Tuesday, April 20, 2010
When you no longer sleep together...
I'm in a rather unfortunate situation as of late. We've been here before, but never quite like this. This time, my bed and I may stop seeing each other once and for all. Thus ends a golden era of sleep, drool, and eye crusties.
I'm what is termed a "chronic insomniac". It hit an all time low a few years ago, when I actually considered smothering my dear husband with a pillow, just so I would't have to endure his happy blissful dreaming face while I went on weeks of only a few hours per night. Lucky for both of us, my sleep pattern improved. I look horrible in orange jumpsuits, so spending twenty-five years in one doesn't exactly float my boat.
I survive easily on 5-7 hours a night. I'm one of those people. Fairly energetic in spite of the odds. The last couple weeks though my bed and I have been going through a trial separation. The couch isn't all that into me either. I'm obviously losing my relationship skills.
So it's back to basics for me. Pulling out all my insomniac wisdom I've acquired over the years, and sharing them with you.
Tips & Tricks
1. Yoga & meditation. If any of you are like me you think way too much. My mind rarely vacations, and there is always something to worry about/clean/organize/clean/design/clean.Yoga and meditation are incredible tools for quieting the mind and relaxing the body. We've been off yoga for three weeks now, waiting for our new class to begin which I think has hindered me greatly.
2. Routine. I love routines!! I love systematic tendencies. Mr.Rogers with his colourful cardigans in his front hall closet gives me a thrill. So a bed time routine is right up my alley. Same time every night whatever you think will be relaxing. I have a bath, read, and then bed.
3. Only use your bed for sleep! Well, maybe for one other thing as well. But don't read in bed. Your body will hopefully learn to associate it with rest time only.
4. Get up! This one was a tough one. A sleep therapist once told me to start my day when I woke up. Even if it was only a few hours after I went to sleep. He said to get out of bed, and get ready for my day. Lying in it, stressing about how tired you are will waste even more energy for the day ahead. I found this most helpful... Many times in fact I'll get up and start my day at 3am, and because I'm not stressed I can fall asleep again an hour or two later.
5.No caffeine! I know, brutal, but it messes with your hormones and sleep transmitters. That's a little bit of technical speak for ya.
6.Shut down your home. Start turning off or down lights an hour before bed. Turn off tv's, computers, and the radio. Unless you have really relaxing music I recommend silence. I try and light candles around our house, so it's nice and dark and my body recognizes it's time to shut down as well.
7. Drink enough water during the day so you're not parched at night. There's nothing worse than waking up to pee, and not being able to sleep again. We have a dimmer in our washroom, so I'm not completely jarred awake by brightness.
8. This one is fairly tailored to myself. I really need a clean organized home to function. Fortunately, my home is usually both these things. I can't sleep in a mess, or clutter. I think having a clean home is paramount to good health. Our home is very minimal, and I think it's a much more relaxing place because of that.
9. Exercise! This is so important! My usual schedule is yoga three times a week for an hour to an hour and a half. Alternate days I do cardio three times a week 45min-an hour and half. It makes my whole body sigh.
Those are the tops tips I have. I'm looking into a dawn stimulator in place of our alarm, and I'm hoping that will improve my sleep as well. I'll let you know how it works!! Also, I go to sleep with a face mask. I wake up without one, but falling asleep is so much better in the pitch black.
I hope this helps any insomniacs out there. I need to crank up my sleep dedication as well, so it's nice to remind myself of all the things I've done in the past that have greatly assisted me. Sweet dreams little lambs, J xx
image from www.crayoncastles.com/.../ Counting_Sheep.jpg