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Sam Dobson Writes: Never Wake a Sleeping Beast

Friday, October 19, 2012

Never Wake a Sleeping Beast

I slept soundly, without interruption, from 9pm last night to 5am this morning. I woke up pleasantly rested and very surprised that I had slept all the way through the night. That pretty much never happens. Between dogs trying to get on and off the bed, a boyfriend who does his fair share of tossing and turning, and the insanely thin walls we share with our party boy neighbor, I'm usually lucky if I only wake up three times during the night.

I'll admit that the lack of sleep does make me crankier than usual. They say not to wake a sleeping baby, if you do it will cry and never stop. Well, if sleeping Sam gets woken up enough times she bangs on the walls and throws a profanity-filled temper tantrum. It's not pretty. Blake gets grumpy when he doesn't eat, I get even grumpier when I don't get sleep. It's a dangerous combination.

Anyways, I was very happy about having a gorgeous night's sleep and was itching for more nights like that. I decided to do my homework. There has to be some clever things you can do to get a good night's sleep. I have thought about sleeping pills, I've gotten that desperate, but I decided against taking any sort of over the counter drug. I've discovered that many people get dependent on such sleeping aides and I don't think my problem is severe enough for that. After all, I'm not an insomniac. I can sleep perfectly fine if everyone just shut the hell up and stayed still all night.

After surfing the web some, I found a few tips from pretty credible sources. The Harvard Healthy Publications puts "exercise at some point during the day" at the top of their list of tips for better sleep. I think this is pretty obvious. However, I would like to add that during my yoga kick I found a short instructional video on YouTube of a few yoga moves you can do right before bed to help you sleep. I think this is a great idea. Yoga not only makes you tired after because it is a legitimate workout, but it relaxes your mind and body too. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guT7gt-lBes

Number two on Harvard's list was to "reserve your bed for sex and sleep-not work or tv ". I thought this was interesting, but it makes total sense. I will admit, Blake and I are guilty of watching plenty of re-runs and movies in bed. Television, your phone, and your laptop are distractions from your bed's true purpose. If you stick with the mindset that your bed is the place for snoozing and romping, you'll be enjoying more of the two activities than normal.

The last suggestion I thought was worth sharing was to alleviate the stress in your life. According to this Harvard publication, "stress is a stimulus. It activates the fight-or-flight hormones that work against sleep". The key is to find some form of de-stresser or relaxation method you can practice before bed time. This could be something simple like a decaf cup of tea and a few chapters of a good book or even a bubble bath, or you can get really serious and try meditation. The key is to momentarily forget about your bills and daily chaos so that your mind can fade into a peaceful sleep.

Maybe I'll try some of these next time I can't seem to fall asleep. All I want is a decent night's sleep and less of an urge to push the snooze button when my alarm goes off. Next, I should work on those dark circles under my eyes!

Sleep tight,



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