Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 123
Set Your Alarm to Sleep
sure know their target audience, dont they? Eleven oclock is a great time for
a program for people who cant fall asleep. According to that show, and many like it,
the majority of Americans suffer from some form of sleep deprivation. They often
cant fall asleep, wake up often during the night, or they just cant seem to
get out of bed in the morning. Many people just dont get the sleep they need. They
drag through their work days half awake and surviving on auto-pilot. Do any of those
situations sound familiar to you?
Problems associated with not getting enough sleep
People who suffer from sleep deprivation may
often feel moody. Their emotional state may swing from the ecstatic, or
punchy, feeling that we associate with lack of sleep, to irritability and lack
patience with people and situations around them. They may often find that they react much
more quickly and with greater emotional intensity than they would under normal
Its been estimated that the majority of
Americans suffer from sleep deprivation to some degree and dont perform to their
optimum capabilities. Are you one of them?
Obstacles to Sleep
I dont have a problem sleeping. I
cant get to bed in the first place -- thats my problem!
Our bodies often tend to function best in patterns, or cycles. Many people find that they are night owls and often find their second wind around nine, ten, maybe even eleven oclock at night. They dont even begin to feel sleepy until the early morning hours. And you know people know that the best TV doesnt even begin until late at night. I feel for you because Ive been there. You are my people!
Many students also find that the most convenient time to study is in the evening. Unfortunately, by nine or ten oclock their minds are wide awake and over-stimulated from being pumped up with information. These same students then find it hard to go to sleep after working so hard (some of you are saying, Whaaah? What do you mean? I fall asleep when I study!). Do you find that you turn to the television when youre in this kind of state? Do you then fall into the TV trap of Leno, Letterman or whatever else will hold your interest? Next thing you know, Surfs Up and round and round the channels you go!
Girls, lets not all point at the boys.
Ive seen one or two of you do a thirty second lap around the channels! Now
youre caught in the TV riptide until two or three in the morning. Ordinarily, that
wouldnt be a problem if not for the eight oclock Chem. class tomorrow
Solutions? Did I write, Solutions?
Cmon, I wouldnt leave you hanging without few things to try.
Plan a definite time to go to sleep each night and keep that plan. That may be tough for you night owls but I heres a little gimmick that may help you. Many students live in a dorm room or a small apartment. Try setting your alarm clock for the time you plan to go to bed. Thats right. Not only can your alarm clock be used to wake you in the morning but you can also use it to prod yourself to go to bed at night! Often, we only need just a little nudge to get us to get up, turn off the TV and go to bed. Your alarm clock can be just the impetus you need. Youll find after a few nights that youve created a new pattern, or habit, for yourself and it will be easier to go to bed when youve planned.
You can help to re-set your body clock by exercising regularly in the mornings. Ive been a night owl for most of my life and Ive been successful in using this one technique to adjust my body clock to the demands of a day job. By exercising immediately upon waking each morning, the body become accustomed to waking up at the same time each morning. The exercise helps the body to make a dramatic shift from sleeping to a waking state. Not only did I begin to wake up each morning without an alarm clock, but Id feel great all day. At night, I would begin to feel sleepy at the same time and Id fall into a deeply satisfying sleep immediately after going to bed.
Some people have found that they can help their body fall into a sleep state by manipulating their environment. They do this by setting up a series of rituals that they follow each night to signal to the body that its time to sleep. These rituals may include eating a balanced meal early in the evening and refraining from eating for a few hours before going to bed. They may opt to take a warm bath or shower and to stretch lightly before going to bed. That folk remedy of drinking warm milk to bring about sleepiness may be more than a myth. Milk contains the amino acid, tryptophan, which can help to produce drowsiness.
Still others find it helpful to reduce the lighting in their room and the volume of their TV and stereo as the night goes on. This gradually reduces the amount of stimulation they provide to their senses, easing the mind into sleep.
I hope some of these solutions help you to get
the sleep your body craves. As for me . . . there goes my alarm. Time to get prone!