Recently I have been unable to easily fall asleep. Most probably, the criminal in this case is good old stress and anxiety about my life in general. After three weeks, I called my physician and asked her what– short of sleeping or anti-anxiety pills– I could attempt to do before deciding that I may need one of the two prescription meds. Oddly, her advice seems to be working. You know, she’s only been a doctor for 30 years! Since I’ve been sleeping if I follow her guidance, I decided to share 🙂 I like sharing!
1. no chocolate, coffee, sodas, or decaffeinated tea (still usually has caffeine) after 4pm
2. take up yoga or pilates… Well Woman has yoga every Sunday
3. try meditation… the Well Woman office (119 Reid) has some great supplies for meditation. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I will ask you to give it more than one or two tries!
4. only herbal caffeine-free teas after 4pm
5. chamomile tea before bed… but not too close to when you go to bed because then you’ll have to pee!
6. if all else fails, over the counter melatonin (I didn’t really know anything about melatonin, so I Wikied it. Basically, what Wiki has to say: It plays a role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm of several biological functions.) (Then I had to do more research into what exactly circadian rhythms were and again my trusted Wiki came in handy: A roughly-24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings that is endogenously created but can be altered by external environmental factors such as daylight–> I live in a lovely NYC apartment airshaft where it’s always about 2am!)
Also, a note about waking up: Because I live in an airshaft that provides continuous 2am light, I had a very big problem waking up in the morning (or, for that matter, the afternoon) for classes. I quickly realized the lack of daylight issue and bought myself a full-spectrum light bulb and one of those light timers that knows when sunrise is supposed to be from Home Depot. Now I just have to remember to set my alarm! 🙂
This blog was re-posted and adapted from Amor Del Mono by Peer-Ed Rosara Torrisi
Added 3/14/08: A note about melatonin: there are some controversies regarding melatonin use, and it can actually mess up a person’s sleep cycle. Make sure to DEFINITELY consult your health care provider before trying over-the-counter melatonin or other sleep-aids. Even though it’s “natural,” melatonin is powerful, and dosing is not straightforward.