Monday, January 23, 2012

ZZZZZ . . . The Quest for Restful Sleep

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow." ~Charlotte Brontë

It is hard to unruffle the mind--don't you think?  I am going into this week with a preoccupied brain, in fact my need for sleep was highlighted by an unplanned two hour nap this weekend! 
In graduate school we were drilled to ask about sleep in clients because sleep deprivation is a trigger for many psychological symptoms.  We read about sleep deprived cats, rats, and monkeys and case studies on individuals who were tortured with lack of sleep.  Everything from increased irritability and decreased attention span to all out hallucinations and paranoia have been documented in these studies (poor cats!)  If any of you have had babies in your home you know what I am referring to:  Performance during the day is definitely affected by the quality of your sleep at night.  This week's challenge is to create the ideal environment and mind set for good sleep.  Blumenthal encouragages us to set up a bedtime and waketime to ensure 7-8 hours.  Improved sleep hygiene includes a ritual like music, decaffinated tea, reading, and/or journaling before bed. Coincidentally Dr. Oz had an article in the paper this weekend about sleep and suggested replacing your ordinary bedside lamp light with an orange lightbulb (available at home improvement stores) which is sufficient for reading but will not influence your melatonin level.   Regular lighting and "screens" can interefere with our preparation for rest.  On my to do list this week is to seek out an orange light bulb, and replace my night time hot cocoa with some yummy soothing decaf tea.  I hope some of you are joining me on this challenge--embarking on a healthy new year one week at a time!
Week 2/52:  Update on H2O
Still loving my Bobble! I was seriously overestimating how much water I drank before this challenge.  Drinking at the optimum recommendation I had a week without thirst, and a more manageable appetite.  If I had been using bottled water I would have contributed 42 Ozarkas to the landfill--Feeling very "enviro "proud of this change, and also healthier!

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