Thursday, August 2, 2012

"...Won't You Let Me Go Down In My Dreams?"


     Wouldn't it be great if we could all continue to sleep like the babies we once were.    I often  hear friends, family and , when I was practicing nursing, patients,  complain about not being able to get a good night's sleep.   It's seems like everyone is sleepless and not just in Seattle.  I wonder why?

    Adults require 8 to 9 hours of sleep in order to function well during the day.  Missing  sleep occasionally is nothing to be concerned about, but if one is sleepless many nights a week, it can  impact  health negatively.

    Interestingly,  anxiety, depression and  obesity can all be side effects AND causes of sleep problems.  At least a dozen studies show a link between chronic missed sleep and weight gain.  

   Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep.

        * Limit caffeine intake after noon.
        * Turn off all electronic devices, including the TV and computer,  ONE HOUR before you plan to go to sleep.  

         * Use the bedroom for sleep and sex, nothing else! 

         *  Don't eat heavy or high fat foods within several hours of bedtime. If a snack is needed, it can be a small serving of protein and a piece of fruit. (yogurt and a peach OR a few crackers and cheese.)

          *Avoid alcohol if you are having sleep issues.  A nightcap may help you fall asleep, but it only works for a few hours.  Then guess what? You are wide awake!

         *Exercise, but not late in the evening.

         * If the stress of modern life or personal problems prevents you from falling or staying asleep, consider learning some relaxation techniques.  Then practice these consistently.  For some, meditation or soothing music works wonders.  For others, prayer does the trick.

         *  If your sleeplessness lasts more than a week or two after you make these lifestyle changes, see your doctor.

         Everyone deserves a good night's sleep, every night.  If you aren't getting it, do something about it.  Your health may depend on it!

            Here's some soothing music for James Taylor fans, babies, moonlight ladies, cowboys, anyone who craves  a bit of  early '70's nostalgia and especially for anyone who needs a lullaby!! 

Take- Away for today -   Sleep tight!


  1. I've noticed, as I get older, that my sleep is interrupted. I wake up, think about things or read for a bit, then go back to sleep. As long as I don't fight it (the wakefulness) I can go back to sleep easily and wake up at my usual 7:30 AM time - I find sleep behavior so fascinating ... the brain/body need for sleep is an interesting and changing dynamic.

  2. I agree. I get up and read in a place other than my bed and that usually works. As we age, sleep is sometimes more elusive but just as necessary. For me, if I am exercising regularly, I sleep well.

  3. Mam duże kłopoty z zasypianiem, a później się budzę kilka razy w nocy. Nigdy nie byłam śpiochem, ale teraz śpię za mało. Spróbuję skorzystać z Twoich niektórych rad. Pozdrawiam.
    I have big trouble getting to sleep and then wake up several times during the night. I've never been sleepyhead, but now I sleep too little. Try to use some of your advice. Yours.


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