Life is a series of patterns. Here is one of mine. I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I turn in about 9:30pm and sleep hard. Wake up refreshed. Check the clock and it reads…12:30am. Only three hours have passed since I went to bed. Thus begins my night of dozing off, waking up, dozing off, waking up. This will continue on until morning when I finally start my day. I’ve tried cutting the caffeine, staying up later, sleep aids, exercise, yoga, meditation. The sad truth is that I come from a family of bad sleepers. Maybe it is written into our DNA. Maybe we do not need as much sleep as others. Maybe it’s fluctuating hormones, bad dreams, room too cold, blankets too hot, too scratchy, too thick, too thin. Maybe this thing called sleep isn’t the same for everybody and I must accept that not everyone is wired for 8 straight hours of unbroken rest.
A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything ~Irish Proverb
This week’s chapter involves sleep. The need for it and problems that arise from the lack of it.
The author outlines the troubles that can accompany the lack of sleep.
-Unable to focus during the day
-Tired and exhausted all the time
-Irritable and short tempered
-Depressed or anxious
-More susceptible to illnesses
-Feeling vulnerable and less confident
She feels it’s unfortunate that most people learn to tolerate these issues instead of dealing with them, while also claiming that before the invention of electricity, most people needed at least 10 hours of sleep per night. (there were no links to back up this statement. I have read quite a bit on human sleep patterns and while I do not get the needed amount for my body, there are a great deal of studies that have shown that even 8 hours a night is not always necessary and people living back in the day would often have an hour or two of awake time between their broken sleep patterns, thereby utilizing their time more efficiently.)
[ http://slumberwise.com/science/your-ancestors-didnt-sleep-like-you/ ]
I feel that it’s amazing that those of us lacking the requisite sleep hours are still able to function in any way, shape, or form that is considered passing. I am sometimes tired but not overly exhausted. I have an easy going personality but irritable people can make me, well, irritable. It wouldn’t matter if I had 8, 10, or even 12 hours of straight sleep. Someone gets on that last nerve, I would still be cranky. It has nothing to do with sleep.
I guess what I am saying is that while I wholeheartedly agree in the importance of a good night’s sleep, I am careful not to label various maladies under one specific heading. Lack of sleep can cause the above listed troubles, but so can a number of other things as well. Do your own research and see what resonates with you.
(One final note: I happen to be a prolific dreamer. I remember all of my dreams in great detail and a small part of me wonders if my disturbed slumber is the reason for this. Would I recall my dreams as much and as well as I do if I had better, longer, uninterrupted rest? Is my dream life the part of my mind that compensates for my lack of sound sleep? Would my dream recall be more limited if I rested better? I may bemoan my insomniac nights, but I do enjoy the adventures my dreams take me on. Not sure if I am ready to give that up.)
This week’s homework:
Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Since we spend so much time there, make it a comfortable, soul-nurturing place to be. Remove the tv, and unread books and magazines. [we took the tv out a long time ago. There are no books or magazines in my room…just my Tablet. That’s not going anywhere]
Don’t settle for anything less than the perfect bed. She goes into great detail about choosing the perfect mattress, sheets, etc, to make your sleep time, perfect. Unfortunately, these things cost money and due to the lack of this, a new mattress is not on the horizon. Strangely enough, my current mattress is only 4 years old, top quality, looks brand new…and is still awful. Sometimes you don’t know how well something will work out until it’s 4 years too late. (don’t ever get a pillow-top mattress. Just don’t.)
Change sheets frequently. (do this)
Get high quality linens, either silk or high-threaded cotton. (again, $$)
Choose best time to go to bed to get a full night’s sleep. (do this.still doesn’t help)
Check out air quality in bedroom (other than an open window, we may look into this)
Avoid caffeine 3 hours before bed. (do this)
If after doing these things, sleep still eludes you, make an appointment with a sleep specialist. ($$$, not happening)
Inventory your bedroom, list (3) areas that can be improved upon.
1 Look into an air filter, humidifier, something air-ish
2 Tidy up
One change I will make this week is:
Research humidifiers vs air purifiers, price and look into purchasing one
I can at the least tidy up.
Whatever your sleep patterns, whether they are sound or otherwise, may you have a peaceful rest whenever you lay your head down and pleasant dreams to follow.