Friday, April 22, 2011

Learning to Sleep

I'm usually a pretty good sleeper. Most of the time I can fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly for 8-9 hours straight. I'm also someone who seems to require a lot of sleep - my ideal is 9 hours a night and when I don't get it I walk around zombie-like making silly mistakes and running into things. But lately, I have been having trouble sleeping and I finally fully understand how frustrating this can be. My former good sleeping days are clearly an anomaly as the CDC recently announced that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic in the U.S. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found in a recent poll that 43% of Americans aged 13-64 say they rarely or never get a good night's sleep on weeknights. So, I'm much like most of you out there now, I suppose, groggily slogging through my day and contemplating curling up under my desk to nap.

My problem is not being able to fall asleep. I just lay there with my mind running a mile a minute. I've been reading up on sleep and how to overcome this bit of insomnia that has struck and it's led me to a few books here at Austin Public Library. I've read about relaxation techniques, acupuncture, exercise, and no caffeine or alcohol before bed, but I'm still trying to find the solution that works for me. Are there any sleep solutions out there that work for you? If not, maybe these resources below will be helpful:

How Sleep Works: National Sleep Foundation
This page links to a number of articles on sleeping including info on how much sleep people typically need (short answer: it can vary widely from individual to individual) and creating a good sleep environment.

Medline Plus: Sleep Disorders
This is a brief article with tons of links at the bottom directing to reputable sources on sleep disorders and strategies for getting a good night's rest.

Your Guide to Healthy Sleep
A nice little guide from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute


The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Sleep Disorders

Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night's Sleep

I Can Make You Sleep: Overcome Insomnia Forever and Get the Best Rest of Your Life

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night Well and Wake Up Happy
Parents usually have a hard time getting their babies to sleep. This is a very popular guide, but the method presented here is a bit different than the Ferber method outlined in one of the books below.

The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone is Not Enough: A 30-day Plan to Reset Your Body

Sleepmanual: Training Your Mind and Body to Achieve the Perfect Night's Sleep

Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems
This is the book by Richard Ferber outlining the Ferber method referred to above.

Sweet dreams!!


tim snead said...

A recent study says you should go to bed and get up at the same time, and if you can't sleep, get out of bed. Don't toss and turn. Someday mean to try that.

Shelby said...

And talk to your doctor. Sleep aids are not always the answer...a sleep study at a reputable Sleep Diagnostic Testing facility can help. Check out if you're in the DFW area.

Aleph said...

I would be wondering about the reason for that insomnia first. What are you doing now that you were not doing in the times where you were snoozing away?? Hum...