To Sleep, Perchance to dream…

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Shakespeare said it in Hamlet, and that phrase always comes to mind when I CAN’T SLEEP! Yes, I’m screaming.

The importance of sleep is not new to me and I’m sure it’s not a surprise to you either. I’m acutely aware of the value of sleep for everyone, not just diabetics. But for the purpose of this blog which is, after all, for diabetics, I’ll focus on us — particularly those with Type 2.

Ive been sleep deprived most of my life.  I remember sleeping my brains out in my teen years but, once I was in the work force, sleep flew out the window.  Of course, while raising my kids, sleep wasn’t in my vocabulary too often either.

I’m jealous of Bill over at Simple Living Over 50 — he’s got this “sleep thing” down pat! I understand that lack of sleep effects my blood sugar negatively but I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING. At least I think I have. Here’s what I’ve been doing to get on the sleep train — pretty much, to no avail:

  1. NO electronics in the bedroom (per Arianna Huffington’s book, Thrive). If you haven’t listened to her TED Talk, give it a try — it’s excellent!
  2. Meditation. It does relax me so, if sleep were to drop by, I’d be ready. If you’re not “into” meditation, look on YouTube. For sure you’ll find some good examples. Do what works for you.
  3. Lavender pillow mist spray. Lavender is known to help calm feelings of stress and can aid in sleeping.
  4. Visualization — NO, I’m not counting sheep (this is not to say I’ve never tried it). When sleep alludes me, I visualize my body in a completely relaxed state. How do I do that — check out #5.
  5. Relaxation exercises are excellent — Relax your face, I tell myself. Relax your neck — and continue all the way down to your toes. It really is pretty amazing. I learned this while preparing for the birth of my firstborn. I used the Lamaze method of childbirth which taught me how to relax every inch of my body.
  6. Establish a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, every day (NO MATTER WHAT!).

REPEAT 1-6 and there are many more. So, obviously, I know what to do to let sleep invade. Why am I still sleep deprived?

I asked my doctor about this issue. “I want to go to bed by 11 and get up by 7,” I told her, with obvious frustration in my voice. Her response was, “Why? This was not the first time I’ve broached the subject with her many times over the years. The difference now is that I’m retired. “As long as you’re getting ENOUGH sleep, that’s what matters.” Her point was that you’re not “sleep deprived,” if you’ve been in dreamland for enough time. It’s not about which hours in the day your sleeping. I’ve been working on this issue for years, but I’ve FINALLY come to the realization that she’s right! What difference does it make? In my mind I want the routine of getting up on the earlier side and going to bed before morning starts again.

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Which category do you inhabit?  Take the quiz!

I’m a night person, and I always have been! But, I want to be a morning person, I yell at myself. I’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of my pattern of sleeping, and you know what? It really shouldn’t matter. The fact is, I come alive at 8 p.m. That’s when I’m “ready” to work, to think clearly. So, why fight it? So what if I don’t see the sunrise, hear the birds, listen to the quiet of the morning. On the other side, I observe every minute of the sunset, hear the quiet of the wildlife settling in for the night, and I’m awake and alert should vampires strike.  🙂  Seriously, I DO function better at night, so why not go with the flow.

Acceptance has finally seeped into my brain. I’m a NIGHT BEING; that’s just the way it is, has always been, and always will be. Do I still want to turn it around? Yes. Will I? Probably not. What I will do is, I will be careful to get ENOUGH sleep. I will no longer stress about the specific hours that I’m out cold.

Good night my friends!    ZZZzzzz      🙂

 

 

 

 

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