So I was reading up on WebMD about numerous things related to me (by the way, I think my back/neck pain is increasing, even after taking Advil – this is troubling), and ran across this article: “10 Tips to Get You Sleeping Again” [link removed]. I’m including the tips here so that I can talk about them.
- Wake up at the same time each day. Yes, I am terrible at this. I love sleeping in on weekends.
- Eliminate nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants. Caffeine has never seemed to affect me much, though it does more as I get older. I generally avoid caffeine after dinner. Wine makes me sleepy. I don’t smoke or take other stimulants.
- Limit naps. While I love napping, I rarely get to take them. I have the last couple of weekends, briefly, because I haven’t been sleeping as well. My lifestyle in general doesn’t really allow for naps, so… I could stop altogether.
- Exercise regularly. I’m working on this one. I know this would be beneficial for my health in a multitude of ways. It’s just a hard habit to pick up.
- Limit activities in bed. Once I’m living with , this will not be a problem. Until then, my bed still is the main place to do anything in my room, and that’s not going to change. It’s only 5 weeks. [Editor’s note: looking back over this, I realize that some of your minds may have gone into the gutter. I simply meant that the bedroom is upstairs and far away from the living room where time is generally spent, unlike my current situation where everything I do is in one room.]
- Do not eat or drink right before going to bed. OK, this I am guilty of. When was dieting to fit into her wedding dress (something I am glad I do not feel compelled to do), she stopped eating 3 hours before bedtime, and she said that was one of the things that was most effective. This is problematic. I like snacking.
- Make your sleeping environment comfortable. My sleeping environment is as comfortable as possible, given the circumstances. Again, once I’m living with , the whole cat-in-the-bed thing will stop ( will not be allowed in the bedroom at all – we’ll see how that goes over). But my blankets are comfortable, the fan has been running, a nice dull bubbling of the fish tank…. [Editor’s note: yes, I realize that I baby my cat too much and she will actually be fine. I also realize that she’s a whiny brat and that’s my fault.]
- Get all your worrying over with before you go to bed. I understand this one, but it’s sometimes hard. I try, though. I don’t enjoy worrying. It doesn’t usually keep me up though.
- Reduce stress. Let’s see… I’m planning a wedding (with a lot of help) and moving (also with a lot of help). And once that’s over, I’ll be going to school. And I work at a job I don’t particularly enjoy. So… stress levels are moderate. They could definitely be worse. But I’d rather deal with the stresses I have than live the alternate life of boredom.
- Consider participating in cognitive therapy. Isn’t this a last-step kind of measure? I’m definitely not disordered enough to do this yet.
I should note that insomnia runs in my family. Just another one of the wonderful things I got from ‘s family, along with big feet, flat chest, red hair, and hormonal imbalances. Of course, I also got my long piano fingers and a hearty overall constitution (we’re generally a healthy bunch, all things considered, not falling ill to colds and the flu and the like often), so that’s something.