Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, August 8, 2011

I do not sleep well. I generally do not have a problem falling asleep, but I often wake during the night and find myself unable to get back to sleep right away.

I should clarify this. I do not have this happen every night. I do seem to go through cycles of sleeplessness, though. They can last up to a week or so, then will pass and come back after another week. I'm not sure if this is enough to make me a chronic insomnia sufferer or not. It isn't often enough to make me mention it to my doctor. I have, however, looked online for helpful tips.

Here are several tips I've found online:
  1. Keep a regular sleep schedule. You should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours a night.
  3. Use your bedroom only for sleeping and sex. Do not work in the bedroom or watch TV.
  4. Pay attention to what you eat or drink. Limit caffeine, especially later in the day. Don't eat right before bedtime but don't go to bed hungry. Don't drink alcohol before bedtime. It can make it easier to fall asleep but can cause you to awaken during the night.
  5. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable! It should be cool and dark and your bed, itself, should be comfortable.
  6. Try to establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Maybe a warm bath followed by 1/2 hour of reading. If your mind tends to race when you're trying to get to sleep, try sitting down and writing what is on your mind 20 minutes before bed. Then set it aside and tell yourself that you are ready to sleep - then go to bed.
I try to follow these but have a rough time with number one. I do tend to want to sleep in on the weekends and stay up a bit later. I might be working against myself with that. I think I will mention something to my doctor next time I go in for a check-up. She might have some more helpful ideas.

photo by twob

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