Tag Archives: Stress and stressors

Chasing the elusive sleep

Not how Only Child wants to sleep at night

One of my goals for 2019 is to get more sleep at night – more specifically get to bed at a more normal/earlier time than 2 a.m. My problem isn’t waking up and getting up at 8 a.m. – it is getting to bed early enough to get 7 to 8 hours sleep.

But I have identified the gremlins. And yes, I don’t need to fall asleep for 30 minutes watching the news on TV. As part of my hopeful new regime I can do half an hour of that plus 10 minutes of the Weather Network and still get to bed in good time. No, it is the real gremlins behind this that have to be taken to task. So, going through the layers, there is first my health issues and all the extra crap I have to do for them. But, the basic extras would be okay to fit in. It’s the extra extras caused by flare-ups in one or more of those health issues which steal my time. Another time-stealer is the daily evening chores like doing the dishes, etc. (much more etc.). Even they can be reigned in.

IF ONLY I CAN GET RID OF THE HOUSE, COMPUTER PROBLEMS, ETC.  THAT JUST COME AT ME OUT OF NOWHERE.

If I thought or even hoped that 2019 would be any different from 2018 in having to deal with problems “coming from outside” as I call it, I was wrong. I’m referring to problems I don’t cause; problems caused by others, other organizations, etc. But I am the one that has to deal with the aftermath problems. And all this is not helpful to getting to bed at a reasonable time and getting enough sleep.

I’m a Sagittarian and to those astrologers who said because my sign is in Jupiter for 2019, I will have a much better year than 2018, I say “Stop talking through your hat. Take off your damn hat and think. All Sagittrians are not alike.”

Having said that, I am still determined to get my sleep – and not in front of the TV. And woe to anybody or thing that gets in my way.

And that includes health issues over-reaction – no doubt thanks to the stress from the problem

So, I am pursuing one of my other 2019 goals – start meditating. And one of my friends is helping me find resources to get me started. Thank you to her. Meditating may not solve the problem, but it can help me calm down and get my much-needed sleep.

And I just remembered what another friend told me many years ago  and to paraphrase her – Picture in your mind the culprit responsible for your problem(s). But picture them wearing some outlandish outfit – like boxer shorts with well (this next part is my idea) pictures of daggers or a big hand ready to grab them and shove them somewhere. (Well, I do write mystery/suspense so that can get rather dark)..

Well whatever works – as long as it is not sleeping pill prescriptions, large quantities of booze or even cannabis, although I am in favour of the latter for medicinal purposes under the direction of a doctor, but not recreational. So would this constitute medicinal? For more info on the cannabis and its consequences, etc., go to the first episode of my TV show Crime Beat Confidential which I tape every other month at thatchannel.com where I interviewed James Wigmore, a forensic scientist who is an expert on what cannabis is all about, and not from personal experience,

Meantime, here are a couple of links on sleep and stress. Please note: I may not agree with all the information below. There  is much more info online about stress and sleep deprivation but consider the source for helpful info.

Tips to reduce stress and sleep better

Stress and insomnia

And the Mayo Clinic on sleep disorders

Happy zzzzzzzzzs  – at night in your bed.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Life Balance, Life demands, Sleep and Health, Sleep deprivation

Only Child ponders wisdom of longevity

Sharon office 2014-04-19As we boomers escalate towards older and old age, what may help us live longer becomes a big concern. But is it all worth it?

Lifestyle looms large as a positive factor. Studies show that if we eat healthy, exercise enough, don’t smoke, get enough sleep, avoid/manage stress, we can extend our life. Sounds good? Right?

Not exactly. As with everything in living I have learned the hard way that there are mitigating circumstances. We might be able to control the no smoking, but the others? And why didn’t I include exercise in what we can control? Because many people have diseases, injuries that get in the way of enough exercise to help them.

What about eating healthy? We can do this until the cows come home, but as we age, our bodies don’t absorb nutrients as well. Then there are the medical conditions, such as IBS, that make nutrient absorption even less.

Getting enough sleep is a big issue with us older folk. I’ve covered this in detail before, but in a nutshell as we get older we find it more difficult to get the 7 to 8 hours sleep we need.

Then there is stress – that is the biggie. Stress will directly or indirectly reduce life spans. How many heart attacks are caused by stress? How much sleep is lost because of stress?

Stress is a catchall phrase. Actually there are stressors which cause the stress and stress which includes our reaction to the stressor attacking us. Experts talk about managing stress but I wonder if they are referring to the stressors or our reaction or both?

I have learned that you cannot manage most stressors. Or should that be “control” stressors. My experience (and that of many people I know or read about) is that a large percentage of stressors come from what I call “outside.” That is, we don’t cause these stressors to well, happen to us. And despite what I have blogged about before, God is not responsible for a lot of our stress. Human stupidity and technological problems (for want of a better word) are.

Let me give a few examples. If I dawdle around and don’t take care to be ready to leave on time for somewhere, so leave late and worry about arriving late, I’m causing the stressor. If I run into transit problems, that’s not my fault. No matter what time I leave I can hit transit delays. However, if I get myself ready so I leave early enough to allow for transit snafus, I can control the stressor/stress to a certain degree.

Errors in utility bills, life insurance premiums, computer problems, continual missed garbage pickup (all of which I have experienced) are examples of human stupidity and/or technological problems causing stressors/stress.

Then there is the cancer cause. A recent John Hopkins School of Medicine study shows that only one third of cancers are caused by environmental issues and genetic factors. The other two thirds, the study shows, are caused by what they call “bad luck.” I call it the “God factor.”

According to the study, that can explain why some people who never smoke get lung cancer and some people who smoke a lot never get cancer. (See the article at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/twothirds-of-cancer-cases-caused-by-bad-luck-johns-hopkins-medicine-study-20150102-12gs7g.html or info on the John Hopkins Medicine website http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/bad_luck_of_random_mutations_plays_predominant_role_in_cancer_study_shows)

That’s scary. All the lifestyle changes to healthy won’t keep cancer way. I’m not saying to drink regularly until you pass out or smoke five packs of cigarettes a day and forget about exercising. I’m saying to live a healthy life but never take diet, exercise, sleep, etc. as lucky charms to keep cancer at bay. Won’t work.

Personally I believe that if we could keep much of the stressors and resulting stress out of our lives we .could live happier more content lives. Not easy when most stress comes from outside.

We can try to work around this stress. We can look at our over-busy lives and see what we can delete, delay or ignore. Be selective in what stressful situations you are going to tackle and what you can ignore or better yet, delete from your life. For example, last fall I evicted the horrible boarder living here. When someone pushes me on the subway (providing it is not towards the ledge), perhaps I can ignore that. The other stuff, the real crap in my life coming at me, I’m trying to deal with it one thing at a time, based on urgency and emergency – if possible. The rest go on hold, if only for a few days.

And the hell with what the people causing the stressors think about it.

It’s not easy. And I’m not sure I want to live into my 90s or even 80s – unless you are like actress Betty White. She just celebrated her 93rd and is going strong.

How many seniors are like that?

Not me and I’m still in my mid-60s and dealing with 10 health issues – those that I know of.

Maybe the answer is to try to live your life as fully as you can now.

I’m just saying.

What do you say? Comments please.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Anxiety, Baby boomers, cancer, Computer problems, Delay tactics, God, Health, Health Seniors, Life Balance, life spans, Malabsorption, Old Age, Only child, Prioritizing, Problem solving, Problems, Seniors, Sharon A. Crawford, Sleep and Seniors, Sleep deprivation, Stress, Uncategorized

Only Child weighs in on eating to lose weight

Eat fresh foods where possible to lose weight http://www.arthursclipart.org/vegetables/veggiescol1.htm

Eat fresh foods where possible to lose weight

I’ve never been obese…yet, even as a child. The most I’ve ever weighed was when pregnant. In high school I came close to that pregnancy weight. After gaining five pounds over this past winter, I decided to do something about it.

“Thou shalt not” doesn’t sit too well on my stomach and when your tummy is your main problem due to a digestive disorder (that’s me), maybe looking at what you eat would help. So I trolled through the articles on http://www.besthealthmag.ca and found something really interesting – a slide show (not video) on Top 20 Flat Tummy Foods at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/swap-and-drop/top-20-flat-tummy-foods?slide=1.

Some of the foods and beverages included surprised me. Although one of my favourites, ice cream, didn’t make the list, dark chocolate did. Also included are green tea, olive oil, onions, lemon, cinnamon, cucumber, low fat yogurt, legumes, chicken, turmeric, quinoa, pears, berries, salmon, miso, eggs and greens (especially spinach). At some time or other, I eat or drink all but the olive oil, turmeric and quinoa (although I have the latter and when I figure out what to do with it, I’ll try it). This list has got me motivated to drink or eat more of the other items.

Comments for each slide go into the benefits of each food item – for your tummy and other benefits such as antioxidant (berries, for example). Green tea may take the cake (which is not on the list) because it has a great effect on your metabolism – drinking it often can increase weight loss (as well as bathroom visits, no doubt) but it also slows down fat absorption and is an antioxidant. My green tea supply has disappeared but this three-prong piece of information may get me going to replenish the supply and drink it.

Another article tells you how to beat belly fat http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/prevention/7-ways-to-beat-belly-bloat?slide=1. This one goes into some of the belly fat problems such as gas, bloating, etc. and references IBS. Suggestions include cut down on the salt, drink more water, peppermint tea and a baking soda-water combo (and live in the bathroom – it doesn’t say that).

For those who are focusing on the belly, you might also want to read Five Reasons Your Stomach  Hurts http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/health/5-reasons-your-stomach-hurts – it covers acid indigestion, IBS and hits on the gut-killer – too much stress. Pointers include to cut the stress, calm your nerves and slow because we are always in a chronic state of stress.

That last point says it all. You can try to slow down all you want but will that get rid of the stressors? Getting rid of the stressors has always been my idea of reducing the stress level. However, that is not always easy, especially if, like me, you are alone in the world and have to do and organize everything yourself. Sure, you can try to cut back on what you do (and I’ve blogged about that before), but in reality the stressor may be something you have to do (for example, a painful treatment for a disease, which some people have to go through). And what if the stressor is a person in your life? You can’t go around killing your stressors.

But…I am a writer and journaling about it, putting the “stressor” (disguised and fictionalized, of course) into a short story or novel, works wonders. A relative who really irked me was the inspiration for a bad person in one of my short stories.

And I can pay more attention to what I eat and drink from those 20 food suggestions. I’ll get over ice cream not making the list but…isn’t it written somewhere that we can cheat one day a week? Or eat our favourite food in moderation?

Ice cream does contain milk.

Happy eating.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under antioxidants, Digestive disorder, Health, Only child, Overeating, Stress, Water