Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Of Sleeping Well
All over the Internet I keep spying articles about the vital importance of sleep.
So how've you been sleeping lately?
I must say, one of the many reasons I'm so wildly happy at Hobbit Cottage is that I sleep so well here. And as Internet articles (here's a short one) tell us, it's vital that we do everything possible to sleep at least 7 or 8 hours.
As I've grown older--rather than just complain about the changes in my body--I've researched (mostly online) just why I may be feeling, well, cranky or stiff or tired or--
--and I've made changes. Many. In fact, I've written here before what I do to sleep well, but I've tweaked that list since then. I mean, after all--growing older is much about tweaking, making changes, so that we'll age well and stay healthy. At least, I feel it is.
So here's my new and improved list. I aim at these things each day so that each night will be a restful, rejuvenating one... so that each day will feel amazing:
1.) I eat one main meal around noon, then have something small around 5 p.m. like a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast or a small bowl of vegetables or a spoon of peanut butter or other protein, etc. After 2:00 pm I avoid foods with sugar, including fruits, pasta and rice (even brown). I also don't drink much water after that time.
2.) Shortly before bedtime I take these vitamins:
1 Melatonin (300 mcg)
1 Krill Oil (1,000 mg)
1 Vitamin D3 (2,000 i.u. during the winter). Here in the East, I feel this is vital since we stay inside so much during our long winters.
1 Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc caplet
After that powerful 'bedtime potion' I'm usually asleep less than ten minutes after my head hits the pillow.
3.) Tom and I sleep in separate bedrooms. Now, giggle all you want and think what you will, but we both sleep sooo much better this way and I believe we're healthier and happier together as a couple for it. (When you're married, it's perfectly acceptable for couples to do anything which works for both of them, critics be darned.)
4.) I go to bed the same time (pretty much) each night. Lately, that's been between 8:30 and 9:00 which--ok--I know is ridiculous. But I love to awaken between 5:00 am and 6:00 because I'm in love with mornings.
How do I still have a social life? When Tom and I get together with friends, it's for lunch, around noonish. Has worked for us for years.
5.) Other contributing factors:
I gave up caffeine (real coffee) years ago. The littlest bit now, even early in the morning, would keep me awake all night.
Comfortable pillows (vital).
A small fan to block out things that go bump in the night (I just use that during the summer).
A pitch-black room.
A window opened just a half-inch for moistened outdoor air (for sinus help).
A comfortable bed. Mine is not fancy nor expensive, it's old and I've got squashed boxes in between the mattress and box springs for firmness. (Hey, it works.)
And for me? I play a Dick Van Dyke episode each night as I'm falling asleep. Those people give me happy dreams. :) On the rare nights I awaken at 2:00 and can't fall asleep in, say, ten minutes, I get up and take another krill oil and melatonin, switch the show back on and those things always puts me to sleep again.
I take no sleeping medications and don't plan on taking any, ever.
If you're not sleeping well, I hope you'll keep seeking until you find what works for you. Is it a bit of a bother to do all this? Yes, a little. But the bigger bother is in a lack of sleep causing us to morph into something we do not wish to be. Or have.
Sleep. I have a feeling it's more important than any of us realize.
Oh, and I always buy the vitamins when they're BuyOneGetOneFree (often using a coupon for an additional $1 or $2 off) unless they're cheaper at, say, Vitacost.com. I wrote out best prices for each on an index card and carry it with me inside my coupon wallet for quick reference.
I always buy Krill Oil at Vitacost.com because the difference in price is amazing and places like Groupon often have half-off deals good at Vitacost, too. Same goes for COQ10--there's a huge difference in price if you buy it at Vitacost. (COQ10 isn't on my list, above, but Tom uses it and I thought perhaps some of you do, too.)