I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers talking about their sleep issues lately. I’ve had my share of sleepless nights myself, enough to have a couple of prescriptions for sleep aids. I have also recently started a brand new routine that has me waking up many hours before my usual wake up time. So with all this attention on sleep, I decided to gather a few facts and of course I want to share them with y’all!
According to the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (National Institutes of Health), we need sleep for a variety of reasons, including cell repair (beauty sleep!) and performance of both memory and physical functions.
The NINDS also tells us that adults typically need 7 to 8 hours of sleep, which we’ve all had drilled into our heads at least at some point in our lives. But get this: “Experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven't had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder.” Wow. The husband can fall asleep instantly, even if we’re lying in bed talking! I mentioned this fact to him and he concurred. He notices that he doesn’t wake up feeling rested even though he has no problem falling asleep or staying asleep. I think it’s time for him to make a doctor’s appointment about that, no?
I, on the other hand, have a bigger issue with falling asleep, and then a smaller problem with staying asleep. I routinely feel like I *need* the TV on to help me fall asleep, and when I don’t fall asleep even while watching Adult Swim all night, I resort to getting out the laptop while in bed. My reasoning is that it helps my eyes get tired. But I know I shouldn’t be doing this and I need to break this cycle. My smaller problem with staying asleep occurs when I finally do fall asleep, but something wakes me up…then I can’t fall back to sleep! It is so frustrating to just watch the hours pass by knowing I have to get up and start my day soon. And then I resort to the original TV/Laptop cycle.
Here’s a little chart I got from the National Sleep Foundation. It has tips on ways to establish a healthy sleep routine.
Tips for Sleeping Smart
*Establish a regular bed and wake time
*Avoid nicotine altogether and avoid caffeine close to bedtime
*Exercise regularly (but complete the workout at least 3 hours before bedtime)
*Establish a consistent relaxing “wind-down” bedtime routine
*Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
*Discuss the appropriate way to take any sleep aid with a healthcare professional
Are you sleeping smart? For more information visit www.sleepingsmart.org.
I know I need to work on the first item on that list. It isn't uncommon that I'll sit up all night on the laptop because I'm addicted to y'all's blogs! And I like to watch my beloved Family Guy even though I've seen every freakin' episode. But the reality is that I have to wake up at 5 AM. To get a nice 8 hours of sleep, I should be asleep by 9 PM. Which means I really need to wind down a little before bed so that I'm ready to fall asleep. So I guess I should try not to get online after 8 PM so that I can let my body clock take over and allow me to get tired. Is that possible? I think not....but I'll try.
What is your bedtime routine like? Do you have any tips for the sleepless?
3 hours ago