Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not enough sleep

I've hit a slump again where I'm not sleeping well.  I fall asleep easily (after a cup of Roiboos tea and some melatonin) but I wake up between 1:00 and 3:00 and toss and turn until the last 10 glorious minutes before my alarm goes off at 5:40.  Why is that always the best sleep of the night?

I can't take OTC sleep aids (besides melatonin) because they have the opposite effect on me.  Within an hour of taking them, I'm revved up and can feel the blood coursing through my veins.  I've tried a variety of OTC meds that are not specific to sleeping, like Gravol or muscle relaxants, but they have very little effect on the quality or quantity of sleep that I get.

I suspect that some of the issue is the dreaded (and unavoidable) problem of simply getting older.   While I consider myself far too young to be even considering "the change" I have to admit to having a few episodes of night sweats recently.  Personally I'm blaming too many blankets, but it's a factor I can't completely overlook.  With no maternal health history, I don't know when women in my family start having menopause symptoms.  I'm hoping they were all much, much older than I am now.

I know that caffeine and alcohol are not factors.  I'm getting exercise 3 times a week, and trying to walk every day.  There is no physical reason for me to not sleep well.  A lot of it is in my head - I just can't seem to shut down once I wake up in the middle of the night.  Random thoughts just keep swirling around.   Like the commercial for Tylenol Nighttime that has the woman tossing and turning and wondering "What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?"  I'm not having deep thoughts... I'm not worrying about my taxes, my mortgage or car payments.... I don't have any family stress.... my job is going well....  I just can't stop my brain.

I know, from past experience, that this will pass, usually within a few weeks.  Until then though, I'm tired and I would really, really like to sleep through the night.

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Any tried and true solutions?

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