elainedispo

Sleepy Sunday: Sleep Solutions

In ♥ & Soul, Community, De-Stress Saturday, Health, Higher Ed, Home Sweet Home, Pro-DiSPO, Public Interest, Relationships, Sleepy Sunday, Technology, Weekly Wonders, What's Hot, Workin' Woman, Yours Truly on 05/31/2015 at 06:00

This last day of May ~ the month of MARY ~ marks my last (rest) day, week and month before the summer when I amp up my A-game to A+ completion for my dissertation. In June ~ very, very soon ~ I’ll …

  • Wrap up my data collection
  • Run my statistics
  • Analyze my results

Almost #NumberCrunchTime!

Breakthrough news:

Due to my strong efforts in increasing my sample size for my doctoral survey this past week alone, I had more participants everyday than I had in previous months since I started my research methods! As of yesterday, I’ve (finally) reached my minimum target amount! Of course, I’ll still keep *shooting* for more…

For the rest of this year, I’ll devote almost every waking moment outside of my Church, teaching and photography to finish my paper and prepare my dissertation defense to become DOCTOR. As my bud Edwin and I established the other day

I don’t just want  to do it at this point. I have toneed to get her done. It is imperative.

Bearing all of the above in mind, a good night’s sleep is essential. Following are:

  • Problems that lead to lack of sleep
  • Guidelines from various sources that may be worth a shot
  • Which ones of those tips worked for yours truly?
Sleeping Beauty

Throwback: Baby ASIA sleeping with her 1st toy

Before you dive into this, here’s my disclaimer:

With a wealth of health info, there’s long-winded content below! #DISPObustAFlow

INSOMNIA ISSUES

As I write this, a Sleep Number commercial just came on, reminding me that comfort is key to getting those much needed z’s.

In my speech classes, I teach about how listening barriers (i.e., physical and psychological noise) prevent us as audience members from effectively paying attention to presentations ~ a similar analogy applies to sleepers.

  • Other people/pets at home or noisy neighbors contribute to non-friendly sleeping environments
  • Stress induces mind alertness that also deprive both the body and spirit from rest.

REM RESOLUTIONS

Rapid Eye Movement sleep is what we want to achieve for deep sleep. In order to achieve a more rested feeling upon waking up and welcoming the day, it may be a matter of adjusting our lifestyles. Here are ways to manage our time from the moment we wake up to when we hit the sack…

Begin your day with a “B”!

Breakfast

Yes, this is the most important meal of the day for good reason, and (2)my mom the Belated Birthday Girl, knows best because she:

  • Always eats a feast first thing in the morning
  • Is in incredible shape
  • Sleeps like a baby!
“C” Sleeping Tips Benefits Which Worked for Me
Cardio (4)First-thing-to-ring-in-the-morning sweat sessions bring blood pressure down to seize the day for better sleep(5)TIU-approved! I observed that my better nights’ sleep took place after a knockout workout, such as the body pump, body jam and step aerobics classes that I took at my hometown and school gym during graduate school
Cherries (4)The juice contains melatonin, a chemical that induces sleepiness Now that they’re in season, and my parents recently picked a serious bunch in California (during my mom’s birthday vacay and paternal grandmother’s anniversary commemoration), so I’m stocked up on pasalubong (gifts)
Caffeine (4)As long as it’s consumed at least a couple of hours after waking (so you’re not too wired at the beginning) and done drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages by 2PM due to the 8-10 hour aftermath energy potential I learned from experience to cut off my coffee intake before 5PM (because I’ve always had trouble sleeping when I’d keep drinking it past then) ~ now I ought to shut down a couple of hours prior to my usual time
Consume Healthy Fats (4)Omega-3 fatty acids can connect to substantial sleep
C-iesta (4)Mid-day nap to increase alertness to wrap up the day; NASA research revealed that military pilots’ power naps increased their levels of alertness Power naps have given me more of a punch and pow to plow wow through the rest of my day
Carb Load (4)The amino acid tryptophan helps lead to drowsiness Yes, please, bring it on! I’ve always advocated carbohydrates, like in pasta, as a runner whenever I’d get ready for race day, but it certainly makes sense that they’ve contributed to that well-rested feeling! The Ellen DeGeneres Show also suggested carbs, such as in bread, to help you sleep
Cut out Alcohol way before bedtime (4)Alcohol interferes with circadian rhythms, according the University of Missouri studies, and takes an hour minimum for the body to metabolize it(5)DON’T drink on an empty stomach, and drink water between cocktails to stay hydrated, + try wine spritzers (= parts wine & soda) for ½ the calories!
Scents (4)Lavender decreases inflammation, soothes aches and pains(5)reduces blood pressure and leads to deep sleep My fave relaxing fragrances: lavender, jasmine, eucalyptus and mint …·         I’ve always adored the calming effects of lavender, which I’ve already used from shower gels, bubble bath and my Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy lotion (Lavender Vanilla for Sleep)!·         Another from my B&BW collection is from jasmine, from Midnight-Blooming Jasmine moisturizing lotion to Jasmine Vanilla for Sensual Aromatherapy·         Eucaluptus and mint soothe me through my B&BW lotion (Eucalyptus and Spearmint for Stress Relief), and Vicks VapoRub that I massage into my neck, chest, back and feet at bedtime to relieve aches and pains plus bring aromas that calm my cold.
DisConnect (4)Unplugging all devices means NO melatonin suppressants (e.g., blue light, white noise)(5)TIU’s K&K call it a “tech detox” I honestly have been keeping my iPhone 6+ OFF for days and even weeks at a time this season and using my computers , including for social media, exclusively to fulfill purposes of career-related projects
Clothes OFF (4)Cooler temperatures rom sleeping au natural prevents the body from overheating I’m all about snoozing in the buff, and this actually also has benefitted my energy bill more when I keep my electric fan off
Committed Sleep Schedule I’ve always craved at least 8 hours of sleep per night, and (1)Edwin affirmed that by pointing out to me that by pointing out how

  • 8 hours indeed is ideal during the night
  • 9 hours (+ an extra hour) works for the weekend
He also mentioned that there’s no way we can make up for lost sleep. I most certainly back this because during my previous attempts of sleeping more after lacking rest, I’d throw myself off.
Coin Toss (6)Biggest decisions occupy our minds, so·         Heads = YES·         Tails = NO
Change Sleeping Position (6)Instead of getting out of bed, change your sleep position by turning upside-down·         Calms the nervous system·         Turns fears upside-down When my sister and I shared a bedroom while vacationing at our aunt’s and uncle’s as children, we weren’t accustomed to twin beds since we had our own double/full-sized beds at the time ~ we stayed up late talking but realized that we more easily dozed off by reversing with our heads at the feet and our feet at the heads of the beds! (Mind you, we really didn’t have worries back then, but this method definitely proved to be effective even during childhood.)

Another commercial that just caught my eye was for Snuggles ~ a mom would put fabric softener sheets everywhere, including underneath chair cushions, to remind her and her family of the freshness! I think that I’ll try the Lavender Joy!

Supplements and Substances

Yes, several of us out there sought “magic pills” for a quick-fix to our own insomnia. Based on my own experience, I’ve taken them but now would rule them out as a last resort after trying all of the above advice first.

  • Valerian root ~ linked to reducing anxiety but isn’t FDA-regulated (which I took when I prepared for comprehensive exams in both my Master’s and doctoral degrees)
  • Prescription drugs ~ I’ve had Rx to “resolve” my sleep struggles, but I’d rather not be chemically-dependent on them and would only take them when I could devote a full-night’s rest
  • Sleepytime Tea ~ My doctoral classmate suggested this, and of course, I’ve also started making my own lemon-honey tea to soothe my cold: another reason I’ve been kept up late at night

Cap your night with another “B”!

Breathing Exercise

(6)Shutdown night time worry by minimizing those fears that keep you up late at night

Tip: Breathe in for 90 seconds so the worry passes 

Last but not least …

Personally, I pray for peace✌

Just in case this lengthy segment didn’t already put you to sleep, here’s a sum-up …

For sufficient shut-eye, shoot for these essential “Cs“:

  • Comfort: comfy mattress (or other sleeping surface) and temps
  • Consistency: amount of sleep and same time on schedule

Challenge:

  1. Go 1 day with implementing all of the above (except for the coin toss, sleep position or substances, unless absolutely necessary) ~ please feel free to post a comment to me on which ones worked for you
  2. For any that did work for YOU, continue 1 week with them
  3. If your sleep has improved after 1 week, keep incorporating them for 1 month!

*Bonus*: How to Stay Happy & Healthy (3)

Healthy & Happy Hacks Examples or Experts Which Worked for Me
Fitness tracker apps Fitbit, Moves, Health Mate I login to MyFitnessPal religiously and track my miles on RunKeeper (initially introduced to me by my college student who also trained for and ran marathons)
“Workout that does good” Barre3’s daycare donation proceeds go to Every Mother Counts I’ve raised funds for several exercise events that collected charitable contributions, including the American Heart Walk almost every year between my college and doctoral coursework years
“Look pretty – and pretty awesome” Twice-Team USA Olympic runner Shannon Rowbury ~ who races with bright pink lips I like to pull or pin my hair back before exercising … even though it doesn’t always stay that way post-workout!
“Orange juice for the win” Easier to absorb nutrients from juice than the fruit ~ but beware of drinking too much due to sugar content, so still stay hydrated with H2O (Ralf Schweiggert, Ph.D., HohenheimUniversity in Stuttgart, Germany) This definitely helped me through my chronic cough!
Squash a craving Put physical space away from food (like bread) TBD

References

  1. Bruno, E. J. (2015). Personal communication.
  2. Dispo, E. R. (n. d.). Personal communication.
  3. Editors. (2015, May). “5 feel-healthy, be-happy tricks.” Redbook, 224(4), p. 112.
  4. Moscatello, C. (2015, May). “How far should you for a perfect night’s sleep?” Redbook, 224(4), pp. 107-108, 111.
  5. Scott, K., & Dawn, K. (2015). 28 days to fit, fierce, and fabulous: Create the beautiful body and mind of your dreams. NY: Rodale.
  6. TV broadcast (2015, March 27). “Reduce worrying that makes you lose sleep.” Dr. Oz.
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