Friday 31 May 2013

Book ~ "Successful Sleep Strategies for Women" (2012) Julia Schlam Edelman

From Goodreads ~ Did you have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, last night? Or, did you sleep all night and wake up feeling exhausted? You are not alone—more than 60% of women don’t sleep well in midlife—and even many college-age women sleep poorly. If you don’t wake up rested and refreshed, read Successful Sleep Strategies for Women by Julia Schlam Edelman, MD.

Whether you are interested in natural remedies, lifestyle modifications, or prescription pills, you will find practical guidance. Successful Sleep Strategies for Women presents the latest scientific research findings in the form of easy-to-read stories followed by Dr. Edelman’s discussion of what experts recommend.

  • Fall asleep sooner
  • Sleep better
  • Wake up rested
  • Natural remedies
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Sleep medications

I haven't been sleeping well for about a year and a half.  I'm quite jealous of Gord ... he's usually asleep within five minutes (yes, I do time him!).  He found this book on the Toronto Public Library site for me so I downloaded it today.

It takes me awhile to get to sleep ... sometimes it's a couple hours.  And when I do get to sleep, I usually wake up wide awake during the night and sometimes it takes me a couple hours to get back to sleep.  Needless to say, I'm tired and dragged out towards the end of the day.

This has been my journey so far:
  • 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 and that seemed to help for a while.
  • I don't drink coffee and don't drink a lot of Diet Coke.  I've started drinking Diet Coke with no caffeine.
  • Nothing is stressing me out so I'm not laying awake at night worrying about anything.
  • I have 90 minute relaxing massages every month or so.
  • As I'm laying in bed, I've tried 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.
  • I tried Valerian, an herb, and it helped put and keep me to sleep for a while ... but then seemed to stop.
  • I downloaded a 30 minute meditation to sleep onto my ipod.  I listened to it a few times and would be asleep in about ten minutes.  I would wake up sometime after it was over, put my ipod in my nightstand and then fall back asleep right away.  But after the first couple of times it didn't work ... I was still awake when it was over.
  • We have digital music stations through our cable and one of them is spa music.  I put it on when I went to bed one night and left it on for about a half hour.  Alas, it didn't work.

So I was hoping this book would help me and give me some new ideas ... which it did, plus it validated that I was doing stuff right.

There are 12 scenarios:
  1. Lifestyle choices - This sounded the most like me.  Apparently you aren't supposed to view a back-lit screen like a TV, computer, ereader or phone about two hours before you go to bed as it stimulates the brain.  I watch TV and am on my lap at night ... plus I read in bed with my Kobo.  Oooops!
  2. Medication options
  3. Natural remedies - Valerian is discussed.
  4. Overcoming restless leg syndrome
  5. Eliminating hot flashes and night sweats
  6. How alcohol impacts sleep
  7. Medical conditions and medicines that impact sleep
  8. Dealing with mood changes and depression
  9. Correcting a sluggish metabolism - I have a hypo thyroid (so sluggish) and my doctor is trying to regulate my med for it
  10. The relationship between body weight and sleep
  11. Treatments for snoring and other breathing difficulties
  12. Therapy for sleep misperception

I liked that this book was written with scenarios using the stories based on women and their different situations ... it made it less clinical. There are some charts such as meds for insomnia and their side effects and meds that may affect sleep and their effects.


Rosemary Power said...

Thank you for these tips as I have been having the same problems as you. It's been recent and I haven't really addressed it yet. I will have to try them ASAP!

Masshole Mommy said...

I have major sleep issues - this sounds like a book I should read.