Getting Enough Sleep? I Wish I Was
But, I think I'm getting closer to actually resting well...ish.
One of the keys to living a healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, I just can't seem to get more than five hours or so per night. Well, at least consistently.
I haven't slept consistently well since 1998 unless you include that month and a half in 2020 when I lived in a hotel during the height of the COVID pandemic.
Sure, there are times when I can actually get more than seven hours in a night. But it's usually on the weekend when I don't have to work. Then, I wind up waking up at 10:30 am or so.
At which point, I'm upset that I wasted my entire morning. But, the body has a way of putting you down whether you want to or not.
As I am on a new health kick for 2021, I've decided to put more effort into trying to get some shut-eye. Between having a house full of animals and teenagers half of the time, it's far more difficult than you might imagine.
Probably one of the most effective things to help me get enough sleep at night is the Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea. Not only do I like the overall taste, but it does an amazing job at keeping me asleep throughout the night.
One of the issues I have with it, though, is that I usually forget to drink the tea until well after 9 pm. At which point, I wake up at 6 am, my normal time to get up, all kinds of groggy.
I'll tell you what, though, don't try to drink two tea bags worth of Sleepytime. I did that once in LA and woke up at around noon.
I was out for more than 10 hours! And I felt like I had a hangover from some party I don't remember going to.
Nightly Walks to Relax the Mind
I've been taking to going on nightly walks when the weather isn't dropping four inches of snow on me. Even then, some snowy nights are calm enough to really enjoy the weather.
I prefer to walk to wind down as opposed to exercising at night. This is because going full-out with exercises usually winds me up pretty tight. This makes it more difficult for me to relax when my head hits the pillow.
Walks, on the other hand, give me a chance to enjoy the outside and clear my mind of trivial things that usually keep me up at night.
Reading a Book
On nights that I can't take a stroll, I've found curling up in bed with a book and my Sleepytime tea is quite beneficial. In fact, I found that even sleeping on my brick of a bed is easier after relaxing with a good read.
Though, trying to get really comfortable is a bit of a chore. The mattress is incredibly hard, and the topper I have really doesn't seem to do much good for making it easier to snuggle up with my blanket.
This isn't to mention how I often have to fend myself off from the cats who think it's great that I'm laying down with a book. I would just shut the door, but then I feel bad when little paws come out underneath followed by sorrowful meows.
Saving for a New Bed
When I say that my bed is like sleeping on a brick, I'm not exaggerating. It's supposed to be made of memory foam. You know, that nice cushy stuff that helps you get enough sleep at night?
Yeah, my bed remembered to be a slab of concrete.
At any rate, I am currently saving up for a new mattress. Back in the day, I could easily sleep on the floor with a thin blanket and using my shoe as a pillow. But that was 20 years ago. I can't do that anymore.
Getting Away from the Computer Late at Night
One of the more difficult things for me to do is pull myself away from the computer. I work from home and thoroughly enjoy gaming on the PC. So, I probably spend about 16 hours per day in front of my monitor.
On nights that I can get away from the technology, I tend to relax a lot quicker. This is one of the biggest reasons why I started reading in bed before actually going to sleep.
Unfortunately, being a freelance writer and editor, I need to be available for my clients. And although they usually respect time differences, not everyone I talk to is on Mountain Time in Denver.
Curb the Nightly Snacking
I've lost 80 pounds so far. And I've noticed that if I curb the late-night snacks, I can relax a lot better overall. Also, I am less plagued with heartburn, which usually keeps me up a couple of times per week.
Lately, I've been trying to reduce my snacks by using flavored water or perhaps snacking on fruits and nuts. And so far, it's been quite helpful.
But all of this kind of takes a backseat to the bed that feels like sleeping on the deck of a ship from the 1600s.
Wish Me Luck
I'm still trying to find my fit for getting enough sleep. I've been tired for more than 20 years and would love to finally get into a nice groove.
Maybe I'll just rent a hotel room for a month, just so I can catch up.