Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sleep Well

I may not be an expert on the subject of sleep, but I do have a thing or two to say about it. One, I sleep too much, but I think it's better than being an insomniac. I work in a hospital at night, so I know that there are a lot of people out there who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. I kow that there are a lot of people who rely on taking pills to get them to sleep. That includes not only the patients that I work with, but my co-workers. Does it not seem like taking a pill to knock you out is not really the healthiest idea? Taking sleeping pills can help people sleep for a while, but then they rely on those things. Let's say that someone gets admitted into the hospital. They go to their temporary room, lay in their temporary bed and toss and turn for an hour or two. They are in an unfamiliar place, they can't sleep next to someone who is snoring or moaning in their sleep. They ask for a sleeping pill. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to ask for a sleeping pill when it gets to that point. All I want to point out is that there are alternative methods to put oneself to sleep. There are many people who work at night and can't sleep during the day. The reason is because when they work at night their circadian rhythm is being messed with. For some reason I haven't had that problem. I consider myself lucky. For people who can't sleep during the day I have a couple things to suggest. Trick your mind into thinking its night. Splurge, buy blackout curtains, make your bedroom look like it does at night. Sleep in a quiet and disruptive environment if able. Try not to pop the pill. As for night sleepers who can't fall asleep or wake up in the wee hours of the morning, try excercising before bed, then take a hot bath with chamomile. Do not drink coffee or caffeinated tea. Do not watch Tv. I see too many patients telling me that the only way for them to fall asleep is by watching Tv. I always shake my head. What a bad bad habit to get into. Turn off the computer at least an hour and a half before bed. The computer is another factor that keeps people awake. Another thing that makes falling asleep easier is stretching. Do some Yoga poses, legs-up-the-wall pose is often recommended to help people get to sleep as well as supported seated forward bend. Meditation is another good way to fall asleep. Why do people fall asleep during savasana in Yoga class? Because it is so relaxing! It's meditation. I'm not saying that we should be falling asleep during meditation, but it can be used as a tool to fall asleep. Count your breath, use a mantra. Even counting sheep is also a meditation! So, if you're one of those insomniacs, why not give at least one of these points a shot. I did not invent these ideas, so I am not taking credit. These alternative methods have appeared in Yoga magazines countless times, so I want to spread the word. Hopefully it helps.

1 comment:

  1. You know I have no sleep problems...well 1. I am lucky I sleep 6 hours and that is all I need. When I exert myself on Wednesday night running on the track. I do not sleep well that night. I usually sleep 4 hours or less. Been that way for a while. I exert myself hard on Wednesdays and will continue to do so. Other than that I typically have a lot of energy. Not always on Thursdays though. We don't watch t.v., and don't mess with the computer too much. I am on vacation now, and catching up with some blogs. Did your two, now I go to Olga's. I may save the rest for tomorrow though. :)-- After Olga's of course. Have a good night. :)