Monday, August 29, 2011

Perchance To Dream




Fact #1.  I am so much happier, healthier and feel infinitely better about myself and the world around me when I go to bed at a reasonable* hour and get a good night's rest.  (*reasonable being 10:30/11.)

Fact #2.  I hate going to bed.  

Sleep.  I like it once I'm already doing it, but I sorta do anything to avoid it in the first place.  There is always something more exciting to do than going to bed (sewing!  blogging!  talking to an old friend!  reading!  cooking!  dishes!) but when it's time to wake up, I'll do anything for just 10 more minutes.  I've really always been this way and in fact have actually gotten much better about getting to bed as early as I do.  My sophomore year of high school I remember never going to bed before 2 in the morning...and I got up at 5:50 for early morning seminary.  (Well in theory...most mornings at least.)  I slept a lot in class and looking back I think I was just used to feeling terrible all the time.  In college I was much the same way but at least I could adjust my classes to be a little later.  But now with little ones who are early risers it's getting to be something I need to get better about, something I need to make a priority for everyone's sake.  Strangely after PSP was born I was very good about going to bed early, but slowly my bad sleep habits have been returning.  I think all of this might stem from some type of insomnia because one of my main hang-ups is that I'm not one to fall asleep quickly.  My husband has the gift of sleep as I like to say and can pretty much fall asleep the second his head hits the pillow, whereas it  can take me anywhere from 15 to 30  minutes on a good night and 1-2 hours on a bad night.    

I know all the advice--don't read in bed, stick to a bedtime routine, no tv/computer within 30 minutes before going to bed, no exercise or eating right before bed, warm milk, chamomile tea, etc, etc.  But I still feel like I have to trick myself to go to bed or have a lot accomplished before bedtime.  Routines don't really work for me and I often find myself in bed with the ipad.  

So what do you do?  Any tricks for a good nights sleep?  Do you use some sort of reward system? Or do you suffer through tired, grouchy days?           


20 comments:

  1. debi and i text each other at 1am asking if the other is still awake. night owl i am and always have been. i think i've given up for now on changing myself. no matter what i've done, it hasn't worked. i'm accepting that i get a lot of good things done at night and give myself a lot of slack in the morning (like not schedule anything before 10am...which will change once we start kindergarten! ah!). i think it's just part of who i am and i'm embracing it for now. my mom was a night owl when we were kids b/c that was the only time she could get anything done. now she goes to bed at 9. one day...one day...

    and forrest can also fall asleep super fast. husbands!

    and and, i talked to my dad about this once and he says a lot of artists he knows are night owls. he can stay up until the wee hours painting.

    possibly part of a creative mind?

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  2. Is it just me, or isn't that common in your family??? Brandon has always been a night owl and wishes I wanted to stay awake later...I'd be happy going to bed by 10 each night and I can fall asleep easily (I just don't always get a good night's rest)- whereas he has to watch t.v. for awhile...and i think that makes it worse, but that's another story. Plus I remember how late your grandparents would stay up when we were visiting them..... and when we stay at your dad's he's up late too! I'm no help, I have no advice- well actually I notice that I sleep better when I've consistently done yoga and that's exactly why I'm starting classes again next week :)

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  3. Seriously I replay this one episode of Charles and Charge in my head I usually fall asleep before the annoying BUDDY character come through the door.

    Try it, it works better than any drug.
    writing this at 1:30am...who am I to give advice.

    A

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  4. You're not the only one. I don't like to sleep. Waste of time ;)

    I disagree with the reading thing. I love to fall asleep reading and often find that I fall asleep faster if I read. I also love to play Words with Friends on my phone right before I fall asleep. Both activities make me concentrate on something other than the laundry list of items I worry about and make it easier to fall asleep.

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  5. Anonymous5:39 AM

    None of the traditional "remedies" work for me, either. I'm lucky if I fall asleep before 2am, which is painful with early preschool this year! If I REALLY need to sleep early, like when the sleepless nights start to catch up to me, I will take Melatonin....otherwise it's Words with Friends for me as well!

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  6. I feel like an expert on this subject but I don't know if you will agree with my methods. Getting to sleep was never a problem, it's staying asleep that is my prob. I often wake around 2am-4am and not be able to get back to sleep. Sometimes I would but then my kids wake me up, I feel like they woke me from a coma, cranky all day..etc, night after night. I had to start taking action, I needed sleep. Every night you will find me going to bed at 10pm like clockwork, I've always done this, insomnia and or not. I take one Tylonol PM. I watch TV until my eyelids can't stay open anymore, doesn't take long. Taking the one sleep aid actually works in getting me back to sleep when I wake. I go through phases of not needing them. It's usually when I have a lot on my mind like now with school starting soon, summer, my daughter's birthday party, a horrible news story I saw on TV, etc. I know a lot of people don't suggest this but it's what works for me.

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  7. I feel for you. Not being able to sleep is the worst.

    I have the same problem as Asha it sounds like, except sleeping pills don't work for me. Last night I was awake from 2:30-4:30 and then my husband's alarm went off at 5. Awesome.

    I periodically have troubles falling asleep, too. I have Restless Leg Syndrome (yes, people really have that) and have trouble getting comfortable. My husband suggested stretching before bed, so I tried it and have not had any troubles falling asleep the past two weeks. Give that a try.

    I also have found that making lists of things I need to do the next day or writing down things that are on my mind before I get in bed helps, too.

    Good luck!

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  8. two words- old testament. works like a charm everytime!

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  9. (Heidi's comment rocks the house.)

    My boyfriend in HS said he could fall asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow. I hated him for it. He said he'd trained himself to do it. So I set to work trying to train myself, too. Not that I have any training advice, really, it was just a mind game.

    I still can't fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, except if I'm exhausted. But I can fall asleep in about 10 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less), which is roughly 50 minutes faster than before. So I guess I can consider it a success.

    We now wake up earlier than ever before, and that's worked better than anything we've tried in the past for getting to bed earlier.

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  10. Ugh, I'm suffering right now! We made the mistake of staying up to late hanging out and basically wasting time, and then Lucie woke us up at 5am and I haven't been back to sleep since. I am so grouchy and feel like the laziest mom right now!

    I NEED a routine... that will be my goal this week. Thanks for the moral support- at least I'm not alone in my sleep struggles.

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  11. i could have written this post word for word! me: crazy insomniac. darek: pro-sleeper. no advice here, just some serious sympathy and a sad, sleepy "ditto." usually atticus will just watch cartoons and let me sleep in a little but not this morning and i found myself making myself the same promise i do every morning...in bed by 10 tonight...yeah, right. we'll see how that goes. good luck!

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  12. This one is going to make you all laugh and make me sound like a total dork (and embarrass my husband)...but here it goes, we watch an old Little House on the Prairie episode on our laptop in bed. Background: I used to love LHOTP when I was a kid (well, and actually still do). My husband discovered one night when I watching it that it has the effect of making you sleepy and is mind-clearing. It is so cheesy and sweet, that it makes you forget all of your worldly and busy thoughts. We usually can't even make it through the episode before our eyes are closing! Ha!Ha! Try it out!

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  13. Great comments...I'm totally laughing...

    Abbie--1?? OK you take cake...that happens to me occassionally, but 1 would be the exception. And I'll have to start texting Debi too. And I could see a creative mind connection.

    Crombie--YES. I was going to talk about the fam, but the post would have been 3 times as long. In fact I often blame my mother for my poor sleep habits (among other things...ha!) and I'm sure there is a genetic component, at least in habits.

    A--Love it. CIC...good ol Buddy.

    Az--Yes I knew you'd get it. The real problem is not wanting to GO to sleep...yes falling asleep is a problem, but before that I just don't want to. Too much to do!

    Asha and B--Ugh...that sounds awful. Asha maybe you should try B's stretching approach?

    Heidi--Awesome.

    Tamra--I hate those fast go-to-sleepers.

    Erin--Oh man, we always seem to have the same sleep issues...with kids and ourselves.

    Amberli--I do the SAME thing...every morning, "I'm serious...go to bed at 10 tonight! 10!...never happens.

    LL--that prolly would work since even as a little girl I found that show kinda boring. :)

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  14. I use my hypno birthing techniques! Ha ha. I imagine all the parts of my body relaxing and fading into nothing. And, i take really long breaths.

    ps. my phone is working now...Maybe I'll try you again soon :)

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  15. I'm paying my husband $50 if he can go a week without caffeine in the attempt to fix some of our insomnia! Good luck, being tired is the pits!!

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  16. Hi Miggy! I'm new to your blog and adore it.

    I had to comment on the topic of sleep because I do believe it is a talent for some people (I happen to be one) and for those who struggle with it all I can say is do your best and that's all you can do.

    Take care!

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  17. I have struggled forever to get to bed early--it just does not mesh well with my personality! Luckily for me, I can fall asleep NO problem! It's just getting to bed that's the issue...there's too many fun things to do while I'm awake!

    I always felt bad about not obeying the "early to bed, early to rise" saying...until last year! There was a study done in 2010 which showed that people who are "night-owls" have higher IQs! Finding out that information made me smile!! =D

    Just be happy you're part of the Night Owl Smarty-Pants Club! ;o)

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  18. I'm with you, it stinks to try to fall asleep. (and I kind of hate sleep itself, there is always something better to do!) I have made a deal with myself where I am allowed to "rest" - lay in bed and listen to my iPod while trying to fall asleep. I know everyone says to unplug from technology, but sometimes I get bored and then I just get up. So I give myself a bed time, which yes makes me feel super awesome thank you, and then I kind of chill and iPod til I can actually sleep. Good luck!

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  19. I am the same way. I rarely get to bed before 2am and usually fall asleep on the couch sometime between 12-2am. By the time the kids are all asleep and the house is quite I hate going to bed. It is "my" only quiet time. We just started middle school so now the kids start waking up at 6:30am. Somedays I can really feel it. I can usually fall asleep pretty quickly, once I go to bed, but if I go to bed before midnight I just lay there and think. I know I need to get to bed earlier because everyone pays for it if I don't but I need to figure out how too.

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  20. Anonymous11:56 PM

    Dearest Miggy,

    Well Darling... the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree! Yes, your Mother shares your same struggles, and so does your Grandmother. This I knew because I grew up with it. However, what really surprised me was finding out that my Aunt Lu and Aunt Kay (Mother's Sisters) both suffered from insomnia. They both told me this about 7 or 8 years ago when they came to see Daddy (Grandpa). Aunt Lu was a very disciplined person, who ate correctly and exercised and went to bed early and everything... so go figure. Your description of trying to make yourself go to bed at a decent time aptly describes my same "drawn out" bedtime traumas. For me having asthma that is worse at night has been part of the problem... I used to wake up every night short of breath. You probably don't remember that sometimes, as a little girl, you would be beside my bed checking on my breathing during the night... And now you have little ones to check on yourself at night. And so don't beat yourself up too much. You are doing an awesome job, even if you don't always get to bed on time. One day a week I get up at 5:30, and I must admit I like it. Oh what a goal to make that every day!

    Good Luck .... I share your struggles.

    All my love,
    G.G.

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