So far I finished two books on sleep disorders/ sleeping better. Sleep Disorders for Dummies and How to get a Good Night’s Sleep. I think they are both useful, but generic. They identify various kinds of sleep disorders, and have lots of different ideas on how to improve sleep. I like reading a couple of books that have general information when confronting a new problem. Now I have good idea of the general ideas that are going around in the world of sleep disorders.
What I learned:
There are a whole bunch of things in my life that can upset my sleep pattern. A partial list – asthama , allergies, diabetes, 3 of the drugs I take, being female and of a certain age…plus general stress.
So far I have tried two things, with much better success than promised. One – exercise of the light and only a half an hour kind makes a big difference. Two – not going to sleep before 11. It looks like going to sleep too early might have been why I woke up at 2:00 am . Neither of these ideas were supposed to work instantly, but by doing both of those – I noticed an instant improvement.
Areas of disagreement: One book says no naps, the other says it depends on how badly you need sleep and suggest that as long as you don’t take endless naps you might be able to use naps to catch up on sleep deficit. on the subject of reading in bed – one book says no no no – the other says as long as reading doesn’t keep you awake, it is ok. Obviously, you have to see what works for you.
More books to read, and hopefully new useful things to discover.
Well, I’ve been experimenting with exercise and sleep. And while I can’t say I’ve had any great nights of sleep , if I exercise I sleep better. When I say exercise I am not necessarily talking about hard or long exercise, half an hour of walking seems to do it. Last Saturday and Monday , I didn’t exercise and I did the wake up for at least an hour in the middle of the night thing. It isn’t easy to get exercise every day. Now I have three reasons: sleep, blood sugar control, and weight control. I guess I have to move my exercise goals from 4 to 5 days a week, to 6 or 7 days a week. I still have reading to do , so maybe I can find a few more things to help me sleep .
I am tired of not sleeping that well. I fall asleep fairly easily between 10 – 10:30 , but I wake up between 2/2:30 am and stay awake until 5/5:30. And then I fall back to sleep just before the alarm goes off at 6:30. Sometimes it is the hamster brain , worrying about something I can do nothing about in the middle e of the night. Sometimes I actually come up with useful, productive ideas. And then last night, I was just awake with passing idle thoughts.
Possible reasons for bad sleep: diabetes, asthma, stress, some of the various drugs I am on, 45 yr old hormones, general bad sleep habits.
I have Ambien CR – which I use occasionally. However, I have to plan – Do I have at least 8 hours ( 10 is better, so I can deal with the am grogginess). But I don’t want to take it very often. And I noticed something while on vacation. I did not sleep well, but I slept better. I also had a lot more exercise than usual. So my first line of attack is more exercise. I haven’t set a goal yet , but as we have moved into the late light/gardening part of the year , It should be easy to fit it in naturally .
I also decide to start using the resouces at hand – I just put four books about sleep disorders and sleeping better on hold. The library, what a great place to start. I know when I did diabetes research I only found a few books that were useful, but it is a place to start.