Monday, November 4, 2013

Sleepy Time

I am just gonna have to zoom down to Number Twenty-One on my list of Twenty-Five Paleo-ish Things:

Getting the right amount of the right kind of sleep is crucial to being healthy.  This is an on-going struggle at our house.

Sleep is right near the top of every Paleo expert's hit parade of finding your way to optimal health.  Just check out this article.  Trust me, it is only one of many.  I do keep getting the bejeebers scared right out of me when I read some of this stuff.  I srsly think I need all of my bejeebers, but in the interest of optimal health, I read this stuff a lot.  Well, not as much as Hubs, but he shares everything he reads.  (Side note, my new Kindle Paperwhite should arrive today, so I can conveniently read up a storm on one lightweight device, but more on that later.)

Oh yes, indeedy.  I believe I was whining a bit on Friday about how yucky allergy season has been treating both Hubs and me.  In spite of that, I have been sleeping like a baby.  Just not last night.

I couldn't fall asleep for anything.  Could have been the time change.  Could have been because we'd worked out six days in row and yesterday's Garage WOD showed just what a klutz I can be since I can't dump to the barbell off to bail out of a back squat.  (Come to think of it, Klutz was my name on Friday when I hit my head trying to squat with my feet together.  Talented, eh?) So I was a little achy.  And still sort of sniffing because seasonal allergies just love me.  Or maybe sleep wouldn't come because I started drinking wine at a local art festivus and continued with our my very own bottle at home.

I did get to sleep, finally, only to awaken a few times with a slight headache.  It could have been an allergy headache but I am guessing it was the wine.  It progressed from slight to pretty bad.  I hate to take stuff, but the headache had to go.  I got up and noted the time...four-fifteen in the morning....and popped two Excedrin.  Worked like a charm, so I was back to sleep in no time when the fancy new clock/light thing that Hubs got last week popped on at six o'clock, flooding the room with blue light.

I might have to kill that fancy new clock/thing.

I got up, half groggy, but happy to be headache/other ache free, leaving Hubs to bask in the blue glow for a few minutes.  I made our bullet proof coffee which took care of the groggies, so the day is going amazingly well so far.  It just leaves me to ponder why it is that sleep can be so hard to come by.  Even when there isn't a bottle of wine involved. 

Yeah, I know alcohol is not good.  It isn't on anybody's 'do list' of Paleo things.  I know it wrecks your sleep, so we usually limit ourselves to one glass per day while cooking dinner.  (Sometimes a NorCal Margarita or four get(s) made at the towncasa because we I think the weekend should be party-time.)  This is honestly the only cheat we have, but I know it isn't good.

Now on days we are well behaved, a good night's sleep can still be tough.  I wish I knew why.  We've actually done quite a bit to remedy the sleep situation around here (including getting the clock/light thing to bathe us in early morning blue light).  Here's some other stuff:

  • We have dimmers on all of our lights and stage them down between dark and bedtime.
  • We sleep in a very cool room.
  • We have this thing call f.lux on our laptops so that the screen light is more warm.
  • We mostly stick to a ten o'clock in the evening bedtime and wake up time of six o'cock in the morning.
  • We drink chamomile tea and have a small piece of dark chocolate (85% cacao) a few minutes before bedtime because having rituals helps your body know when to start staging down too.  And we really like tea and chocolate.
  • We mostly limit alcohol throughout the week.  Srsly.
  • We've eliminated all of the stray light we can and sleep in a room that is as dark as we can get it.  (The CappiDog generally stays in her bed in the corner, but she has been stumbled over a couple times since we both get up and wonder around in the pitch dark sometimes.)
  • We have a two cup of coffee limit per early morning.  But they are doozies in the caffeine department.

We've experimented with taking melatonin, but it is a hormone.  'Nuff messing that much with Mother Nature around here.  Besides, I have strange dreams when I take the stuff.  (I can conjure up strange enough dreams on my own, thank you.)  We've also tried some of the fizzy magnesium drinks.  For the sake of my easy-to-upset tummy, I will forgo those and stick to a chocolate bedtime snack.

I wish I had an answer to the sleep thing.  I sleep better than I used to and so does Hubs, but it would be nice to be among those who just fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.  Luckily, neither of us drag around all day when we haven't slept well.  It just is that whole optimal health thing...we want it.

Do you have some good ideas on how you get better sleep?  I would sure love to hear them!

Take good care, k. 

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