A variety of comments, texts and emails in response to How’d You Sleep inspired this “sleep-over” to fold in more wise aspects of sleeping, a major concern of life, nestled among healthy eating, regular exercise, communication, and meaningful purpose. Imbedded in my memory of sleep-overs 70 some years ago was ample time to discuss important teenaged subjects, with little time for sleep. I trust this modern retreat blog will spark our discussion regarding additional sleep solutions. First, a sample of the variety of comments:
“I am retiring earlier due to surgery. It’s nice to have my own room of quiet. Sometimes, I turn on quality TV, but often am so weary that I fall asleep quickly. Sometimes, a twitching leg causes me to sit up for a while and go after milk or juice. I have prayed, repeated the Lord’s prayer and parts I remember of the 23rd Psalm. Repeating things for which I am ever grateful and thankful makes me warm of soul. It works well most restless nights. I am blessed. Your ideas are good! I do like the cookies."
“ha-ha...sleep. I had a Pastor tell me long time ago that reviewing memorized Scriptures that when the brain won’t stop would be something that would be a threat to Satan, who would then give up his plan to rob me of restorative sleep. It works nearly every time.”
“During this Pandemic I have been alone more than I'm used to and realized that I should not do Zoom chats with groups of people too late at night. I get so excited to be together in a social setting I need two hours to wind down. So, to any Zoom that doesn’t start until 9pm, I have to say sorry, I cannot. It is wise and I've learned I must. I set an alarm that goes off 9 pm. Alerts me to start winding down.”
Our Mother demonstrated measures in managing sleep after a noisy 3-11 factory shift that I didn’t learn about until years later, even though I was right there. She never wanted to worry us kids about any of the adverse results of her physically-demanding factory job. As stated before, Mom never complained about anything she couldn’t help. Good advice for all of us. She read the paper or devotional material for an hour even though she’d be up before the four of us left for school. She instinctively knew that she needed to be quiet before she could sleep. Going to bed that late was just something she had to do in order to have the employment that provided enough income.
“What a great blog. I take comfort in knowing God never sleeps. Dr. Caroline Leaf is a good resource for the believer that enjoys a good science-based reason for the need for sleep.”
“I will try out some of your suggestions. In addition to a quiet, dark room, a cool temperature helps. “
“When I sleep on my tummy with heavy blankets on, I go right to sleep.”
“I take two diphenhydramine HCI 25mg one hour before bedtime and am asleep 30 seconds after my head hits the pillow. My wife takes one or two before she goes to bed and sleeps—for 12 hours! We take them for our allergies. Wal-Dryl at Walmart and cheap. The 600-tablets bottle provide sound sleep for 300 nights.”
My pharmacist showed great interest in my blog-reason for querying her for sleep advice by generously donating quality time. She reaffirmed how important adequate as well as good sleep is for everyone and emphasized the risk involved in becoming addicted to prescribed medicines. She described the most popular and safe over the counter sleep aids.
“Diphenhydramine HCI is a generic of Benadryl and is primarily for allergies. The only concern for a possible problem involves people with kidney issues. Simply Sleep and Tylenol PM are about the same from Benadryl and neither are addictive. One-half a tablet may be enough for some people. Take it as infrequently as possible with the least amount you need. But some people cannot take them successfully. Try other measures to sleep, first. Melatonin is a natural product and works well, as our body produces melatonin.
Nothing over the counter is addictive, only those given by prescription.
To my question about what over-the-counter sleep aid she recommends, she said “unisom and look for doxy in the name. Each person has to experiment to find what works best for them.”
Pharmacists are marvelous, medically trained resource people.
As I picked up my monthly health newsletter, I was delighted that the main article was: Position Yourself to Sleep Well. The new ideas gleaned were perfect for sharing with you. A perusal of the article follows:
1. Not sleeping well can lead to a variety of problems, including weight gain and fatigue.
2. The first piece of advice is to sleep lying flat---a couch or easy chair are not good substitutes.
3. The type of mattress depends on your body type: side sleepers with wide hips, need softer mattress. A person with straighter hips needs a firmer mattress.
4. The optimal sleep position is on your back. This evenly distributes weight.
5. Most people sleep on their side. It’s okay, but may exacerbate shoulder problems. If you sleep on your side, stretch your body out. Curling up is not good for your back.
6. No mention was made for tummy sleeping, which was surprising. Evidently, not a good idea.
7. The best pillow depends on your body type. It should be beneath your head and neck and not under your shoulders. People who sleep on their back can use a neck roll pillow. Side sleepers, the pillow should take up the space between your shoulder and head so your neck remains aligned with the rest of your spine.
8. A person with very broad shoulders will need a thicker pillow.
9. When sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep hips, pelvis and spine aligned.
10. Do not watch television in bed. It keeps you awake and it is impossible to keep your body in a good aligned position.
11. Our bodies change as we get older, which means our mattress needs might be different than they were 10 years ago. Sometimes a change can be met by adding a topper to existing mattress.
I put these suggestions into practice as well and have benefitted. So, as mentioned before, I write what I need to read. This concludes our discussion on sleep, unless questions/comments submitted warrant further blog research.
I agree with medical advice that it’s wise to intentionally wind down an hour or so before planning to go to bed to sleep. To protect sleep, late night serious or fun-filled conversations, exciting or disappointing ball games or scary movies should be monitored, especially for children who require eight-ten hours of sleep.
Sleeping is greatly enhanced when we are at peace with ourselves and others. Establishing a routine of communicating with the Lord through reading the scripture, and talking with Him nurtures our self-esteem and provides wisdom for getting along with others. Check out my book How To Get Along With Everyone by Blending Personalities, Nurturing Faith Inc. Pub. www.nurturingfaith.net
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. Psalm 16:7, 9
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
In Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 27:17