Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beauty Sleep

I must be getting old! Despite a couple of bouts of insomnia (ugh!) when I was in college oh-so many years ago, I used to be able to sleep forever. I would stay up late and get up late and clock in about 10 or more hours of sleep a night . Now as an adult, I'm lucky to get 7 hours.

Even though sleep is very mysterious to most researchers, everyone will tell you that it is essential to keeping your mind and body healthy. Hey, they don't call it beauty sleep for nothing!

For me, Sunday nights are anxiety-filled (I'm usually stressing about what I need to do at work, what I've forgotten to do, whatever) and I have a terrible time falling asleep. What's a girl to do? Here are some tips for getting decent shut-eye without resorting to drugs:
  • Keep the bedroom cool AND dark! Turn your thermostat down to 68 or lower. The cooler temperature has been proven to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Covering up any annoying light sources will also trick your mind and body into nodding off.
  • Don't check the clock in the middle of the night. Ugh! I do this so many times when I can't sleep, and I begin to think of the clock as my constant, glowing enemy, taunting my inability to sleep by clicking off the minutes and hours of my stress-filled state of being awake. It's no wonder sleep experts say checking the clock causes anxiety!
  • Block out disturbances. If you live on a noisy street or have someone noisy in bed next to you, put in a pair of earplugs or turn on some white noise. I've used those thunderstorm and ocean CDs in the past and they seem to work.
  • Go to bed and wake up as close to the same time every day as possible. I find this hard because I like to stay up a little later on the weekend, and because sleeping in on a day off is fun. But I have noticed that when I am consistent about my bed time (and my wake time), I get better quality sleep and have fewer problems falling asleep on my stress-filled Sundays.
  • Don't do anything stimulating in the hour before going to bed. No talking on the phone? No knitting? The only exception to this rule, apparently, is sex. Having sex right before bed has actually been proven to relax people and let them fall asleep easier. Ah, one more reason to get it on! I love it!
Sweet dreams!


becca said...

Ooh! Thanks for the picture of the hot guy! I could use that in my bed, but I don't think I'd get much sleep! LOL!

Chica said...

I felt like a right idiot buying a cd of the ocean and of thunderstorms but they actually work.
I find that a couple of times a year I go through a 2-3 week phase of being unable to sleep and they are the only things i've ever found that actually help!

Lydia said...

hey chica! you're so right! i had to go to the dreaded new age section of cds to get my thunderstorm and ocean discs. mine are specially designed to help soothe brainwaves or something super scientific. works!