Sleeping With The Enemy

I LOVED that movie. Didn’t you?  I had an edited VHS copy recorded off TV.  I watched it over and over in college with my roommates. You have to love Julia Roberts.

I told you in a post a few weeks ago about a Mental and Emotional Health Meeting I attended a few weeks ago.   In that meeting another redeeming message was about the importance of Sleep Hygiene.

Unlike most the things I write about, I don’t personally struggle with sleeping or getting enough of it.  I can and do sleep anywhere. It was a problem for me in high school, college. Let’s just say I missed some lectures.  There were certain classes I could always count on for a nice snooze.  Ahh!

Here I am sleeping on the floor in the terminal of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on a layover after a red eye flight.  I had just held a writhing one year old on my lap on a very turbulent overnight flight.  I hadn’t slept a wink and it was 4 a.m.
 I laid down in a completely empty terminal and woke up four hours later to find thousands of people hustling and bustling all around me.  Why no one in my party thought to wake me when things started to get busy I still don’t know.  It was pretty embarrassing but I was grateful for the sleep. (I guess I could count this as #131 on the list?)

I know a lot of people DO struggle with sleeping so that’s why I wrote this.  I know that when my sleep patterns ARE temporarily interrupted because of sick kids or worry, I am not a very nice or happy person during the day.

According to the experts at this meeting, although there are medical reasons people don’t sleep well, many people are Sleeping With The Enemy (get it, that’s the title of this post), victims of their own bad sleep habits.  They talked about how people give their teeth the proper dental hygiene, but think nothing of proper Sleep Hygiene.  The experts say it’s equally as important.

They said, people make some basic mistakes when they sleep that result in long-term poor sleep hygiene.  Here’s what the experts at The University Of Maryland Sleep Disorders Center advise.

  • Use comfortable bedding.  This is obvious, but if you’re not sleeping well consider a new bed? Or new pillow or sheets?  You spend A LOT of time in your bed.  It should be a really comfortable place to be. It’s probably worth the money.
  • Only use your bed for sleeping (and one other thing *wink*).  Don’t watch TV or read in bed. They advise you to get out of bed if you can’t sleep or wake up during the night.  Go to another room and do something quiet or boring (No housework, cleaning or TV, it’s too stimulating). Then try going back to bed after 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Use some relaxation techniques before bed.  I found this to be extremely effective during my preparations for a Hypnobirth (another story for another time).  My husband and I practiced audio relaxation exercises before bed.  Every night without exception we were both out before the track ended.  I’ve never heard the end of that CD.
  • Don’t take your worries to bed If anyone has the answer as to how NOT to worry while in bed, please share it with me.  When I do lose sleep, it’s because I am worried about some conflict in my life.
  • Establish a bedtime preparation ritual. Warm bath, reading in another room, etc.

I hope you’ve found this post to be helpful.  Besides the experts at the meeting I attended,here’s my source if you want more info about sleeping better.  I’m no expert on this, but sometimes a little new information, even if it’s kind of obvious, can make a difference in the way we go about solving a problem.   I HATE not being able to sleep.  It makes me grouchy.

Anyone have a pillow or blanket or special sleep tip you swear by?  Feel free to share…

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2 Responses to Sleeping With The Enemy

  1. Amber says:

    I LOVE my Select Comfort pillow i bought at costco. It’s like a tempropedic(?) but not as pricey. It has a weird contour shape, and took me about a week to get used to it, but now i cant live w/out. And i LOVE the mattress we bought there buy the same brand. For someone with back problems like me these have greatly improved my quailty of life!!! (and yes, i am a little dramatic) :)

  2. Christy says:

    I had the worst night sleep last night! I need to be better about not watching TV or reading in bed. The only thing I really do to sleep better is keep it cool in our room. I like to cuddle with my blanket.