Only Child on sleep deprivation

Only child nodding off?

Only child nodding off?

“To sleep, perchance to dream -ay, there’s the rub” William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet. I’m not too concerned about dreams, but have a more serious “rub.”

Getting enough sleep.

Many of us have that problem for whatever reason – too much to do, health issues keeping us awake, stress, noise, etc.

I guess my situation comes under the too much to do category. With

one of the others as a result of not getting enough sleep – health issues acting up.

At the top of my life goal list right now is getting more sleep at night. I need at least seven hours, preferable seven and a half hours, something I’m  not getting except sometimes on weekends. I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s latest book Better than Before on how to change your habits. Some good points here and I like her narrative style instead of the “do this/do that” format.

What are the culprits here? Too much of what I call “housework shit” that drags out until late at night. That could include washing dishes (no dishwasher, no space for one in the kitchen and can’t afford one), refilling the portable humidifiers (a winter chore), moving the ice cream to the freezer downstairs (the fridge-top freezer like many of them – and this is not an old fridge – doesn’t freeze the ice cream enough), etc., etc. -the list goes on. Sometimes I see the pile of newspapers and magazines on the coffee table and decide I need to read a bit to catch up. Also one thing I enjoy doing, but not late at night – watering the plants.

I also fall asleep in front of the TV, usually during the 11 p.m. news and that could be a result from not enough sleep the previous night. It finally catches up.

Interestingly, there is an article  posted on the Bell Loop page today. The title alone This is what you should eat to guarantee a good night’s sleep (science says so) is enough to put you to sleep. Maybe say it mentally instead of counting sheep when trying to enter the land of nod? The article references a recent study where 26 people for five nights followed separate diets – if they ate lots of fibre they fell asleep on average in 17 minutes and if they ate what they wanted, i.e., foods high in sugar and saturated fats and maybe some low fibre, it took them an average of 29 minutes to get to sleep.

Hmm. I have a few bones to pick (not eating them, of course) with that. First, the number of participants and time-line of the study are both low. Most studies have more people and go on for a longer period of time. Also, did these people fall asleep in bed or in front of the TV? And I question the sugar content in part. Depends on what the sugar is in. Candy, cakes, donuts – yes, will probably give you a sugar high and keep you awake.

But the food I eat some evenings containing sugar is ice cream. And that makes me sleepy. Ice cream contains milk, which I learned long ago acts like a sedative. No, I’m not going to heat up plain milk – I would just want to add chocolate powder anyway.

And what about caffeine? That sure keeps you awake. Study doesn’t address that one.

Me, I’m going to stick to my ice cream (albeit maybe I should eat it at 11 p.m. just when the news starts instead of a few hours earlier in the evening). I need to reduce some of these evening chores or get them done way before 11 p.m. – even when I go out in the evening. Then I might stay awake for 20- 30 minutes of news and weather from 11 p.m.. I like to watch 20 minutes of news and the long weather report on one channel and when they start into the long sportscast (remember I am not a sports fan). I switch over to the weather network for their longer up-to-date forecast on the 10s. And try not to keep watching all the weather news. I am a weather freak.

The study was conducted by Columbia University Medical Center and you can read a summary about that here.

What do you think?

Please comment. Any tips on getting more sleep?

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Goals, Health, Only child, Sleep and Health, Sleep deprivation, Time management

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