Research Post #10

This week’s first research posts talks about sleeping habits to get up earlier.  Seven Surprising Facts About Sleep talks about how to get a better night’s rest which can lead to being able to get up before dawn.  So in addition to what we have already seen regarding don’t drink caffeine too late in the day and don’t exercise right before you want to go to bed there are seven other options to try that I haven’t really heard of before. 

  1. Set a bedtime alert.  This means to have an alarm go off one hour prior to when you want to be in bed so that you can start wrapping what you are doing and starting to shut down.  I think that sounds like good advice. 
  2. Don’t clear your mind.  In other words, if your mind won’t settle down from all the worries of the days, you should not force your mind to clear it as you will end up panicking that you are not sleeping.  I have found myself in this mode as I can’t calm myself down to sleep and then I look that my hours of actual sleep time is dwindling and put more anxiety on myself to go to sleep. 
  3. Count numbers, not sheep.  This is something I will try.  It claims to count backward by 3s starting with 300. Your mind won’t be able to concentrate on anything else and will quiet those nagging thoughts that are keeping you awake.
  4. Get up a half-hour earlier.  This advice is supposed to be the best way to reset your body clock.  This is supposed to make you more tired earlier in the evening and to bed sooner. 
  5. Consider seeing a professional.  In just four to six sessions a sleep psychologist can resolve your sleep problems.  Unfortunately, there is no information regarding how much this would cost.  Everything else has been no cost to experiment with. 
  6. Don’t worry if you can’t sleep right away. I was not aware that it really should take between 15 to 25 minutes from when you lie down until you are sleeping.  I guess I’m doing ok there most nights. 
  7. Go to bed when you’re tired.  This is a huge problem for me, but like the advice they offer with going to bed and if you can’t fall asleep right away, then get up and do something relaxing and then go back to bed when you are tired.       

Another article Sleep and your body clock talks about what a body clock is and how it is connected to sleeping problems.  The article talks about night owls and early birds and how to change to become the other if you want to.  To change from a night owl to an early bird, the article suggests to get up at the same time every day no matter what time you go to sleep, light therapy (expose yourself to light as soon as you get up), a melatonin supplement (once you discuss this with your doctor) and chronotherapy (creating a 27-hour day cycle which disrupts your normal schedule.  Example: Day 1: if midnight is your normal bed time, wait until 3 a.m. to go to sleep.  Day 2 and after: go to sleep at 6 a.m. and then delay sleep 3 hours each day until you reach your desired bed time).

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