Day 9 – Gettin’ Zzz’s

Functioning without adequate sleep is stressful.  So, I’m assuming that getting enough sleep is one of the requirements of de-stressing.  I don’t have a good handle on this sleep thing.  I think I’m sleeping fairly well these days, but then out of the blue — a night of elusive sleep.sleep blogHere’s what I know will keep me awake:

  • Caffeine in the evening.
  • Watching a thriller type show before bed, and for me it doesn’t take much to be a thriller.
  • Getting sleepy and forcing myself to stay awake longer.
  • Any confrontations before bed — best just not to talk to me.
  • Knowing that I need to be up early the next day, and trying to force  myself to sleep quickly.
  • Working right up to bedtime.
  • A hot shower right before bed.
  • A barometric pressure change.
  • Having a nap during the day.
  • Worry.
  • Light.
  • Noise.

And here’s what I know helps me to fall asleep:

  • A warm, relaxing bath before bed
  • Reading a short inspirational reading before bed, or reading a semi-boring book.
  • About an hour of calm before bed.
  • An overdose of carbohydrates — obviously not a good choice.
  • Knowing that I can sleep in the next day.

Sleeping shouldn’t be this complicated!  Ever wonder why they call it, fall asleep?  Just what takes you from one state to another?  I’ve never been one of those lucky people who get into bed, and no matter what the conditions, they are immediately are asleep.  Clearing my mind and paying attention to my above lists seem to be the most reliable way for me to cross from awake to asleep.  Yet, even after all these years, I don’t have the process of passing from one state to the other down pat.

What are your tips for good sleep?

Day 4 – Massage

Yes, massage relaxes me.  No question about it. massage blog

A monthly massage is  a splurge that I give myself.  Although, I consider it not a splurge but rather a medical necessity.  I found the most wonderful massage therapist about three years ago.  Selfish of me, but I’m not giving you her name, since she already stays booked months ahead.  I often think that finding her is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me.  She, however, probably doesn’t think the same of me.  She is amazed by my continually tight muscles.  It seems that some people improve over time.

In addition to short periods of relaxed muscles, she has also re-introduced me to scent.  A zillion years ago, I gave up everything scented.  It seemed that any scent aggravated my allergies.  On my first visit, she had me sniff about six unidentified bottles and then choose one.  Bergamot.  Never heard of it.  But over the next year, every visit I went through the same sniffing process.  I was determined to pick something different.  Every time, Bergamot.  Believe it or not, in some ways, I don’t even like Bergamot.  Now, I’m experimenting with essential oils myself.  I ordered several bottles, including Bergamot, of course.  My friend, Rachel, has an online store and she knows her essential oils.  Wonder if I can sniff my way to relaxation.

If I could afford (time and money) to have a massage a couple of hours every day, then I think my cortisol levels would come down.  Bliss.  Or who knows, maybe I would tire of it.  How much massage is too much?