Sleeping Strange

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x a million…

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,
  • Melatonin
  • 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.

Oats & flax topped w/ veggies, goat cheese, turkey bacon, and a poached egg
Oats & flax topped w/ veggies, goat cheese, turkey bacon, and a poached egg

Are you a light sleeper? Any sleep secrets you have to share? Do you ever change back into your pajamas? 

4 thoughts on “Sleeping Strange

    mealsformiles said:
    February 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    +100 on the taking advantage of changing back into PJs or living in yoga pants right now. I’m excited to get back into a normal schedule too, though! I can never remember what day it is with this odd schedule…

    Definitely agree on only using the bed for certain things, and never watching TV in bed (I hate that!). I also have a noisemaker that I set to “rain” every night, which really helps me sleep and drowns out street sounds

      Jess responded:
      February 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      Agreed—it freaks me out sometimes to be, like, “What day is it?” Then I remind myself to be grateful for the break. I’ll probably miss it later!
      I’m so with you on hating TV in bed—if I ever have a set again, I want it out of the bedroom. The flickering and the noise makes it so hard to sleep.
      I do love those noisemakers though. My mom gave me an old white noise machine from her office, and I use it every night! I also have an app on my phone for when I travel.

    Stuff for the Week | Keeping It Real Food said:
    March 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    […] the idea of take-out for one usually makes me feel depressed and uncharacteristically lonely (Sagittarius = bachelor sign), but it might also be because this saves me a lot of money. Besides, I’d rather do […]

    Breakfast Ideas | Keeping It Real Food said:
    April 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    […] Savory oatmeal with leftover vegetables, poached eggs, and goat cheese […]

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