Talking Fitness Thursday: No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn?

OK, so I have no plans to visit Brooklyn anytime in the near future….or distant future, for that matter. (I am going to Manhattan next month for Book Expo America — yay!! — but that’s a whole other story.)

But the first part of that statement is dead-on: My sleep patterns lately have been crap.

There are several things happening here that I know are causing problems for me.

1. Joshua, who will be 3 in September, still doesn’t sleep through the night. He wakes up once, pretty much every night (and typically around midnight), looking for The Hubby. I think it’s adorable but at the same time, I wish he’d just sleep (and, by extension, let us sleep). Hubs, as I’ve mentioned in the past, wears hearing aids, but he doesn’t wear them to bed. Guess what that means when Joshua wakes up and starts crying out for Daddy? The crying wakes me and I have to wake Hubs so he can go into Joshua’s room and help him settle back down. Hubs doesn’t always wake up immediately; sometimes it takes a small act of violence — shaking, slapping, kicking — to stir him. Once he’s in Joshua’s room, I can never go right back to sleep. Ever. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes, and sometimes I can find myself still wide-awake three hours after Hubs left the room.

2. I don’t have as much trouble falling asleep as I do staying asleep. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure Joshua’s midnight wake-up calls have a lot to do with it, but even when he sleeps later, or even a few hours after he’s woken up and we’ve all gone back to sleep, I keep finding myself waking up in the very early hours of the morning for no apparent reason. I don’t know why it happens but I do know that it happens much more frequently than I’d like. I also know it contributes to the bad moods I keep finding myself in during the course of the day.

3. Hubs tends to work in bed until long after I’ve gone to sleep a few nights a week. I fall asleep briefly and then wake up to find him either still working, or passed out with the laptop shut down and his lamp turned off, but the TV is still on (and muted). Then I have to check around the bed and his nightstand for the remote; if I can’t find it, I have to get up and turn the TV off manually, tiptoeing in an effort to avoid waking Joshua. (We have creaky floors.)

I’d say my habit of reading in bed is a contributing factor because I tend to read from my NOOK at night, but I read until my eyes get droopy and I’m clearly ready for sleep, and then I can pass right out. How long it takes between the time I start reading and the time I’m ready for sleep depends on how good the story is — I can get really into a book and get so excited about reading it that I’m not ready to sleep until several hours later. On those nights, when I know Joshua is going to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7am, I know it’s my own fault when he’s wide awake and I haven’t slept enough. But most of the time, I can fall asleep without too much of a problem.

So what’s a girl to do? How can I get more — and better — sleep? I sincerely don’t know. I use lavender spray and a lavender-scented candle, but I blow out the candle before I go to sleep (I don’t want to leave a candle burning while I’m passed out!) and the scent from the spray wears off after a while. I don’t exercise and then immediately jump into bed. I enjoy sleepytime tea but it doesn’t make me drowsy in the slightest; in fact, I drink it much more often during the day than I do at night. The temperature of my bedroom is usually comfortable enough that I don’t have to concern myself with adjusting the thermostat. I dress for the overnight low, so you can find me in long sleeves if it’s going to be really cold out and in short sleeves if it’ll be a little warmer. I also tend to sleep barefoot, as socks tend to twist on my feet overnight and I just take them off anyway.

I’m at a loss, readers, and I need your help. I know that good sleep is very important to my overall health. I have a disease to fight now, and I don’t want to be too fatigued from a lack of sleep to do so. Will you help me? I need your tips! Give me everything you’ve got, I’m all ears!

What helps you to fall, and stay, asleep at night?

To read Becca’s post for this week, click here!