Good Sleeping Habits

mrobbins(6b - Brooklyn)July 14, 2011

Of late (and I really mean LATE) I have had a difficult time going to sleep early enough to get up for work in time. When I was younger I used to try and fit my life to my natural sleep schedule; these days I'm doing the opposite, and find that I agree with most of the tips provided in this link. I've also heard that snack of banana, peanut butter, and a glass of milk should flood anyone with enough tryptophan to cause sleepiness. Do you have any tried and true bedtime habits?

Here is a link that might be useful: CoxHealth Sleep Disorders Clinic infosheet

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My main tried and true bedtime habit is getting in bed at the same time, every night. There are very few things for which I'll stay up later than ten o'clock. Next, DH is kind enough to massage my arthritic fingers and that often puts me to sleep. But, if not, I turn on my left side, he turns onto his right side, and --back to back--we're gone! :>)

Being able to stretch out in bed and going to sleep is a true blessing. I sympathize with ayone who has a sleeping problem.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Sleep or lack of it is an interesting subject, and I guess we're kind of fortunate research is being done in sleep disorder instead of just lumping people into night-owls and early birds or considering somebody is lazy if they stay up half the night and want to sleep until noon.

I'm not so sure unusual inborn sleep patterns are even really disorders, other than when they don't co-incide with social norms and if you have obligations like a day job.....they are become a problem.

Yes.....if my body is really ready for sleep, but other issues have distracted it and I need a little help in letting nature take it's course, I do carb load .....and yes.....peanut butter, saltines and milk does it for me. However, if I'm not ripe for sleep, it's just calories. LOL.

I've never had traditional sleep patterns my entire life. I've spent many nights in childhood laying awake hearing the train whistles I knew meant the midnight run was coming through. The only spanking I ever got in school was for not being able to fall asleep at naptime. Yes..I actually got throttled for tossing and turning on my little pallet when I was supposed to be asleep.

I had always just assumed I was a night owl. I gravitated toward night shift jobs when the opportunity presented itself, but even that wasn't always a perfect fit. Not so very long ago, I was reading a paper on sleep disorders and I found a not-so-common one and it was so familiar to me the light bulb went on.

I have not, nor do I intend to spend the moolah to go to a sleep disorder clinic to proof it at this point as I've dealt with it rather successfully now most of my life but they describe what I experience as a person with an extraordinarily long circadian rythmn. IOW my days are longer than 24 hours. My bedtime gets a little later every night until it finally reaches almost dawn. I stopped long ago trying to fight it and just relax and rest now when there is no desire to sleep. Of course I can't sleep in all day to compensate. Sometimes I just stay up and don't bother and do a 'double' and crash when I can and recuperate. Sometimes I just grab a four hour sleep and that's usually enough to get me a good sleep cycle. And a good part of the cycle which lasts about a month.....I get to bed at a reasonably decent time and up the same way.

The article suggested that people with this type of disorder do best self-employed. rofl. That's what I have been for the past 21 years and it certainly has been a good solution for me and I happened on it by happenstance.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:57PM
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I can't sleep. Haven't been able to since whatever triggered my metabolism change that makes it impossible to lose weight. That was at age 27; yes, I can pinpoint it. My son can't sleep either, never has. What helps him is lavender. I was very frustrated when he hit about 6-9 months old and one day, I just thought, why not? I gave him a bath with that, put him in his carrier and took a shower myself. He went to sleep! I thought it was a fluke, but sure enough, after adding that to the nightly routine, he fell asleep faster and stayed asleep more.

Suzy, the LF and I had similar experiences in our early childhood, as you describe. The only problems he had in preschool and kindergarten were those that surrounded nap time. As a child, one of the very few times I can distinctly remember being in "trouble" was lying in bed thinking (I was three years old), "Why am I in this bed? Mom knows I won't go to sleep, so this is useless!", or some semblance thereof. Close enough. The current train of thought is to add bright lights to your routines to compensate for your "different" circadian rhythms, that, and melatonin. I'm not sure about either, but they sound doable.

Research also found that some traumas were far-reaching with regard to circadians and that resetting the clock can be done. I'd love to reset my internal clock! I remember being able to fall asleep and awaken refreshed, that and, slept so well I hadn't even moved an inch. Man I miss those days.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 10:14AM
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mrobbins(6b - Brooklyn)

I liked your mention of bright lights. Margaret Mead, when she was researching anthropological data on two African villages, noticed that the girls from the village that had electricity reached menarche a year or two sooner than the girls in the village without electricity; those young women didn't have their first period until they were about 18. I think sometimes that our use of electricity has forced the human race into some kind of accelerated metabolic weirdness -- like farmed chickens, kept in light all the time so they lay more eggs -- that makes it possible for girls to become pregnant at way too young an age.

I sleep better when I can avoid fluorescents, and when the incandescent lights are turned down low (or off) in the evening. Sometimes I start turning down the lights right after dinner, and avoid the computer and TV, so that my brain doesn't get the light stimulation that convinces it to stay awake!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 10:38AM
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Yes, I did some reading into therapies for that type of disturbance and read about trying to reset the rythms, but they don't seem to be too successful for that particular type of disturbance, as opposed to something like delayed sleep syndrome. I have always had light sensitivity and just chalked it up to being so fair, especially until I reached full adulthood when the melanin seemed to start kicking in. My folks have few pictures of me as a child without my eyes being squinted shut against light. LOL.

I think my occupation now really helps in that I get massive doses of rays in daytime. Unlike so many people with this type of disturbance........I generally have a sense of well-being, an extremely hardy immune system and when I sleep, I sleep extrememly well. And, I just listen to my body and let that set my bedtimes and awake times. As long as I can do that, there is no reason to correct any of it because it doesn't interfere with my activities or health. I also suppose it isn't a disability so much as just part of the normal human functional spectrum. Can't you imagine how much simpler life has become for sleep disorder people with the invention of the internet? It allows people to do things like work, socialise and get their education on-line 24/7 when they are most alert.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 10:47AM
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"I think sometimes that our use of electricity has forced the human race into some kind of accelerated metabolic weirdness -- like farmed chickens, kept in light all the time so they lay more eggs"

Yes,yes,yes! Excellent point Karen. In my line of work, I deal with light response in plants. One of my heros is Dr. Royal Heins, who did research in light response in plants and developed a non-chemical approach to plant growth regulation by manipulation of day-length. Spectrum, intensity, and duration of light runs the plant world and this research is now being elaborated upon and translated into things like disease control in plants, and impacts on the animal kingdom as well. It's nothing short of cool beans.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 10:57AM
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My sleep is usually drug induced.
I would love to be able to go to bed and wake up
the next morning well rested and ready to start the day.
I go to bed late, after eleven and then I read until I get
sleepy. If I'm lucky I go to sleep for about four hours.

Neil and Katrina both have told me that I stop breathing
and that I should have a sleep study done.
Perhaps I should.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:14PM
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mrobbins, have you gotten the hang of sleep yet? It seems to have been a huge problem with you and perhaps that's why you pop in to the GP from time to time to complain about the posts.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:22PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Regular walks (not jogging or running, not stop-and-go as in shopping) have also been shown to improve the quality of one's rest.

Medical columns have suggested that one not 'take a walk' within 3 hours of bedtime. My personal experience is that finishing 90 minutes before bedtime is about right. Otherwise: walk at a steady, rhythmic pace just fast enough to require deep breaths but not so fast as to be panting. Unless one is already into distance walking, start with a 10-minute walk away from home, rest for 3 minutes (look for those flowers we're supposed to smell), 10 minutes back. Note that time is more important than distance actually travelled. Add one minute each succeeding week until one is walking 20 minutes each way. Walk at least every other day; taking a companion is good for incentive and safety, but don't expect to be able to have long involved conversations (if you can, you aren't walking fast enough). It is also okay to split the walk into two sessions, such as 5 minutes each way first thing in the morning and then 15 minutes in the evening.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:36AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Studies have indicated that Jasmine oil can have be a powerful relaxant, even more so than lavender. Get a small vial of the real stuff and apply it to a cotton ball near your bed or your bed clothes. A tiny bit of fragrance from an essential oil is all it takes.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:17PM
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I am of the going to bed early, wake up early kind. My problem is staying asleep, once I wake up, I am up and if it is at midnight and walking in the evening just does not do it. I walk in the morning, if I don't, I hang around all day half asleep. Sleeping pills and melatonin are ok for going to sleep, but not at keeping me asleep. As my doctor said, I never do the expected (my parents cold have told her that, LOL).

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:15PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Anyone have those c-pap machines for sleep apnea? They seem to be all the rage now. My mother has one. I don't think it helps her at all because she falls asleep during the day all the time. It stresses her out because she turns it into a monumental task. (As she does everything) Takes it completely apart to wash every day, fiddles with it constantly. Never can get a mask that fits right.

Have they halepd any one here?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 8:33AM
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My brother has one and it helps him, he is 7 yr. younger than me and a guy so more accepting and trusting of contraptions.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:00PM
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A neighbor has sleep apnea and he has a machine that seems to help him. Don't know the name. But it seems to make noises whenever it reminds him to breath.

The wife used to stay awake all night and monitor his breathing and nudge him every time he stopped breathing. Neither one of them got any sleep.
After they got the machine, the wife moved to another bedroom, put in a monitor (like a baby monitor) and keeps in touch that way.
It works for them.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 7:41PM
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