03-26-2015

Help Me Sleep!

I have had the worst sleep lately. All week it has taken me an hour to fall asleep, and then I end up waking up every hour feeling wide awake and struggle to go back to sleep. It is so frustrating.

I know there are things I could be doing, like logging off from the computer earlier in the night, so I’m looking for other tips beyond this. 

Basically, I just toss and turn every night. Even beyond just this past week, every single night I wake up to go to the bathroom at least 1-2 times. The only nights I don’t are when I had a hard workout or something and am exhausted.

This issue seriously sucks, and from what I’ve found online it’s called “nocturia,” which is described as this by the Cleveland Clinic:

Nocturia is a condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to urinate. 

Normally, you should be able to sleep six to eight hours during the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom. People who have nocturia wake up more than once a night to urinate. This can cause disruptions in a normal sleep cycle.

I’ve told my doctor about it, and they tested me for diabetes and what not (don’t have it), and told me to just not drink too much water/fluids before bed. I do that. The last I drink is usually during dinner and maybe I’ll have a gulp of water right before bed.

My sleep is so interrupted because of this, and as a result I feel tired most days. And this past week…forget it…on Monday I took an almost 2 hour nap because I was so tired from not being able to fall asleep the night before.

Ecard

Do people sleep through the whole night and wake up feeling awake and refreshed? Because I honestly can’t imagine what that feels like. This is also what contributes to my “not a morning person” thing…I can’t wake up to exercise when I feel like a zombie and haven’t gotten restful sleep.

This post is pretty much just venting about lack of sleep, but I do want to hear your tips. How do you help yourself fall asleep at night? Here’s my usual bed time routine:

  • Read stuff on my laptop while I watch some Netflix. This is my way of relaxing after a long day.
  • Brush my teeth, take my contacts out, etc. etc.
  • Lay in bed, scroll through Instagram before setting my alarm and turning off the light.
  • Lay there for 15 minutes…still awake…get up to pee again so I can empty my bladder before falling asleep in hopes of not waking up in the middle of the night (doesn’t work).
  • If I don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, repeat above step.
  • Eventually fall asleep, and wake up at 2-3 am to pee.

I know one thing I can probably improve is scrolling through Instagram before bed. I should probably just read a book or something. But I really just want something mindless; sometimes books get my mind going and I can’t stop thinking about the book or plotline as I try to fall asleep lol.

I bought peppermint tea the other day to have after dinner as another way to relax. Maybe I’ll buy a lavendar candle or something to light before bed? Has anyone tried melatonin?

I am open to any and all suggestions!

What is your bedtime routine? Do you use anything to help you fall asleep?

Anyone else have to deal with “nocturia?”

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06-10-2014

How To Fall Asleep (When You Can’t Fall Asleep)

Those nights where you’re wide awake and can’t fall asleep are the worst. Especially when you know you have to be up early, and then that just stresses you out/frustrates you even more, making it harder to fall asleep.

Some nights it is just so hard for me to fall asleep. I’ll either be stressed, or have a million things on my mind, or just am not able to get comfortable. Last night I had a lot on my mind about my social media clients and a presentation I’m doing this week…my dreams were all about Twitter and me talking about what time I should tweet things (??!!). 

So I wanted to write something with tips that have helped me fall asleep in the past, as well as tips and facts I have found online. Hopefully it helps you next time you’re tossing and turning!

how-to-fall-asleepPhoto Credit: ubon via Compfight cc

Here are some things that help me:

  • Cover your head with a pillow. Someone once told me that when you can’t fall asleep, cover your head or put on a knitted cap and it will help you fall asleep. Not sure of the scientific legitimacy of this, but I’ve found that when I do this it does help me relax more. Actually, I just Googled it and it seems it is a common thing babies to do fall asleep (which makes for nervous parents I’m sure). Try it next time!
  • Switch sides of the bed. Sometimes when I really can’t sleep, I switch positions so where my feet were, my head now is. Not sure why this helps either.
  • Change locations. Go sleep on the couch!
  • Keep a notebook by your bed. If you know you have a lot on your mind right before you go to bed, keep a notebook there so you can scribble it all down. When I don’t have a notebook by me, I’m worried I’ll forget my idea or to-do list, which means more trouble falling asleep.
  • Go pee. This is random, but sometimes I don’t feel like I have to pee, but I go to the bathroom and lo and behold, I had to empty my bladder. You might be tossing and turning because your bladder is full (just not to the point where you “feel” like you have to go).

I also did some research and found some other tips, which you may or may not have known about already.

This tip from the Huffington Post kind of goes along with my change locations one, but actually suggest you get out of bed and do something. I’ve done that a few times, but not actually out of bed. I just grab a book and read until I get drowsy. I feel like cleaning would wake me up more? 

If you’re unable to sleep for about a 15- or 20-minute stretch, slip into your bunny slippers and out of the room. Try something relaxing and non-stimulating. Listen to music. Read a book. Even consider cleaning the house or doing the dishes, Olson suggests. A bath might do the trick, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, because sleepiness can brew from the post-bath drop in body temperature. Whatever activity you choose, do it away from bed, and return when you’re feeling drowsy.

Here’s an interesting one from Lifehacker:

Get 7-9 of night time hours a night. So, for example, if sunrise is at 6am, then sleeping from 2am—10am is eight total hours, but it’s only four night time hours. Sleeping at night is a big deal.

My mom always lectures me on how going to sleep at 2am and getting 8 hours isn’t the same as 8 quality hours of sleep (going to bed earlier). I remember also reading somewhere that athletes who want quality sleep go to bed before midnight, and the later after midnight you go to bed, the less quality sleep you will get. Sigh – guess mom was right again!

I like this tip too from Lifehacker:

Start a bedtime journaling habit. Go over what you’ve accomplished that day, what problems you’ve had and make your to-do list for the next day. This puts your mind at ease, ensuring a worry free rest.

I started doing this a few months ago and fell off with it. I remember in middle school I used to keep a diary…oh the things I wrote…

But anyway, I should really get back into it. It feels good to write out your feelings and worries, and then look back and realize how trivial some of them really were.

I try to get minimum 8 hours of sleep a night, but aim for 8.5-9. My bf and friends know how important sleep is to me :) If I get something like 6 hours, I’m an absolute zombie the next day.

What tips would you add to my list?

How many hours of sleep do you get per night?

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