GOOD. I can only imagine how awesome 6 or more straight hours of sleep would feel!!
Does anyone have any good suggestions for helping get a good nightís sleep? I am interested in natural/herbal/homeopathic or otherwise non-pharmacological suggestions if anyone cares to share what has worked for them.
Thanks in advance!
What you're doing with the IPad is great idea. Also, you didn't mention a tv in the bedroom - if you have one, you should get it out of there.
The organization I work for has a separate division which offers health and wellness programs and Sleep is one of our most popular programs.
Briefly, what the recommend is routine - going to bed at the same time every night. If you wake up and are awake for longer than 30 minutes, you should get out of the bedroom and go do something quiet, like reading. No tv, no 2am laundry, etc. After about 20-30 minutes, go back to bed.
Another tip is when you wake up in the middle of the night, try not to stress "omg, look what time it is - i better get to sleep - oh no, only 2hours and i have to go to work" Instead, think of this time as a restful period - maybe not sleeping, but resting. Try to empty your mind of the days stresses and think about good times you've had in your life. I find that really helps - don't make mental to-do lists, etc. Just think about good things - make this a "me" time.
I know some of it sounds a little wacky, but it really helped me. It take a few weeks to condition your mind and body - but over time, it really helps.
I wish I could say I sleep all night every night - but I don't - but I will say that I feel more "rested" doing these few things.
I have heard of melatonin but not valerian root. I will check those out.
No TV in the bedroom, (although I had considered it now that not much else is going on in there these days.)
I like the idea of approaching middle-of-the-night awake time as meditation or quiet time. I'm usually all "Crap, it's 2 am. Damn, now it's 3 am" which is just stressing myself out.
A radio playing low helps me too. Try a station that plays genly, relaxing music throughout the night.
Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket!
Now I try to read on my Ipad (reading light off) so if I fall asleep, the Ipad will soon fall asleep too.
Personally, I think if you are having trouble sleeping, looking at anything glowing back at you is a mistake.
Is there something that is causing you to wake in the middle of the night? If I drink anything after 8pm I will end up waking in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Maybe you can pin point the reason for waking and work on resolving it.
TR - you may have a point. I've never been one who can just go to sleep when my head hits the pillow, though. I guess another idea is to read a paper book to wind down, but put the reading lamp on a timer so if I fall asleep first, it will turn itself off later.
Sometimes weird dreams wake me up. Sometimes I'm just trying to roll over but find there is a dog on my foot. I did enact a 'no wine after 9' policy so the sugar or tannins or whatever don't metabolize later on in the night.
I definitely like the melatonin and lavender ideas. I probably need to do better about consistent bed time too....
I'm usually all "Crap, it's 2 am. Damn, now it's 3 am" which is just stressing myself out.
Donít look at the clock! Iíve found an unlit clock facing away from me turns awake since 3am into a blip of consciousness at some point in the night. Once you add that level of tangible awareness to your wakefulness it makes it so much harder to fall back asleep.
I don't use a clock radio anymore, have the IPad programmed to wake me up with a favourite tune.
I also turn off the wi-fi on it so it's not in send-receive mode beside my head all night.
If I do wake up in the night, I just revel in the feel of the bedding against my skin, how comfy my bed is, how lucky I am not to have someone snoring next to me (like so many people of my age... ) or making me too hot.
I love, love, love my bed and have made it a princess zone with a velvet-trimmed duvet cover and a treasured throw.
I've also moved to a super-quiet apartment in a mansion, the walls are thick and I hear nothing all night, it's like living in the country but I'm still in the middle of town.
It's a huge luxury but I value my sleep comfort so much after a few years downtown that I think it's worth it.
Did I mention I love my sleep?
The theory is when you awaken in the night, you lie in bed watching the clock. If it is close to time to wake up, you don't go back to sleep because you "have to wake up in 30 minutes anyway." If you don't know what time it is, you go back to bed and fall asleep until the alarm awakens you.
When my son married her, he thought it was odd at first. Now that he is used to it, he thinks he sleeps much better.
A set time for bed
If you don't fall asleep after 15 minutes with lights out get up, move around and then repeat the process
Eliminate caffiene from your diet after 1-2pm.
Have a pre-sleep routine, and follow it every night.
Do Not nap/snooze when you get home from work, or even on the weekends. (You can resume naps when your sleep cycle is restored).
Have some sort of white noise in your bedroom, a fan, or a white noise app on your phone/ipad work great.
If/When you wake up in the middle of the night, don't look at what time it is (like others have said). If you lay awake for what seems like 15 minutes or more, get up move around, and start your process over (this may include reading again but make sure it's boring as hell).
Melatonin can be helpful, most OTC sleep aids are benadryl, if you haven't tried this you can give it a whirl, but if you are having issues with waking in the middle of the night, it probably won't prevent it because it generally has done its work in 4 hours.
If you haven't attempted focused breathing/meditation you should probably give it a whirl. This can make you more relaxed before falling asleep, and allow for a longer period of sleep.
If you are waking up because you have to potty, treat yourself like a kid, and stop drinking any fluids 3 hours before bed.
Do not eat 3 hours before bed. If you eat closer than that to bedtime it can cause you to awaken due to metabolizing food, and swings in blood sugars.
If doing all of this stuff doesn't help, and you have had a life long issue with sleep you may benefit from seeing a pulmonologist that focuses on sleep medicine, and having a sleep study. We have found out in the past decade that there is a whole big segment of the population that have sleep apnea, that don't fit the classic sleep apnic picture.
But IF you do, can you put the TV timer on for an hour or so and tune into a soothing music channel? I have one called Soundscapes and it's great to help me fall asleep.
[This message edited by JustDone at 11:32 AM, August 7th (Wednesday)]
Try a Breathe-Right nasal strip, you might be waking yourself up because you can't breathe or are snoring ever so slightly.
I knew I snored, according to WS it wasn't bad.
I spent the weekend away with my BFF. I knew I didn't sleep well the fist night as I tossed and turned all night waking myself with each rotation back and forth.
The next morning my BFF, God love her, said "Holy Shit you snore! You kept me up all night! Hell, I think you stopped breathing a few times!"
All I remember is tossing and turning and not sleeping well.
I had no idea it was because I couldn't breathe.
We stopped at a drugstore and I bought Breathe-Right's.
That night, BFF said my voice changed after I put it on, she could hear it.
I slept great!
I can't use them every night as I have an adhesive allergy and they make the skin on my nose blister.
Give them a try.
I also use a sleep mask that darkens the room and I can't see the clock when I wake up during the night.
Bumping your wisdom for EH.