Monday, September 27, 2010

Goooooood Morning, Ladies!!

What better way to kick off a Monday morning than to talk about sleep!

You all know that I am an insomniac (yep, my doc says so), but it has been really important to me to work on this issue of mine. There are so many health problems that can arise in women due to lack of sleep (heart problems, depression and mood disorders to name a few). I have had this sleep disease since I was about 8 years old. I truly appreciated the time I spent with my mother staying up until 2 in the morning playing Crazy Eights and drinking black tea with sugar and milk, but that little habit wreaked havoc on my sleeping patterns ever since.

Since getting a part-time job 2 months ago at a local health club in the evenings and being a stay-at-home momma by day, I have come to appreciate the sleep that I get. I am a worn out woman by the time 11pm rolls around. Waking up at the crack o'dawn (7:00am to get my first grader off to school) doubles up that exhaustion for me, although I find my brain trying to convince myself that I have better things to do in the middle of the night than sleep.
So, here are some things I am doing to help insure a good night's sleep ... getting at least 7 hours each night (recommended hours of sleep is 7-9 hours):
  • Warm Milk: Dairy foods contain tryptophan, a sleep-promoting substance. Other foods that contain this sleep-aid include poultry, oats, bananas and honey.

  • Cut caffeine out of my diet after 12pm. Yep, this means no tea at bedtime, which was a usual ritual for me.

  • Aromatherapy: I warm a lavender scent in my bedroom each night using my Scentsy warmer. Studies have shown that the scent of gardenia also has relaxing capabilities.

  • Tart Cherry Juice: This little miracle in a bottle has helped me more than prescription strength sleep aids, such as Ambien and Lunesta (both of which I have been prescribed). The melatonin levels in this juice has helped me get numerous night's sleep ... sleeping soundly and waking up refreshed. Costco carries a brand called Sweet Slumber (in liquid form).

  • Exercise: Say what?!? Yeah, working at a gym has it's benefits, and working out in the morning or afternoon hours (not too close to bedtime, preferably before 4pm), definitely makes my body ready for bedtime.

Bottom line, sleep is so very important to our health. While I am still working on my issues, I strive to get in the rest that my body and my brain needs to help me function at healthy levels throughout each day. Caffeine no longer helps pick me up when I am in a slump, and nobody likes (or deserves) my crazy mood swings. When I am rested, I feel better physically and emotionally.

Sleep ... it does the body good!

Please share some sleep advice that helps you recharge!


Suburban prep said...

Thank you for the info. I have had this issue for quite some time now. I have the issue though of falling asleep and then waking at 2-3 am and not being able to fall back to sleep. Drives me nuts. I have learned to also take Magnesium because that helps to relax me some and usually I will fall asleep then. But the hints on your part are a good thing too.

TLF said...

Oh, I double hearts sleep. We are total BFF's!

Anonymous said...

I have insomnia too. It's a bitch.

Dezzy Lou Where Are You said...

I never sleep either- so frustrating. Ive tried almost everything under the sun and none if it works =(

sprinkles said...

I've always been a night owl, even as a little one. So, like you, I often find myself awake in the middle of the night convinced that there were more important things I needed to be doing rather than sleeping.

Sometimes now I don't sleep because I'm worried about how I'm going to pay the mortgage next month or whatever. (I can't find a job and have been unemployed forever.)

A night or two ago, I was sooooo tired that I could barely keep my eyes open at 10:30 pm though which was so strange because I hadn't done anything physically demanding during the day and I hadn't woken up particularly early. I slept until 8:30 the next morning. My body must've needed the sleep, I guess.

CAC muffin said...

my sleep troubles seem to be more seasonal than anything but one thing is for sure with lack of sleep even the best day is down right miserable! poor thing- sounds like you've found somethings that help though

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