Sleep is something I have been struggling with lately. Actually, it has been long term problem for me. It takes about an hour before my brain realizes that my body needs to rest, more so if I don’t have any “white noise.” If I don’t have something to listen to, I start thinking about my day, other people’s problems, and how to solve the mysteries of the universe – all night long. It would be brilliant if I could figure out how to end world hunger during one of these sessions, but my only guaranteed accomplishment, night in and night out, is lack of sleep.
As a kid and into my teens, I would would let the radio lull my to sleep. Listening to new music from The Smiths or Gene Loves Jezebel on KROQ (when it was actually a good station) was somehow conducive to good sleeping. 🙂 As I got older, I fell into the bad habit of snoozing with the television on. Admittedly, this wasn’t really a problem until I moved in my husband, who, at the time, needed total quiet in order to sleep. Now I’m convinced that he can sleep through WWIII now if he really wanted to. 🙂
My poor sleep habits didn’t really become a major issue for me until we had our son. He wasn’t the best sleeper from ages 1-3 (sleep apnea issues) and his sporadic sleep routine coupled with my inability to fall asleep right away manifested itself into something far uglier – insomnia and sleep anxiety
I spent nights awake in front of the TV *waiting* for my son to wake up. I was literally afraid to fall asleep. I would eventually doze off, only to be awakened about about hour later convinced that my son was snoring or coughing. Usually what I was hearing was just hearing the voices on the television. Now here was my conundrum – If I turned the TV off, my brain wouldn’t turn off, but I left the TV on, I would get spotty sleep at best. I couldn’t win.
My son’s sleep has improved through the years, but my sleep cycle continues to be debilitated. This lack of continuous sleep has affected my energy, my focus and my IBS symptoms.
What can I do about it?
- Set a regular bedtime – After my son goes to bed, I crave some me time, the problem is that I give myself too much me time and my sleep suffers. The result? My time to myself is crappy because I’m over tired. I’m going to set a realistic bed time and stick to it.
- No TV, smartphones or computers in bed – If I want to watch a show or goof around on the internet, I’ll do so from the living room. My bed will be for sleeping, and maybe some reading (but not from my Kindle. lol)
- Stretch before bed – I find that meditative yoga helps. I love this 8-minute routine
- No caffeine – This shouldn’t be too hard since I don’t drink coffee in the evening and I rarely drink soda. I start making myself a cup of chamomile tea. I hear Yogi Tea’s “Sleepy Time” tea is great as well.
We’ll see how well this goes. I hope that a regular sleep cycle will help give me more energy for my workouts and aid in easing these IBS symptoms. Wish me luck! 🙂