Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LillySue's Health Tip Tueday: Sleep!

Welcome to LillySue's
***Health Tip Tuesday!***
This weeks topic is Sleep.
It is great when you are getting enough and bad when you don't. There is nothing like waking up refreshed after a really good night of restful sleep. What makes for a good night? Well, to start off, you have to GET to sleep. A lot of people do great once the are sleeping, but have a heck of a time getting to that point. They say, having a relaxing routine before bed can help. A cup of herbal tea or warm milk can be good. Reading works for many. I like to have a good snuggle and talk for a while. This, of course, means having a receptive partner!!

If your partner is furry and purring, it really seems to help!

Sometimes having someone to sleep with is wonderful and comforting... It is easy to snuggle up together and drop right off.....

Other times, not so much!!
Wiggly and giggly is not very conducive to sleep. Sleeping with someone who wakes you a lot can make you feel exhausted and irratible. There is NO law that says once you are married, you have to sleep with or in the same room with that person for the rest of your life. Snuggle time, etc...(and you know what I mean by etc....) can still be done in bed together, but...When it is time to sleep, maybe your health would be best served by sleeping in another room. OR maybe sleeping in another room 50% of the time, so you know you are getting SOME good nights of sleep.

Sometimes we have a hard time getting comfortable.

We toss and turn, trying to find the perfect position. I had a really tough time staying asleep thru the early morning hours before I got a memory foam mattress. I would wake with a bad lower back ache at about 5am. This went on for years. I just had no clue as to what would help. I would be fine all day and just have trouble after being in bed all night. After getting the memory foam topper, I noticed a difference pretty quickly and within three weeks the problem was totally solved and has been to this day!! I hate to sleep away from home for more than three nights because if I am not on memory foam, the early morning pain returns. A good mattress with memory foam can be a VERY GOOD investment if you are having trouble sleeping due to minor - severe aches and pains. You can find just the memory foam toppers to put on your own mattress at pretty decent prices now. This is what my folks did and it has been great for them.

A good nights sleep helps your immune system keep up to speed also. If you have teens, they need a lot more sleep at this point in their development. My Son is going on 15 and has grown 5 inches in the past year. He has been needing lots more sleep. It is just like how a newborn has to sleep so much....they are going thru an accelerated growth phase and do most if it while sleeping. One of my Son's good buddies (3rd boy on the right in above pic) had such a bad case of eczema during his elementary and early middle school years that he woke often during the night to scratch. He went for years without getting a proper nights sleep. His growth was very stunted for some years. He was dinky!! As he started to grow out of the eczema, his skin healed and he started to sleep well. Within two years, he caught up with his class mates in height. Jesse is now my height....5'7". He likes to go nose to nose or back to back with me in anticipation of the day he is actually taller than me. I told him, I was going to stop feeding him so he would not grow anymore!! My brother is 6'3'' so Jesse still has a lot more growing to do yet. It is hard to keep a kid in shoes and pants when they are growing so fast!! He is a good sleeper and really needs the summer break to have the chance for lots of extra sleep. I am anticipating he will grow another couple of inches before it turns cold and needs new pants again! I feel sorry for those kids who have year round school and don't get to have the summer months to sleep in and grow!
Here is some good info:
Adapted from How to Feel Fabulous Today! by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 2001).

People cannot long survive without air, water, and sleep.–Thomas Szasz, M.D.

Are you getting enough sleep? If not, you are not alone: researchers have found that most of us are lacking an adequate amount of sleep. The jangling pace of modern life seems to be wreaking havoc on our sleep patterns, and dragging around after not enough sleep is not only no fun, it can also be a danger when we drive or do our jobs.

Here are twelve secrets for getting more good-quality, restful sleep. For instance, do you know what the ideal room-temperature is for sleeping? Or what the perfect nightcap is? Find out, so the Sandman can pay a visit to your bedroom tonight!

1. Create an optimum sleep environment. This includes a mattress that offers ideal support and comfort; a dark room (see below); steady, soothing, low sounds like a whirring fan; and a room temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is optimal for sleep.

2. Don’t miss sleep to get extra work done. Most people shove sleep aside in favor of working more hours with the belief that they’re maximizing efficiency, but in fact the opposite is true. You will be more creative, more expressive, and so much more efficient when your brain is alert and oxygenated.

3. Relax before bedtime. Find yourself too geared up to fall asleep at bedtime? Create a ritual for quality sleep. A cup of hot chamomile or catnip tea works wonders. Hot milk with a dash of nutmeg or a cup of homemade, low-sugar hot cocoa are also helpful for many people. You may want to take a soothing bath and soak in aromatherapeutic bubbles scented with lavender, Roman chamomile, or neroli essential oil.

4. Eat several small meals throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar level. If you’re hungry and hypoglycemic when it’s time for bed, you will have trouble falling and staying asleep.
5. Exercise vigorously in the morning. By evening you’ll be naturally tired. Vigorous exercise right before bedtime can be too stimulating for many people.

6. Avoid hot, spicy foods at dinner, as well as caffeine or alcohol.

7. Wear comfortable, preferably cotton, clothing to bed–or sleep au natural

8. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible to enhance melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone produced by the pineal gland that brings on drowsiness and sleep. Even small amounts of light entering your bedroom can interrupt its production, so pull the shades and put the nightlight in the bathroom. If you must, wear a sleep mask.

9. Go to bed by 10 P.M. Generally, the more sleep you receive before midnight, the better you’ll feel in the morning. (The Centre for Integrated Healing says, “From a complementary medicine perspective, an hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep after midnight, because sleep before midnight optimizes melatonin production.”)

10. Don’t work or discuss work in the bedroom. It’s too distracting.

11. Give yourself a nice foot or hand massage prior to sleep. Even better, offer to give your significant other a brief massage if they’ll return the favor.

12. Once in bed, lie on your back, close you eyes, place your arms by your sides, and take long, deep, easy breaths through the mouth. Let your mind focus only on your breathing. This exercise almost always lures the author into a deep, sound sleep.
Here are some other informative Health/Sleep links to check out:
This last one was VERY interesting, make sure you check it out!!
Thank you for stopping by for
LillySue's Health Tip Tuesday!


C Maisy said...

hey girl~
i never, and i mean never, get enough sleep. i always feel tired. i don't even remember what it means to feel refreshed.
i love all the info you provided in this post. where do you find the time. i sure wish i would have met your daughter. that would have been so fun. i think cats are good listeners...maybe you could try there.
have a great night!!

Lee Laurie said...

You are so right about how important it is to get enough sleep. I know that I don't get enough. I'm trying to get better about that.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the tips! Sleeping is actually my favorite pasttime. hehehe
I am lucky that for the past 10 years I have no trouble sleeping (unless I'm sick) but the tips were great!! (I gave up a stressful career and wrangling dogs all day makes you sleep good! lol)
Hugs, Lisa

Holly said...

Good morning, Lilysue! ♥

Good sleep is so important to me! some women just go around tired but if I go more than 2 nights without good sleep, I become depressed! It makes travel difficult and let's just say that my after baby experiences were NOT fun!

When I hit my 40s, I would become manic in the Spring and simply couldn't sleep with all the extra light! That's when I started researching...

Keeping my sleeping area DARK really helps me sleep better but it also helps regulate my menstrual cycle. If I have light coming in my room, I will bleed heavier the next month.

Also, after 27 years of marriage, I know of a couple who now have separate rooms and I (I mean she) feels like a new woman! It was not an easy decision to make but between hubs snoring and restless legs, it wasn't too hard.

Having raised 3 teen boys already, I can also testify to the rewards of sleep for their hormone levels/control. I think a lot of teen boys are mean and grouchy simply because of poor nutrition and lack of sleep!

Okay- nuff said! ☺ Have a great day! Can't wait to see your Farm chicks pics!

Chiki Cottage said...

I like this post. Sleeping is a big problem for me. For some reason I can never go to sleep early enough and I always wake up at 0430 for work. I am also really restless. My son sleeps in his bed that was pulled up next to my bed. Because Im scared he is going to have another siezure I wake up everytime I hear him move.
I cant wait to really have a good night of sleep oneday.....

Chiki Cottage said...

I will try out some of your tips by the way. I hope they can help...thanks so much:)

graciegirl said...

I look forward to your Tuesday post.
Good tips on better ways to sleep...going through the for-ground of meno pause, sleep is some thing I am not getting much of. Maybe I need to let one of my furry babies to snooz with me, and kick my beloved hubby out..hehe.
Thanx Lillysue