Do you ever go through phases where your sleep pattern gets thrown off? For whatever reason, it seems February is an historically bad time for me in that respect. It doesn’t help that I’m an extremely light sleeper. I’m calmer about it than I used to be, but it’s still frustrating. Fortunately, my schedule is flexible enough right now to allow for naps, and plenty of coffee. Somehow, I am one of those people who can down two cups of the regular stuff—black—and take an hour-long catnap right after. I’m also lucky enough to be able to get a jolt from decaf, so whatever works!
A recent study looked at sleep patterns and diet, but for better or worse, the factors aren’t always dietary. There’s stress, environmental stuff, and all other manner of things. Most of us may feel at some point or other that a good night’s sleep is like a cocktail it’s hard to nail the recipe for.
Because this is not a dating blog, I won’t talk about why (or how) some sleeplessness is totally worth it. Still, sometimes I worry I’ll become one of those people who could totally do separate bedrooms or retro twin beds. Oh, the life of a Sagittarius. I guess they don’t call us the “Bachelor Sign” for nothing…I’m kidding, but good god. At least experience tells me phases pass and that a little patience goes a long way.
When I was younger, I used to toss and turn and rage and get all upset if I only got a few solid hours (if I got any hours—in winter of 2006 I could only sleep once every 3 days), but I’ve picked up a few habits that work. Most of the time, anyway:
- Listen to a guided meditation or even just white noise on my phone when I can’t sleep
- Lavender—oil, creams, sprays, etc,
- Benadryl/diphenhydramine (I’m a wimp about prescription sleep meds)
- Keep naps short 30-60 minutes, usually
- Stick to regular wake-up times, even if the time I go to bed is erratic
- Avoid caffeine after 2 pm (total fail in that department recently)
- Use my bed only for sleeping. Sex and reading are allowed, but food, work, and other things that do not fall under the sleep umbrella are not.
Also helpful—getting out of bed and doing something. Whether that’s reading or writing, organizing a drawer, or something like leaving a “went to the gym” note (if you have company—leaving a note for yourself would be weird).
Though I’m looking forward to getting back to working in a clinical setting with regular hours (if that’s what the universe has in store for me), I’m grateful that right now, I can do things like change back into pajamas after breakfast and a shower.
Are you a light sleeper? Any sleep secrets you have to share? Do you ever change back into your pajamas?