Sunday, January 06, 2013
I'm quite jealous of Gord ... he's usually asleep within five minutes (yes, I do time him!).
It takes me about a minimum of twenty minutes to get to sleep ... sometimes it's a couple hours. And when I do get to sleep, I usually wake up between 3:30am to 4:30am, wide awake, and sometimes it takes me a couple hours to get back to sleep. Grrrrr!
When I told my doctor, she suggested I go for a sleep apnea test. I disagreed. I have no trouble breathing while I'm asleep ... it's the getting to sleep part that's my problem.
Needless to say, I'm tired and dragged out towards the end of the day. Instead of going to the gym, I give in to the couch and TV. I'm not a napper and don't give in to the temptation in the evenings because I'm scared it will throw off my sleep even more.
I bought a Contour Cloud Pillow in March and that seemed to help a bit.
I don't drink coffee and don't drink a lot of Diet Coke. I like dark rum and Diet Coke so started buying Diet Coke with no caffeine for when I had a drink.
Nothing is stressing me out so I'm not laying awake at night worrying about anything.
I have 90 minute relaxing massages.
As I'm laying in bed, I try to use a meditation technique and visualize a light coming down through my head and relaxing every part of my body.
I get up and try to sleep on the couch or the futon in the spare room.
But to no avail ...
When I was whining about it at work, Janice (besides saying it sucks getting old!) suggested Valerian, an herb, so I thought I'd check it out.
Valerian is used for insomnia and other disorders as an alternative to benzodiazepine drugs, and as a sedative for nervous tension, excitability, stress and intestinal colic or cramps.
A 2006 systematic review of research and meta-analysis concluded that "The available evidence suggests that valerian might improve sleep quality without producing side effects." Valerian is used for sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety, and as a muscle relaxant. Certain data suggests that valerian has an effect that is calming but doesn't cause sleepiness the following day. When used as a sleeping aid, valerian appears to be most effective on users who have difficulty falling asleep. Also noteworthy is that valerian has been shown to have positive results on users who wake up during the night. Valerian often seems only to work when taken over longer periods (several weeks), though some users find that it takes effect immediately.
I started taking it about a month ago and it's helping. Yay! I still don't get to sleep right away but I'm not waking up in the middle of the night every night.
Do you have any other tips for me?