Cannot Sleep: Insomnia in Mid-life
This morning (or night depending upon how you look at it ) makes probably the 10th night I have awakened before 3a.m. It has gotten to the point that I just get up. I no longer count sheep, try to read or try to go back to sleep. I get up, call people on the other side of the world, drink a glass of water, and work. Because otherwise 4 hours could pass while I am distressed and focused on the fact that I am NOT sleeping when I think I should.
I used to brag that I only needed 5 hours sleep.But as I age, I find that nothing makes me feel as good as a good night’s rest. Now with interrupted sleep, I have the added concern that if my body does not have enough time to restore itself, I will accelerate the aging process at the cellular level. To make matters worse, WebMd confirms,” the degree to which [… ones sleep] deteriorates or improves over time tends to mirror their overall health.
Tips, Cures or Routines
1. Avoid stimulants like alcohol, nicotine or caffeine before bed.
2. Eat before 7 pm to avoid heartburn.
3. Reduce liquids before bed.
4. Make your bedroom an electronic free area and as dark as possible.
5. Exercise regularly earlier in the day to tire yourself out.
6. Try to go to bed at the same time.
But here’s what may come as a surprise. According to the New York Times, my inability to sleep may have something to do with race. This article reported that at the June annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, “in one of two studies on the topic presented there, white participants from the Chicago area were found to get an average of 7.4 hours of sleep per night; Hispanics and Asians averaged 6.9 hours and blacks 6.8 hours.”
That claim is enough to put me back to sleep. What I will do is try to get more sunshine in the late afternoon and early evening. Getting out late is supposed to help push the internal clock back. And if all else fails, I just may have to look into natural sleep aids such as valerian. Except that sleep aids are only supposed to increase the time you sleep by 11 minutes. Take the sleep test here for these weird supposed facts. By the way it is 2:20 am.
Is a lack of sleep or insomnia something you have dealt with and if so, what tips can you share?