Missing the Bus to Sleepy TownI was so pleased to see Merrillee Whren’s tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the July WNP e-zine. It corresponded perfectly with my new campaign to improve my sleep IQ.
Last month we had a program at the library where I work on Overcoming Obstacles to Healthy Living. The speaker, a lovely mental health worker named Paula, started out by enumerating the different things that keep you from being healthy, like not getting enough sleep, not eating healthy foods or having too much stress. To my dismay, I had to claim all three!
I realized, as I listened to Paula, and to the comments of the other attendees, that, for me, all roads lead back to the bedroom. When I fail to sleep well—and that can include not setting aside enough time for sleep or waking frequently during the night—other parts of my life are affected. I make poor food choices when I’m tired, choosing fast food over cooking or substituting snacks for a healthy meal. When I am tired I get stressed out more quickly, especially during this time of year when I’m working on the library’s budget.
I decided that day to make an effort to go to bed at a decent hour and set aside eight hours for sleep. I started out like gangbusters. I planned my bed time like a seasoned general, then couldn’t sleep because I was so stressed out about getting a good night’s sleep. Second night went the same. I crawled under the covers at the appointed time, fell asleep immediately, but woke 45 minutes later. I did better over the following weekend, and still try to observe a consistent lights-out, but I’m still waking up about every two hours.
I haven’t given up, but I wonder…Will I ever get this sleep thing straightened out? Or is being aware of the problem (and its many components) the key to solving the puzzle?
Do you have a tip for better sleep? Hot milk? Makin’ whoopee? Come on, share! I’ll wait up.