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6 Ways to Relax Before Bed

Take the Stress Out of Sleep


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  • Another tip for getting a good night's sleep is..... talking to your doctor. A discussion with my doctor prompted on overnight oximetry test which eventually led to a diagnosis of severe obstructive sleep apnea. I now sleep with a CPAP and my quality of life has greatly improved. Just a thought ;) - 3/5/2012 8:30:14 PM
  • I have difficulties not sleeping but getting rest. I go to bed and DO have a fan going (otherwise every creak freaks me out as I have high anxiety) and even wake up usually before my alarm (like yesterday I looked at the clock when I "woke" and it was exactly 1 minute to alarm time - this is common! Usually within 10 minutes. I have an excellent internal clock) but I'm still EXHAUSTED and feel like I've not slept. I had a sleep study done and since I do NOT have apnea they basically turned me out on my ear. I have interrupted delta sleep (old stage four, now stage three part 2) and I sleep but don't get the rejuvination and healing that normal people do. I have fibromyalgia and it is VERY common with us FMS folk (I have a theory that it's part of the cause!) and there is NOTHING I can do about it. If I couldn't fall asleep, or couldn't stay asleep, I could take meds, but nothing can make me go to the proper "level" and stay there long enough for it to take effect. - 3/5/2012 6:52:41 PM
  • The best white noise in the world is a purring cat (it's so soothing, cats will often purr when they are hurt or in distress to calm themselves). Unfortunately, I can't find a white noise machine that has that on it. When I went on my business trip last month, I stayed at a hotel that had iPod docks in the rooms. I downloaded some ocean sounds on my iPod, turned the volume down, and set it on repeat. It worked like a charm. I slept right through every night, which doesn't always happen when I'm on site. - 3/5/2012 4:55:44 PM
    These are great ideas, but having a routine is out of the question. Each week I work a different shift which stress my whole body and by the time I'm just getting use to the week, my shift changes. O well!! - 3/5/2012 1:35:45 PM
  • I have a problem with this article. First of all, the amino acid is not spelled triptophane but rather tryptophan. I'm surprised this mistake was not caught. Second, turkey does not contain more tryptophan than most poultry. Tryptophan is an amino acid, meaning it's found in protein, so yes, it's going to be found in turkey. Third, the theory that turkey causes drowsiness is an urban legend. The reason why we feel drowsy after our Thanksgiving turkey meal is probably due to (1) extreme consumption of calories and (2) consumption of carbohydrates (along with the turkey). Dear SparkPeople, please write FACT, not FICTION. - 3/5/2012 10:44:01 AM
  • SMILEY2U, maybe you should sleep on top of the covers and pile him up with extra quilts. Or try separate bedrooms... I recently switched sides of the bed with my husband so I'm not further away from the heater vent and it's made a big difference in my comfort level!

    I read somewhere that if you can't fall asleep within 15 or 20 minutes, you should make a change. So what I do when I'm having trouble falling asleep is start up my "sleepytime" playlist on my ipod and set the timer for 22 minutes. If I'm still awake when the music stops, I'll get up and try something else, but it usually works! - 3/5/2012 10:32:30 AM
  • What a great article. I've heard that as we get older, getting to sleep and staying asleep gets more difficult. I'm grateful I haven't had any major problems with sleep. I wear comfortable pj's, get into bed, get comfortable and read until I fall asleep. I keep a fan on at night and also the radio. If I've had a stressful day I take a 3 g of Melatonin, as well. I sleep soundly and wake up early without an alarm. So far, so good. - 2/17/2012 7:34:21 PM
  • I also use the Ipod but listen to either weight loss hypnotherapies or to science based podcasts from PRI The World Science show. Mind you, the science ones get listened to again when gardening as they are really interesting. Love it! Ipod is both insomnia tool and my workout tool for non DVD workouts at home/running and walking! - 2/17/2012 5:29:42 PM
    I love books on tape. They really help. I also use pod casts of old time radio. Another great way to fall asleep. Takes me back to when my grandmother would read to be at bed time. - 2/17/2012 3:45:09 PM
  • After being deployed for a year, I still wake up a couple times a night (down to 2x). I go check on the kids and walk through the house to make sure everything's ok. I relax more to know they're all safe and close to me. Then I fall back off to sleep. Exercise and keeping hydrated go a long way to helping me sleep deeply. - 2/17/2012 1:32:45 PM
  • I am a firm believer of the dorops of Lavender essential oil on the pillow. Not sure if it helps me focus on the smell and forget everything else or has genuine relaxing qualities....but it works for me. - 2/17/2012 9:17:53 AM
    I'm a very lite sleeper and heat makes me sick and unable to sleep. Unfortunately, due to a recent major health issue my husband is always cold and turns heat up to warm up, making me overheat and awakens me. Running a fan is not an opinion nor is cracking the window. If you have any suggestion, PLEASE let me know. Thank you in advance. - 2/17/2012 8:32:52 AM
  • In the listening to your body category I would add to check your hydration and warmth levels. Cold feet will keep me awake as will needing another glass or two of water.

    And in the "distracting yourself" category I would add the time-honored camping tradition of promising yourself that you will not fall asleep until you hear X sound -- an owl hoot, a coyote, a train in the distance. Somehow while you're busy listening for that particular sound the rest of the brain gets quiet enough to sleep. My other go-to technique is to find a form of counting that takes some, but not a lot of brain power. Like counting upward by threes or counting backward from 1000. - 2/17/2012 6:01:34 AM
  • MY insomnia is the type that lets me fall asleep then rudely wakes me up about 3 hours later and keeps me up for the rest of the night. Although I can't always get back to sleep sometimes using the relax techniques described helps as does writing things down. I've had this problem for 21 years (since my youngest was a baby and wouldn't sleep through the night) and although it can come and go it's often with me for months at a time. Menopause has probably increased it with the frequent night sweats and hot flushes waking me up. - 2/17/2012 2:56:07 AM

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