bevanddara

Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Sleeplessness

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Mom, you’ve given me so many great genetic gifts (great . . . calves and demeanor and smile) . . . and one not so great gift . . . the gift of insomnia ( 😦 ).  (Why couldn’t you give me the double D’s instead of this?  Why?)

I’ve tried everything . . . from melatonin . . . to drinking wine . . . to drinking wine with melatonin . . . to getting a new bed . . . new sheets . . . installing a ceiling fan . . . noise machines . . . hiding the alarm clock . . . earplugs . . . eye covers . . . sleeping in shorts . . . pants . . . in the freezing cold or sauna like conditions . . . nothing works.  If I’m lucky I’ll successfully fall asleep by midnight but I can only usually make it until about 4am (or 1am, or 2am). . . and then I’m wide awake, ready to start my day.  Some might think this is a good thing, but it’s not.  It leaves me exhausted and stressed and looking older than I am.  Recently there have been a lot of articles about sleeplessness . . . foods to eat/not to eat . . . pillows to sleep on . . . exact times to fall asleep due to your sleep cycle.  Hey, I’ll try anything at this point!  Here are a few ideas that I will be checking out over the next few weeks.

Sleepy Time Calculator

sleepyti.me works by counting backwards in sleep cycles. Sleep cycles typically last 90 minutes. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle leaves you feeling tired and groggy, but waking up in between cycles lets you wake up feeling refreshed and alert!  Based on my IDEAL wakeup time (6am), I need to get to sleep by either 9, 10:30, 12 or 1:30am in order to get a good night sleep.

Yesterday Yahoo Health published this article outlining the best and worst foods to eat before you go to sleep.  Chocolate, wine, Red Bull, Mountain Dew are obviously some of the foods/drinks you should avoid before going to bed . . . but a few of the good foods/drinks kind of surprised me.  Obviously turkey is good and drinking milk . . . but eating cherries helps you sleep. Yahoo Health said, “Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. One study—albeit a small one—found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in small improvements in sleep duration and quality in adults who suffered from chronic insomnia.”

Also fortified cereal (Carbs in general are good for sleep but it’s not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime (or anytime). Instead, try a bowl of Kashi or shredded wheat which contain “good” or complex carbs. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities. “That’s two for the price of one,” Rosenberg says.Other complex carbs are quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.)

And bananas, which according to Yahoo Health, “. . . help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well. In fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general. “

One food listed under bad is Chicken, which is not the best news because we eat chicken almost every night for dinner and that’s usually around 9pm . . . According to Yahoo Health, “Chicken or any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night. Digestion is supposed to slow by about 50% while you’re sleeping but if you eat a lot of protein, you digest [even] more slowly. Instead of focusing on sleeping, your body is focusing on digesting. Adding a carbohydrate to the protein can tip the balance back towards sleep.”

Now . . . we have what time we’re going to try to go to sleep, what foods we’re supposed to eat down . . . as for the conditions . . . in addition to a sound machine, a light fan blowing and the alarm clock hidden (after it has been triple checked, of course) I think I may add the Hydraluxe Always Cool Gel Pillow by Comfort Revolution.

Bethany Frankel is a major fan . . .

The premium memory foam and advanced engineered shape cradles your head and neck, allowing your muscles to fully relax as you sleep. Cool, refreshing and rejuvenating gel layers are your permanent solution to tossing, turning, and pillow flipping. The gel stays cool to the touch! A premium mesh spandex cover allows for breathability and protection.  Cover is removable and can be machine washed. Rest deeply and wake feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy a great day.  Sounds pretty darn good to me!

Oh, and one last tidbit. I know that you usually read to help you at night so definitely load Gone Girl onto your Nook.  It started off a little disturbing but ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read.  It was so good that I would read a chapter and then put the book down . . . then read another one and put it down . . . just so I could prolong the amount of time I had to wait to find out what happened in the end.  Have you ever done that?

Ready. Set. Sleep.

Written by bevanddara

October 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

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