Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sleeping: Better and Faster

All my life, I have trouble in sleeping. It's not insomniac, though - I just think a lot. I’ll lie in bed thinking about what I want to do tomorrow or what I should have done today or how much I love eating cold pizza or how absurdly messy my desk is…. do you get the idea? 

When I say I have trouble going to sleep, I’m not talking 20 or 30 minutes but 2 or 3 hours. Because what will happen is after about 45
minutes to an hour of trying to go to sleep, I start thinking about how I’m not asleep but I should be and that starts the cycle.

Now, I may be a bit of an extreme case here. But, I know, for a fact, that there are people out there who got the same problem as mine. So, I’ve pieced together various bits of advice, I’ve received over the past few months that have not only helps me get to sleep faster, but helps me get a better sleep nights.

  1. Don’t watch TV or even look so much at a computer screen at least 30 minutes before you lying down. The light from both a television as well as a computer monitor mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight. This fools your body and brain into thinking it’s nowhere near time for sleep.
  2. Drink milk. Milk has an amino acid in it called Tryptophanthat increase the levels of serotonin and/or melatonin in the brain which slow down brain activity. It’s science folks.
  3. Go to bed when you are tired. Different strokes for different folks here. Just because your wife goes to bed at 9PM doesn’t mean you are ready. You might only require seven and half hours of sleep while she might require ten. If you aren’t tired, do something low-key until you are, like read a book, play solitaire (NOT on your computer), or play with some legos.
  4. Reserve the bed for bed things(ex. sleeping and resting). I, for one, don’t strictly follow this rule as I’ll read some before I go to sleep, but for some people this is a must.
  5. Meditate. No, don’t cross your legs and hum, but focus on relaxing…if that makes sense. Take deep, long breaths. Tense each muscle one at a time from head to toe. Focusing on doing this takes your mind off of other things and you’ll be in lala land in no time.
  6. Exercise during the day. I emphasize during the day. Excercising at night just gets everything going instead of shutting down for sleep. But excercising during the day tires the muscles out and makes for a solid nights sleep.

love, now and always, 

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