Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sleep Glorious Sleep

While chatting with various gal pals in various venues, the topic of sleep, or lack of sleep, frequently popped up with everyone's opinion being voiced as to remedies attempted and multiple failures experienced.

It became most obvious to me while enjoying one of my favorite bloggers laments on her sleep issues that I had been hearing these stories from the young and the not so young, but always of female gender. Yeah yeah, Oprah mentions it, The View mentions it, but these friends all had very different lives, familial situations, kids-no kids, married-single, stay at home-working, the single common denominator was that they all had the same genitalia, as if there is now a scientific theory that 1 vagina =14.267453 less hours of sleep per week.

So, after a pretty good rest last evening, (went to sleep at 1:30, got up at 7:00 to let outside pee filled pooch, back for nap from 7:30 to 7:45, then up again for quick gal pal chat, then back under the covers for blissful 40 winks between 8:15 and 8:22), I decided to post my somewhat successful remedy prescription that I had sent to favorite blogger (see above and left) and discussed with another sleep crazed mother of six.

Here is partial prescrip- I am not a Doctor I only play one when asked to:

"Having suffered for years I have tried everything you have and more. I have purchased at least 20 different pillows, tried dozens of linen choices, sound machines, gave up all alcohol after seven. uh, pm, except for those nights when I don't. I have slept on every bed in the house (three) every couch, (also three). Slept with loud fans, quiet fans, no fans, cold rooms, hot rooms. Tried warm oatmeal, warm milk. Dogs in the bed, off the bed. Nightgowns, t- shirts, pjs-men's and women's and naked. Nudity was for only one night because I kept waking terrified of having to escape the house because of burglars, fire, floods etc and being caught via headlights in front yard a la nude. Those nightmares then kept me awake another week or so.

I pointed my bed north a la fung shui, and actually that helped, for several months. Also tried taking the lazy way and just sleeping upside down pointing north, until I woke up disoriented one morning, fell out of the bed and injured the dog when I landed on him.

This has gone on for years but I am finally having some success, having given up all hope of a permanent 8 hours.

There are now a few rules I attempt to adhere to, that might also help you.

No tv on in the bedroom, once I hit the bed. NO TV! Nothing good on anyway and if there is, TIVO, or DDR or whatever it is other people use. I use reruns.
Great linens- and I cannot stress this enough. Really good, really soft linens. Only cotton or flannel, but no sateens, Multiple light weight covers that I can kick back or pull up as needed. Try 2 top sheets, then a lightweight blanket, then an old soft matelasse. I am currently using vintage tablecloth as my top cover.
I retire much earlier than I used to, at least by 11. That means I go upstairs but not necessarily to bed. I read every night in a comfy chair in my room using only a small reading light, for at least 1 hour before bed or until I lose my place more than once. I check out over 40 books at a time from the library, and am now being considered for some award I think?

This has yielded me at least 5 hours of sleep a few nights a week and frequently the boring novel has me hovering in the vicinity of 8.

I still frequently find myself in the studio at 3 am but that is because of creative energy and you never suppress that.

Barring clicking beetles, snoring from others, loud neighbors etc, I am wishing you sleep, blissful sleep. Unfortunately as we women, ahem, age...these cycles of sleeplessness increase. The BiG "M" approaches. I had mine instantly via surgery. I did not sleep for all of 1996."

(Favorite blogger is now channeling Goldilocks by doing the bed hop routine.)

It's 11:11 time for a nap.

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