Archive for March, 2012

Work to Sleep?

I’ve heard of work to eat, but work to sleep? I got a link about sleep help from Dr. Oz, and he says we don’t just fall asleep; we have to work at getting our Zs. A few of the suggestions:  keep the room a comfortable temperature (65 degrees is ideal), dim the lights and stop watching t.v./looking at the computer screen an hour before bedtime, get rid of distractions (noise, light) that might keep you awake after you are in bed, and go to bed at a consistent hour every night.

So, I took stock of my sleeping routine/environment. The consistent hour thing will be the hardest. The dim lights explanation is very intriguing. There is a little area in the brain that keeps the brain alert when it senses light from the eyes. Darkness signals that part of the brain to get ready for sleepy time. The only distraction in the room might be my lighted clock. My husband might be a distraction, but there’s no way I’m getting rid of him! We are leaving the best time of year for sleeping temperatures and entering sultry temps; my husband had a fit last night when I turned on the AC (in March, in Indiana) to cool down the bedroom. He didn’t put up much of a fight, though. It was a record high of 83 degrees Wednesday, after all.

I tried working at sleeping the last two nights. Both nights I got up at 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. I’m not sure what is up with that; maybe my body thinks it is taking a coffee break in reverse. If sleep is work, then maybe waking for a short period is like taking a break from work? No more breaks; the boss has spoken! 

Only time will tell if my work to sleep program is effective, but it is worth a shot. What do I have to lose? I’m already losing too much sleep.

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I have gotten the hang of reduced added sugar in my food. Now, I have another issue I want to tackle:  sleep. I have blogged about this before, and still I do not sleep. How do you shut the brain off? I don’t watch television past 10 p.m., and that is only two days a week when my favorite shows air. The other nights I can go to bed earlier, but I always find things to do that keep me awake (laundry, dishes, etc.) I was more relaxed when I drank a cup of hot, decaf tea before bed, and I fell asleep more easily, but now I have to keep tea out of my diet due to sensitivities. I tried to make a schedule, but I can’t seem to fit everything into one day. How do others do it? Or are others just as sleep deprived? I exercise regularly and try to eat right. What keeps me from sleeping? Hormones? Taking on too much? Really, I would like some advice from others.

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At Friday and Saturday’s women’s conference, there was a cloud of perfume in the air. When I was a teen and young twenty-something, I admit I used to wear a heavy spray of the smelly stuff. It gave my dad a headache. He told me that perfume was not supposed to fill the room; it was only for those close to you, intimate.

So, with the invention of deodorant, why do women feel the need to bathe in fragrance? To feel sexy? To draw the opposite sex? With as much perfume as some of these women had on, I think their scent would be a repellant for men. The room was 90% women of peri-menopausal/menopausal age, not young ladies. I guess they never had a dad tell them how to wear their perfume.

Why the fuss? With the plethora of chemicals in our environment and food, our bodies are becoming saturated. Sometimes we need to take a break from all the input. I didn’t want to go to the conference and get a headache with a side of nausea, but that is what happened, once again. I’m surprised that people don’t make themselves sick with the mixture of smells:  deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair finishing products, lotion, makeup, laundry soap, fabric softener, and perfume. It seems like a lot of competition for the olfactory receptors.

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A Victory or Two!

A coworker was eating a cupcake at lunch, a white cake with a big mound of frosting. I looked at it longingly, but fought the urge to ask who brought in cupcakes. After all, they were store-bought, not homemade. After school, a teacher left the rest of the cupcakes in the break room for the taking. I heard her tell the custodian that he could take any that were left at the end of his shift. That made it easy, or easier, for me to leave them alone. Still, they looked good; I booked it for my classroom – out of sight, out of mind. A half an hour later, I  went through the break room to throw away a cup on my way out of the building. They were still there, taunting me! I told myself how yucky I would feel if I ate one, and that I was ready to eat a delicious meal with a friend. I made it out of the building without even a sniff of the sugary aroma.

This morning,  I was meeting some women friends from church at a conference. I was there early, the first one of our group…shocker, I know. There were buffet tables with pastries and coffee. At first I thought, “Yum!” Then I remembered pastries were an evil sugar. Bummer. The cool thing? I went into the sanctuary to save seats for our group and didn’t really mind missing out on the sweets. There is hope of a life without sugar and maybe even sugar cravings!

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Eating My Emotions

I went to get my blood drawn, but they didn’t have the correct nurse on hand because of a paperwork mixup, so I have to go back in the morning. I called the insurance company to make sure some of the lab work would be covered, but the codes did not match theirs. I called the doctor’s nurse, but it went to voicemail. I went to Verizon to get a new phone, but I had the wrong renewal date and will have to wait until May. I went from there to Walmart and bought Popcorn Indiana Kettle Corn and Lay’s potato chips.

As I ate out of the bags on the way home, I thought, “Am I eating my emotions?” The answer was a sarcastic, “Yes.” “What emotions are you having?” “I am tired and really pissed off.” Then I remembered that kettle corn had sugar in it. I snapped out of my funk and realized that life could be so much worse. I shut the bags, drove home without eating anymore, and ran three miles around the neighborhood, which nearly made me throw up. Next time, I will try running three miles first; that should take care of my emotions.

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