Sunday, March 9

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Sleep

Last night I went to bed around midnight. When I got up this morning and stumbled around to find my Tylenol Arthritis and realized I wasn't going to be able to fall back asleep I looked at my clock: 4:30. Great. So I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to my computer. Guess what! It's actually 5:30! Did I misread the time? must be that time of the year again! So...did I sleep for 4 hours or 5?

And why do we have to keep switching back and forth anyway? Isn't the whole idea outdated now? I really wish we could stay on one time or the other. It always takes a few days to adjust whether we're gaining or losing an hour of sleep. We're all losing needed sleep for one reason or another.

Catching up to DST means conquering sleep deprivation before it starts, which is a common problem, says Andrew D. Krystal, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Research Laboratory and Insomnia Program at Duke University Medical Center. But it's difficult because most Americans have hectic schedules. ...

Mouse says, yeah, we spend too much time multi-tasking!

"Mother Nature didn't intend for us to have Edison's lightbulb and stay up late at night and cheat ourselves out of a normal sleep-wake schedule," says Dr. Smolensky. The body's natural clock, or circadian rhythm, is regulated by daylight and darkness. Humans are diurnal — morning sunlight triggers our bodies to release chemicals that let us know it's time to wake up; when it's dark outside our instinct is to sleep. Yet man-made light keeps people up working late and socializing, which cuts into the time we need to rest and restore our bodies.

Once upon a time, when I was younger and suffered bouts of insomnia I thought the worst that was happening was that I was getting really tired and really irritable. But now research shows if you don't get your eight hours your life span can be shortened. Why? You can get fat from not enough sleep; your blood pressure goes up; your body doesn't have the time it needs to heal itself.

This comes a little too late to be helpful for me this year but next year, to cope with DST, I could:

* On Friday night, try going to bed a half hour earlier; on Saturday night, go to bed a full hour earlier.
* Don't drink alcohol before you go to sleep — it will actually disturb your sleep.
* Avoid late-night meals.
* Don't watch TV in bed.
* And for better sleep year-round, maintain a consistent sleep-wake time throughout the week, and give yourself enough time in bed to feel refreshed when you wake.

Kosmo says, sounds like good advice to me! I like to sleep around the clock, this way I always get enough sleep!

Of course, there's all the usual recommendations for getting a good night's rest everynight:

don't drink coffee to help you stay awake during the day (yeah, like that's going to happen)
don't nap
same bedtime
don't watch TV or read in bed
don't eat a meal after 8
don't drink at night

Well...but if I don't have coffee to help me stay awake in the afternoon, it's inevitable I will nap!

Here are more tips from the Every Day newsletter I like to read:

Getting a Good Night's Sleep
A good night's sleep is key to feeling your best, yet many people find it difficult to get the rest they need.

We all look forward to a good night's sleep. Getting enough good-quality sleep is vital for good health. Sleep patterns change as we age, but disturbed sleep and waking up tired every day are not part of normal aging. In fact, troubled sleep may be a sign of emotional or physical disorders and something you should talk about with a doctor or sleep specialist. Here are some suggestions to try first:

* Follow a regular schedule — go to sleep and get up at the same time. Try not to nap too much during the day — you might be less sleepy at night.

But I run the night shift! I have to nap all day!

* Try to exercise at regular times each day, at least 2 hours prior to bedtime.
* Try to get some natural light in the afternoon each day.
* Be careful about what you eat. Don't drink beverages with caffeine late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake. Also, if you like a snack before bed, a warm beverage and a few crackers may help you feel drowsy.
* Don't drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes to help you sleep. Even small amounts of alcohol can make it harder to stay asleep. Smoking is dangerous for many reasons including the hazard of falling asleep with a lit cigarette (nobody thinks they'll do it, but it happens). The nicotine in cigarettes is also a stimulant.
* Create a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Make sure there are locks on all doors and smoke alarms on each floor. A lamp that's easy to turn on and a phone by your bed may be helpful. The room should be dark, well ventilated, and as quiet as possible.

Cubby: Comfortable? Hmmm...wonder if that's why I'm still awake?

* Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body that it's time to wind down. Some people watch television, read a book, or soak in a warm bath.
* Use your bedroom only for sleeping. After turning off the light, give yourself about 15 minutes to fall asleep. If you are still awake and not drowsy, get out of bed. When you get sleepy, go back to bed.
* Try not to worry about your sleep. Some people find that playing mental games is helpful. For example, pretend that it's five minutes before you have to get up and you're just trying to get a few extra winks.

If you are so tired during the day that you cannot function normally and if this lasts for more than two to three weeks, you should see your family doctor or a sleep disorders specialist.

Want more cat blogging? Try these:

Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Pet's Garden Blog
Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos is being hosted by Kashim and Othello and the optional theme is LOL Cats
Carnival of the Cats is being hosted by Artsy Catsy

Blogging Cat Noos

Happy Eastern Daylight Savings Time, everyone, hope you all are getting enough sleep!

1 comment:

Astrid, Kashim & Othello said...

Hi Cassie and kitty cats,
did you change somefing with your RSS Feed of your blog. Momma says she can't find it anymore and your blog does not work in our feedreader anymore. :(
we don't wanna miss reading yours bloggie :((

purrrrs, Kashim & Othello

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