I wrote this post at 2:40 am.
I am often awake in the middle of the night. I have no problem falling asleep but I wake often and can’t get back to sleep.
Many times it is due to my lower back problems with sciatica which make me feel like I have electrical currents running through my legs.
Through the years I have tried many things to try and sleep properly without giving in to a prescription medication. Some have worked for a brief while and others have been of no help at all.
I have even left my job partly because of my inability to get enough sleep. I would have to get up for work by 5:00 a.m. so many days I was running on about four or five hours of sleep. That was not healthy or safe. I am now on early retirement and if I can’t sleep it is not the overwhelming feeling of desperation anymore. If I am too tired to get up in the morning I don’t have to get up.
Some of the things I have tried to aid in a proper nights sleep are listed below. In the middle of the night as we do the zombie walk we will try just about anything. Many of the suggestions people have are to help you fall asleep, which is not my problem. I just wake after about 3 hours and then cannot get back to sleep.
- Melatonin – worked for a couple months but then stopped.
- Mint water/tea recipe – worked great for quite a while and I still use this one off and on. Click here for that recipe.
- Meditations, clearing the mind – didn’t work for me at all
- Yoga – felt good and eased my back discomfort somewhat but not effective for sleep.
- Sleeping upright on the couch – worked a bit as it changed my position for my back but not all that effective.
- Eating protein before bed – this is something I had heard worked great for your kids many years ago and I used it for my boys. Not much help for me
- Aromatherapy – nope
I am sure there are many more tips and advice out there to help but I am not the type to go and buy a bunch of bottles of vitamins or sleep aids even if they are from a health food store.
The health issues that result from lack of sleep are becoming more an more evident. Besides the obvious problem of being tired there can be serious health consequences to being a zombie.
You have decreased performance and alertness. This is pretty serious because you need to drive a car or run machinery. According to webmd.com
reducing your night time sleep by just one and half hours at night reduces your daytime alertness by 32%. That is very significant.
Daytime sleepiness impairs you memory functions.
Stress increases and your quality of life decreases.
The long term consequences are much more serious. Lack of proper sleep patterns are associated with high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, depression, arthritis, chronic pain, thyroid problems, Alzheimers, Parkinsons etc.
Since retiring at the end of August I have felt much better. I can now sleep in the mornings until I no longer feel tired………. Just imagine that for a moment. I sleep until I am no longer tired…… That is life changing. It seems to me that the sleep I get after going back to bed around 4:00 a.m. is the best. I dream like crazy during that time and when I wake with my cozy quilt around me I just lay there and enjoy the feeling. I have even fallen back to sleep again at that point waking an hour later. It feels like I am getting away with something naughty and I like it.
So what are your sleep patterns? Are they affecting your health? Any tips to avoid the zombie walk?