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Day 4 Better Sleep Challenge

Saturday, June 16, 2012

SORRY, this is a bit longer than I planned.

Day 4
Better Sleep Challenge was a bit more difficult. Woke up at 0630am, and I had 3 cups of morning coffee spaced out over several hours. I usually only drink 2, so the third cup was more like a little extra treat. They say caffeine only lasts 4-6 hours. I say bully to that. By nightfall, 6pm or so, DH and I made a play with Paco vlog, which once I start something, if at all possible, I don't quit until I see it through to completion. Type A personality I am! SO, uploading the vlog to SPark took forever, and it took 2 tries, by then it was 10pm. Still a reasonable hour to go to bed. But then My sister calls and she says : Are you still awake??? Anytime she is upset, I support her in any of her crises and talk on the phone with her as long as she needs to talk, and she does the same for me. Turns out this time it was me who was so up in the air, and bouncing off the walls and ceiling and having nearly an anxiety attack and talking a blue streak. So dear sis Pat talked to me until 1140pm, all the while her telling me over and over to breathe, and counting breaths, it took that long for me to wind down. I talked a blue streak, I told her a few of my life experiences in story form, she told me I needed to write and publish my stories because they were, er, very exciting, I felt and talked like someone had slipped me a drug or something in my water because I was so speedy and amped up, like maybe I had drank 5 or 6 Monster Energy drinks all at once and it got me in this state of mind talking furiously fast. WHEW!! I was back down to earth, finally at near midnight.

Then I hurried and got ready for bed but was still somewhat anxious so I watched the weather station for about 15 minutes, then listened to a few on my favorite songs on iPod, then turned everything off and turned over and started doing deep breathing and before I knew it I was asleep. I don't remember doing more than 3 or 4 breaths.



I learned that caffeine effects seems to last a lot longer in me, and that I am more relaxed and not anxious if I only have 2 cups in the morning. And if I want to have a treat, I will find a more healthful snack or a drink like sugar free unsweetened Ruby Red Grapefruit juice (love it) to satisfy my need for that little extra treat. That's healthy and won't wire me up for speed and sound and it will save a few talks with sister having to bring me back down to a normal pace of speech and calmer body feelings.
I learned I need to stop what I am doing and take deep breaths during the day when I am doing a labor intensive task, like last nights playing with NEW movie computer software (I should have used my old software program) and first time vlogs. It was my first vlog. In the end the vlog didn't go as planned and when I went to bed I kept thinking the vlog made my sweet Paco seem vicious. I had to try to turn off my thoughts and think in color blue, like I was in a blue room where everything was the same color blue. It was the only way I felt able to turn off my speedy little thoughts and just go to sleep. Intense, I know.
I did sleep til 0630am without waking, and did wake up refreshed. BUT, I am thinking that sleep is improving over the last few days, BUT, I need to work on daytime chores and hobbies in a way that it is relaxing rather than an obsessed task. Again, Type A personality. I have been that way my whole life, but now that I am older, I really need to change into a more relaxed person. Then winding down won't have to be such a harsh thing to do. SO, I think with the Better Sleep Challenge, I have learned more about myself than just getting a better night's sleep.

Things are good today, I feel good and ready to face my day of fun and visit friends and be and feel relaxed and easy going, rather than frantic and stressed and anxious. I realized this morning while writing this blog, that throughout the day, we make choices of what and how we do things. Yesterday, I made bad choices and it left me quite a bit off kilter.

Tonight will be better. Because I want and NEED better sleep.....

Thank you to all my Spark Friends for reading my blogs and giving of themselves selflessly and offering me support and encouragement and sharing their experiences with my sleep challenges. I do appreciate ALL of my SparkFriends and their wisdom. It is hard to thank every friend individually, so I thank you all here in my blog.

I do want to add a suggestion by a SparkFriend, she uses amber glasses that last hour or so before bed. I am going to try this too.

Life is still good . . .
Phyllis emoticon

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ADIOSALL 6/17/2012 4:45PM

    It's good to see the consequences of our choices so that tomorrow we can make better choices. You're learning a lot. Thanks for sharing as I am learning, too!

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BLESSED2BEME 6/16/2012 6:03PM

    Everyday you are learning more and more!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 6/16/2012 3:23PM

    Many people forget that caffeine is a very powerful and addictive drug. It affects nearly every part of our body in dramatic ways, and while the energy effects last only a few hours, the physical changes it causes lasts for several days. It's even possible to have a heart attack or stroke from too much of it at once. Many of it's effects are not noticed by the person who is going through it. Stopping it cold causes severe withdrawl symptoms, nearly the same as an alcoholic or drug addict going through withdrawls. Because it is not regulated like alcohol or medications, it's easy to forget how dangerous it can be. It wasn't until I stopped drinking caffeine most of the day that I realized how much affect it had on me and my life. Have you considered weaning off to decaf? You can still have some coffee without all the effects of the caffeine.

As for the type A personality, if you have a long project, especially one that's proving difficult, schedule a break after a half hour or so. Completely walk away and think about something totally different. We can get so caught up in something that we lose sight of what's going on right in front of us. Be exacting in that break - try to take the perfect break by setting a timer and not allowing yourself to even think or look at it for 15 minutes or so. When you go back your head will be clearer and you can start again. Also learning breathing techniques to calm your mind and body will help when you get stressed or start obsessing over something. Perhaps trying something like yoga or meditaiton will help you learn to quiet your thoughts and relax. Perhaps stopping and asking yourself why it's so important to do something right this minute as fast as you can and possibly stress yourself out will help you slow down and not stress out over every project. I've done that so many times, just to realize half the time I was like a car that's crashed against a tree with it's wheels continuously spinning and speeding up - I was wasting so much energy and going nowhere! I had to learn to focus on one task, figure out what needs to get done, then do it one step at a time.

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