Archive | March 13, 2013

Is your bedroom set up for a good night’s sleep.

Heard enough about my sleep? In bed at 11pm last night. Half an hour later than I should have made it. I had an evening function for work and then came home and watched an hour of TV, so didn’t get ready for bed until 10.30. Fell asleep quickly as I was soooo tired. Woke just after 5am, as I had to go to the toilet. I didn’t want to wake up as I knew once up I wouldn’t sleep well again, given I only had an hour before I should be up. Back in bed, I put on the TV. With the volume low, the background noise is like white noise. I doze off. I am probably so used to it because that has how I have fallen asleep for much of the last 10 years – on the lounge with the TV on. But I don’t think you get to the deep, restorative non-REM sleep. still, with 6 hours of sleep and an extra hour of light sleep, I feel OK.

Is there such a beast as perfect sleep?

There is definitely good sleep habits and routines.

Experts call it sleep hygiene. Sounds all wrong. The two words just don’t seem to make sense together. Like needing to disinfect sleep.

Anyway, Professor Kerryn Phelps says most people who complain about poor sleep just don’t give themselves a chance. The first thing she says to do is establish a comfort zone.

This includes having a comfortable, supportive mattress. Bedding should be right for the weather and pleasant. So make the bed nicely. The pillow should support your neck and be comfortable.

The room needs to be dark and noise free. This includes noise from outside, such as noisy neighbours, and noise from inside. A snoring partner can be hell. Prof Phelps says treatments for snoring are readily available. Other inside noises could include pets.

Well, I have a supportive mattress, comfortable pillows, nice bed linen, a variety of blankets for the changeable weather we have at this time of year, a dark room with very little outside noise. The neighbours do occasionally have parties but in the main they are very quiet. No pets here either. I do have a partner who snores. It has driven me out of the bedroom in the past but antihistamine seems to have stopped the snoring.

Seems like I have a good comfort zone then. How’s yours?

Today’s decluttered item = lipsticks. Make up does go off as the fat and oils go rancid. Germs also grow on them. Here’s a lip liner I have had for years and never used much as I don’t use lip liners. The lip tint is almost finished. The white stick is a gloss that goes with the tint. I never use it. I actually had 3 or 4 of these. The tint was gone but for some reason I held onto the gloss,even though I never used them, preferring to use a different gloss.

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Stages of sleep

Another good night’s sleep, although I have not awoken as fresh as yesterday. In bed by 10.50, later than I would have like but I went out for dinner with friends and didn’t get home until 10.20, and needed some time to unwind and shower. Fell asleep immediately and slept soundly with lots of dreams. Didn’t wake up at all.

My alarm has woken me at 5.40. Normally it takes me more than half an hour to wake up. I use a clock radio, and I slowly become more aware of the radio, until I wake up, and then I continue to try to grab a few more minutes and then drag myself up to race to get ready for work. At least today I woke immediately, even if I know I could have slept for another hour.

I don’t remember all the dreams of last night. We dream during our Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Apparently there are four or five episodes of REM sleep with about 90 minutes between each episode and each episode lasting from a few minutes to up to 30 or 40minutes. The first REM episode normally comes after 90 minutes after falling asleep. During this stage our eyes move, hence the term. In this stage our muscles are switched off and relax. This stage is also supports daytime performance.

Non-REM sleep has three stages based on the brain activity. The first is light and you can be woken easily. During stage 2 the brain slows down, our breathing slows and our body temperature cools.

The last stage is the very deepest and it is difficult to arouse someone from this stage. There is no eye movement or muscle activity. There is some dreaming but the dreams are not as vivid. This sleep is the most restorative; blood pressure drops, breathing becomes slower and our muscles relax. With increased blood to muscles, our tissues are repaired and grow.

Not having had disturbed sleep for the last two nights has obviously helped me achieve this stage because I feel well rested. Now to face the day!

Today’s decluttered item = old slippers. I have several pairs of these slippers, cheap, thin ones from stays in hotels and resorts. This pair is gross. I don’t know why I have kept them. Perhaps they were hiding under my bed to escape being binned. Forgive me, dear reader, for exposing you to the horror of this grottiness.

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