So how did you sleep last night? Wouldn’t you know, I lost sleep thinking about this article, and how to write it.
Apparently, it’s common for Boomers to ask each other how well they slept. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, but I would imagine many of us are struggling to get a good night’s sleep these days.
Sleep is everything, isn’t it? After a great sleep, you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. It’s so much easier to deal with everything physical, emotional, and mental when your body is well rested.
A bad sleep ruins it. All of it.
What’s worse is when you’re exhausted and you still can’t sleep. It just doesn’t make sense! But sometimes it’s a sign that your circadian rhythm is off. You know, your body clock. People who do shift work can often have issues with their circadian rhythm because we’re hard wired to be up and around during the day, and asleep at night.
But the inability to sleep can be caused by many things. Stress and anxiety are top of the list. I’d venture to guess a lot of us are dealing with that right now.
Bad habits before bedtime don’t help.
Reading your Twitter feed before bed can be a sleep disturber. Actually, reading Twitter anytime can be disturbing. But it’s about that light from your device, or so they say.
I like reading my e-book at night just before bed. Yes, it’s a murder mystery, so what?
Just as there are many causes for lack of sleep, there are dozens of “cures” for it. Pills and home remedies, different routines, audio recordings and even YouTube videos, are just some of the options out there.
Since I’ve heard too many horror stories about sleep medications, I won’t even try that.
A hot bath helps. I’ve tried different teas, especially ginger tea. As long as it’s not caffeinated, tea is comforting and cozy just before bed.
People I know swear that listening to soothing sounds or even white noise, helps them to sleep.
Getting enough physical activity during the day helps. I walk most days, and often twice in a day. When I walk I try not to think about anything. I just try to listen to the sounds around me, the birds, the conversations, my footsteps.
It doesn’t always work, but when I succeed, it puts me in a much better state of mind.
There are a gazillion websites out there with tips for getting a better sleep.
Something that helps me a lot lately when I roll over to sleep, is a little story I tell myself. You might call it a bedtime story. I close my eyes and start repeating it, same story every night.
It’s just something I made up. I repeat the details to myself as if I were telling it to someone else. Sometimes I have to start over again a few times, but I always tell it the same way.
Eventually, I drift off. Who’d a thought a bedtime story would actually work? At my age?
Then there are those nights when you get to sleep okay, but you wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. It might be a dream that jolts you awake, or a sudden snort from your partner.
If you’re lucky, you roll over and sleep finds you again. But sometimes you’re not.
If I get on that crazy train of thought, I’m in trouble. You know the one I’m talking about. You think one thing and that leads to another, and another, and another.
The next thing you know, you’re imagining every possible disaster that could ever happen. World War Three, the Big Shake, the Apocalypse. Heat domes, heart attacks, what’s that damn noise in my car?
On and on and….ahhhhh!
Sorry. Please don’t read this just before bed.
Irene Jackson is a guitar teacher, musician and general writer “wanna-be” living in the beautiful city of Victoria, B.C. Her website is at irenejackson.com.