I want to focus more on trying to get good restorative sleep. To do this I have set a goal of being in bed at 10 PM each night and setting my alarm for no earlier than 7 AM if possible. That sounds like a good night's sleep to most people. But for me it's just 9 hours of torture. In my sleep I dream. They are the longest most detailed dreams ever. They're full-length screen plays. Sometimes they're fun, but most times they're just normal life. It's always just me. I'm not Angelina Jolie. So instead of resting while I sleep I live a two lives, with no sleep, and wake up completely exhausted.
The National Fibromyalgia Association has what they call Sleep Hygiene. Here are the Top 10 Tips:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. That is my plan, but like I said I want to sleep until 7 if I can. I'll set my alarm for earlier if I have to. Chances are the dogs will get me up before then.
- Develop sleep rituals. Does taking a handful of medicine count? Add brushing my teeth and pottying and that's my bedtime routine.
- Exercise daily - not too close to bedtime. That one is harder. It's a whole other goal in itself. But to prevent flare ups I would like to exercise lightly every other day.
- Avoid taking naps. Ok, I broke that one today. But really? When I'm literally about to fall flat on my face from exhaustion and for some weird reason a short nap in the afternoon is the only good sleep I get, why can't I have it? If I'm sleep deprived shouldn't I take the chance whenever I can get it? My goal right now is to just get sleep.
- Eliminate caffeine and sugar. I have mostly eliminated caffeine. I don't drink it, I should say. I would like to eliminate sugar. Baby steps.
- Stay away from alcohol. If only they were all this easy.
- If you can't sleep, get out of bed. I don't generally have periods of time where I lay awake in bed. I go to sleep. I just don't actually sleep.
- Don't watch television or read in bed. We don't have a television in the bedroom. I do read in the bed some. I always figured that was my bedtime rituals, relaxing me. But I know it can keep me up because I get wrapped up in the book.
- Make it dark - exposure to light can keep you awake. I'm a big girl. I don't use a night light.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable. My bed is as comfortable as I can make it. I've got the correct pillow as recommended by my chiropractor. I'm using a body pillow between my knees and arms, although sometimes I think it makes it harder to roll over. A king size bed might be nice because it would give more room between me and my husband so that his movements don't disturb me, but I'm not sure it would fit in our bedroom. Other than that I think the next step in a more comfortable bed would be a memory foam or sleep number.
What are your tips for a better night's sleep?
If you would like to purchase a poster of Sweet Dreams "Top 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips" from the National Fibromyalgia Association click here.