I admit it – I’m a clock watcher and always need to know the time. It’s productive during the day, so that I can get to meetings on time or meet people pretty close to the time we agreed on, but when you have insomnia, clock watching is just plain stressful. You think you are the only one awake, in the world, and it’s a very lonely place to be. I was reading an article in “Dr. Oz – The Good Life” and was a little disappointed. Not because the article wasn’t well written and totally useful, but the cover tease was “Turn Off Stress So You Can Sleep-Pill Free”. That is right up my alley – I hate taking sleeping pills, and not sleeping is a huge cause of stress. When I eagerly flipped to the article, it was all about women who can’t get back to sleep…not my issue at all. When I do have insomnia, it’s because I can’t fall asleep. If I fall asleep, and wake up in the middle of the night, I can always fall back into la-la land – after I check the clock of course.
When I first started blogging, in January 2014, my first topic was all about insomnia. In general, I do sleep better than I did a year ago. Here are a few things that I think have helped:
-Eating more nuts – for real – I still eat two brazil nuts a day for the selenium and I eat almonds and walnuts every day. Think I’m nuts? It seems to work
-I’ve learned, the hard way, that as soon as I get an inkling that I’m about to fall asleep on the couch, I have to get up and go to bed – immediately. If I fall asleep, for even 5 little minutes, my shut eye pattern is off, and I find it impossible to sleep
-A cool room helps – really, but freezing cold isn’t great. Once I’m that cold, no matter what I do, I can’t warm up
-Dr. Oz’s sleep experts say you shouldn’t check the time, but I have to, and it helps me fall back to sleep knowing that I still have a couple of hours that I can get in
-There are times, when I just can’t sleep, that I do get out of bed and walk around, watch TV or read, just to get out of my room
Here are some new recommendations from “Dr. Oz – The Good Life: Your Fall-Back-Asleep Prescription (page 108):
1. Do some belly-breathing – I know I’ll never do this on my own, but I am doing Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s latest 21 Day Meditation Challenge, and I can always do one of the meditations to get in some deep breathing. I still can’t do the meditating part properly, but I do deep breathe when I listen to D-OPRAH’s latest
2. Get Out of Bed – see above
3. Note and release your worries – this is a great idea – I’ll try this one. Sometimes, I may have to type it into Outlook, so that I know that I have time set aside for the tasks, but I think knowing you have your “to-do’s” listed somewhere is comforting, at least to me
4. Take a mental stroll – you are supposed to visualize places that bring you peace – I’ll try it, not sure if I buy it, but it’s worth the effort
5. Listen to something calming – This works – I know you aren’t supposed to have iPads in your room, but I listen to podcasts and they put me to sleep and yes, I am admitting this here, Reality Steve’s (Bachelor Spoiler extraordinaire) Live Video Chats are a must listen an my own brand of Nytol – I fall asleep every Thursday listening to them. I don’t watch unless he is talking to his dog Maddie – which is cute and priceless. He’s never boring, but there is something soothing about the way he speaks. Whatever works right?
6. Call in the pros – AKA see your Dr.
Today was a pretty good day with a lot to be grateful for – I’m off this week from work, I got to see my niece and I got to speak to the Shoe (not her real name, but a really close friend). Not too bad – and no stress : )