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 Post subject: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:08 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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I've always been a tired person, I sleep long nights, I'm exhausted most days and can fall asleep in ridiculous situations (most recently, in a cow barn, standing up, during a lecture on dairy cow reproduction). I'm thinking about seeing a specialist but I'm told I should fix up my sleep hygiene first. What good sources do you have for determining how many hours I should let myself sleep at night, what sort of exercises will be good? I want to make my plan right.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:30 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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I should mention I am on two medications that list drowsiness as a side effect, so it could be that. I just don't know what else to do about that...


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:39 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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We went through sleep disturbances with my daughter and got pretty proficient with sleep hygiene. this thing http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/In ... ygiene.pdf is a bit better for adult approaches, the mayo clinic has a some stuff as well.
really, a lot is consistency and personally, i know screen exposure and digestion (and alcohol and caffeine consumption) really make a big difference. once you have set some "rules" you can see what kind of results you get and then start considering medications and other interventions

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:58 am 
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Impressive boner
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I'm a sleepy person too. I don't have any awesome sleep hygiene tips, but throughout the day I find that a vitamin D supplement and a liquid vitamin B complex are really helpful in combatting sleepiness, along with two to three litres of water to drink.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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thanks. I'm starting a new schedule tonight for 8 hours of sleep, the same hours every day (wish me luck, this isn't going to be easy). I usually sleep 10-12 hours a night so this is gonna be killer.
My biggest challenge with waking up on the weekend when I don't have to is just falling asleep again on the couch because I'm not actually out doing anything (while my boyfriend is sleeping in....)


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Location: Central Plains, USA
some things that really helped me improve my sleep:

  • making sure the room is completely dark by putting little pieces of black electrical tape over LED's on the stereo and fan, unplugging the LED clock, etc. "they" say even low levels of light (especially blue light) can effect your sleep quality.
  • putting my phone in airplane mode - again, "they" say the EMF from the wifi/cell can disrupt your brain (or something like that).
  • supplementing with magnesium before bed - Natural Calm is what i started with, it's a powder you mix with water for quick absorption... i prefer capsules and they seem to work just as well.
  • measuring - i use a device called "beddit" to track how long it takes me to go to sleep, and how long/deeply i actually sleep. this can be helpful for isolating the cause of a bad night's sleep - maybe something you ate/drank, an emotional event, etc. if you're interested in tracking that sort of info, you can start with an app called "Sleep Cycle" for android/iphone - it's only 99 cents - and then upgrade to more extravagant devices if you really get into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:51 pm 
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I found through lots of experimenting that 9hours is my ideal sleep time with 11 hours on a Friday night. I have a routine where I slowly unwind over the course of a few hours and then do some mindfulness relaxation about an hour or two before going to sleep.

During the day I make sure I drink plenty of water. If I don't I tend to get really sleepy and can't function properly. Also I eat 3 or 4 decent meals a day and drink only decaf coffee.

Strangely enough I find having clean bedsheets really helpful too so everything on my bed is washed at least once a week. I feel more refreshed if I have slept in a clean bed. I also burn incense every evening in my room to keep it smelling nice and make sure my bedroom windows are open for a while each day.

I'm on medication too that causes drowsiness but it's the little things that help. I find that on a Saturday I do need to go back to bed for 2 hours during the day for a nap. I don't feel one bit bad about having to do that because it helps me get rested so I can keep up with my life the rest of the week.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:50 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast

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chamaeleonsky wrote:
thanks. I'm starting a new schedule tonight for 8 hours of sleep, the same hours every day (wish me luck, this isn't going to be easy). I usually sleep 10-12 hours a night so this is gonna be killer.
My biggest challenge with waking up on the weekend when I don't have to is just falling asleep again on the couch because I'm not actually out doing anything (while my boyfriend is sleeping in....)


If you usually sleep 11 or 12 hours a night, I wouldn't suddenly cut down to 8. 8 hours always seems to be given as the magic number, but everyone needs a different amount. Personally, I would concentrate on the sleep hygiene aspect and not worry about reducing the actual amount of sleep - that should follow naturally once the quality of sleep is improved.

One of the key things for me is to try and keep the bedroom fairly cool - I overheat easily when I'm sleeping and that never leads to a good night. I find that if the room feels slightly too cool when I am undressing and getting into bed, that is about right. Easier said than done in summer of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:54 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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i feel like my sleep hygiene isnt all that bad. I also don't really have issues falling asleep so I feel weird making a big deal of it. For example, I usually play a word game on my phone for a little while before I fall asleep which I guess is a no no. Last night I tried not playing and I was basically bored and took even longer to fall asleep.
So if anything, the issue is quality of sleep, not ability to fall asleep. I'm cutting out eating before bed, not that I did that much anyway. I'm going to try and stop studying earlier before bed instead of studying until I burn out and then falling asleep, but last night I didn't know what to do with myself when I stopped working, I'm not used to free time!


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:12 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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My sleep is normally pretty good, but since the concussion it's been touch and go. What helps me is this:

- very cool room
- if it's a "sensitive" night, listening to brown noise the whole night and closing all the curtains so there's no outside light
- lots of water during the day; no eating at least 3 hours before bed
- no internet at least 1 hour before bed (easier said than done!)

Otherwise, I liked the advice in the chart torque linked to. I also liked the advice about not cutting from 11-12 to 8. When my sleep schedule gets out of whack, then I try to adjust it by 60-90 minutes per night, taking a couple of nights at each stage. My natural rhythm is sleep around 9 and get up around 6 = a 9 hour night, but it changes depending on the season, my work, and now -- my post-concussed brain.

This might also help you figure out your optimal sleep cycle: http://www.euclock.org/

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:13 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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lutin wrote:
This might also help you figure out your optimal sleep cycle: http://www.euclock.org/


That chronobio link is actually one of my favoritest things, ever.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:13 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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if you normally do a word game on your phone, maybe print out a crossword puzzle or something on paper?

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Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:16 am 
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***LIES!!!***
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Are you sure you don't have narcolepsy or sleep apnea?


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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im not sure, thats what I'm doing this. I was told that most sleep doctors will want to make sure my sleep hygiene isn't the issue before they can justify sleep studies so I'm doing this in preparation for the doctor.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Have medical conditions like thyroid trouble or anemia been ruled out? Do you eat and move regularly?

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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haven't had blood work in a few years, so no, not ruled out. I eat toooons, gained at least 10 pounds this year. Not sure what you mean by move regularly. I'm in class 8 hours a day with 10 minute breaks every hour, I try to stand up for most of them but not always. I study on the couch for the evening. so pretty sedentary.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:29 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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chamaeleonsky wrote:
im not sure, thats what I'm doing this. I was told that most sleep doctors will want to make sure my sleep hygiene isn't the issue before they can justify sleep studies so I'm doing this in preparation for the doctor.


This seems crazy to me. Sleeping as much as you do and then falling asleep standing up is way outside normal. My husband was able to get a sleep study with no issue, you might want to look around and see if what you were told is accurate.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:29 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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hmm, interesting point. maybe i should call doctors then.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:56 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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It is worth calling and asking. When we had problems with our daughter we got the same response-- they wanted us to follow XXX plan for XX weeks and then call them back. However, we were not dealing with private insurers, we were dealing with medicaid, and i think with pediatrics they just want to rule out the kid drinking a bottle of mountain dew before bedtime at midnight...
ETA and the logistics of doing a sleep study on a kid are a bit different than on adults.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:08 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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My sleep is forked and I feel a strong (waking) need in the middle of the night to get hyper with work and stuff, However, I can go to sleep deeply at around 9-10 after eating a late dinner and cannot be resuscitated. I always blame my cats because they practice parkour from about 2-6am, but I don't know. I kind of think that not all of us are full night sleepers? Does that sounds crazy?

eta it's interesting that you call this thread sleep hygiene because I sleep best when I am totally uncomfortable like on a tiny love seat with no blanket. It's weird, My husband and I have a King sized bed (he is very tall, I'm average-tall) and I only sleep on lay on one square foot in a tiny ball.

I am beginning to think I should talk to a sleep therapist because I do not value comfort and that's weird, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:35 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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vijita, I sleep best on our couch, also. It is really annoying because that nice mattress was freaking expensive! I just like feeling totally enveloped by the couch. I even prefer the little couch throw instead of my comfy comforter.

There are many people who sleep in shifts - like they'll do two 3-4 hour blocks and have a waking period of a few hours in between. Is that what you're experiencing?


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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There's also some research suggesting that shift sleeping is what "we" did, and that 8 hours is a recent cultural thing, but I forget the cultural/evolutionary timescale they were talking about.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Chip Strong

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I wouldn't let imperfect "sleep hygiene" prevent you from seeing a sleep specialist sooner rather than later. As others have mentioned, what you're describing could be a result of sleep apnea or another medical issue, so it's a good idea to get checked out. There's no reason you can't work on your sleep hygiene simultaneously.


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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:02 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan

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Sleep issues are so common these days you can type "sleep hygiene" into Google and get all sorts of nice lists without having to crack a book.

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 Post subject: Re: Sleep Hygiene
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:37 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
vijita, I sleep best on our couch, also. It is really annoying because that nice mattress was freaking expensive! I just like feeling totally enveloped by the couch. I even prefer the little couch throw instead of my comfy comforter.

There are many people who sleep in shifts - like they'll do two 3-4 hour blocks and have a waking period of a few hours in between. Is that what you're experiencing?

Yes, that's what I do. 3-4 hours and I am wide awake. I am very used to it, but there is an infinite loneliness in being up when no one else is. It used to be more digestible when I lived on the west coast because most of the world was up and news was coming out and there was full-on daylight somewhere, but here I get bombarded with thoughts and to-dos when it's dark most places in my vicinity and it makes me feel like I'm losing control or something.


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