Sleep Survey, Revised

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It has been brought to my attention that my original sleep survey is quite long. I like writing (and I seem especially to like writing about myself), so I didn’t really notice this, but now that I think of it, it is a little long. And kind of like the questions you might get at a first visit to a naturopath.

So, here’s a shorter version. We’ll see if I get more responses to this one. If not, I’ll just assume y’all don’t like talking about sleep, and I’ll renew my focus on finishing the books I’m reading and posting a couple of book reviews.

1) On average, do you feel like you get enough sleep to be at the top of your game?

1a) If so, what tips do you have for getting enough sleep?

1b) And if not, what tips do you have for getting sub-optimal sleep?

I’m asking these questions on my blog because I’m looking for real-world experiences from real-life people, not suggestions from professional experts who frequently give great-sounding advice that’s completely impractical (or incomplete to the point that it’s useless, like the tip I read recently that getting adequate sleep increases your willpower with no suggestions for how to get more sleep if it’s lack of willpower that’s keeping you from getting to bed at a decent hour). I know all of the great reasons for getting enough sleep, but that somehow doesn’t translate to actually getting enough sleep. So, I’m soliciting help from my readers to try to find a way to bridge that gap.

6 comments

  1. Jenny · January 28, 2013

    Melatonin! That’s not a statement of fact – it’s actually a question. What is it and how does it work for helping people sleep? I don’t know if you know, Charity, or if maybe someone else who commented on it could tell me more…?

    And since I’m here with demands, I should answer your survey questions!

    I rarely feel like I’ve gotten enough sleep, unless I manage to get nine hours. And that hardly ever happens because that’s just crazy and because on the weekends, I go to bed any time between about 10:00 and 1:00 and feel like I HAVE to get up before the nine-hour mark or the world will pass me by. Less than 7.5 or 8 hours, and I feel irritable and/or groggy for awhile in the morning.

    How do I get my sub-optimal sleep? I agree with the keeping-my-room-clean/getting-into a-made-bed comment above. I seriously think that helps me. The room feels calm and quiet that way. Also, I have a mug of some kind of relaxing tea right before turning off the light. I’m also good at falling asleep if someone is reading to me or there’s a tv show on nearby. They say leave the laptops out of the bedroom, but honestly, the sound can put me right out (unless my mind starts spinning out-of-control – which is does a lot – and then nothing works). None of these things work consistently anyway. Sometimes I’m up all night no matter what; sometimes I’m out cold for hours, and I feel like most of the time I’m mildly sleep-deprived. So I’m interested in what you might find to say about sleep.

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  2. Heidi Lewis · January 21, 2013

    I feel I get enough sleep but could use like one more hour.
    I have been taking alittle bit of melatonin just to get to sleep sooner. I have a tendency to stay up late because I’m just not tired sooner. It’s helping! I also spend more time in bed before I want to actually fall asleep. That seems to help get to sleep sooner.

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  3. Cherilyn Michener Reno · January 21, 2013

    I’m not currently getting enough sleep, but part of the problem is that it is a side effect of a medication I’m taking. On the other hand, before I started taking it, I was staying up all night worrying. I’m getting slightly more, qualitatively better not enough sleep, at least. I’ve been falling asleep around 10:30-11 and waking up about 5:30-6:00.

    For falling asleep I like to listen to books on CD with my ‘it’s not an iPod’. I have a few different books recorded by the same guy with a very soothing voice and it gives my brain something to do in the 35 minutes or so between my body being tired and my brain being tired.

    My doctor says that spending the hour before you go to bed in a room with low lighting and not looking at an LCD screen is supposed to help you fall asleep better. It doesn’t really work for me.

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  4. Courtney · January 20, 2013

    I do feel like I get enough sleep every night which usually ends up being between 7 and 8 hours. However, I am also the type of person who could sleep for days!! I feel pretty good on 7 hours though.

    I used to have a really hard time falling asleep but going to counseling really helped me. We never even talked about my sleep issues, but just talking about other things I was dealing with and venting to someone drastically helped my sleep. I used to have to drug myself with Benadryl every night so I could eventually fall asleep. Now I can climb into bed and be asleep within minutes! And I usually stay asleep, too. Something that really helped me was journaling. Just writing my thoughts/feelings throughout the day into a journal helped stopped the looping thoughts and allowed them to be non-existent at night.

    Another thing that helped me, and bear with me because it is ridiculous sounding, was to keep my room clean and bed made. You may already do this, but if not, give it a try. I have found, even still, that if I go to bed with a clean room and actually have to undo my covers to climb in, I sleep a lot better. Something about a clean room = clean mind? Who knows, but it works.

    My fiance takes melatonin to help him sleep, have you tried that? He said it gives him some crazy dreams but it works!

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    • CJ · January 20, 2013

      Thank you so much for commenting, Courtney!

      My trouble is somewhat the falling asleep bit (which I’ve done much to mitigate, including the making my bed/cleaning my room/removing all electronics from my room and journaling), but even more, I have trouble just getting myself to go to bed in the first place. I’m just contrary, I guess.

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      • Heidi Lewis · January 22, 2013

        Charity, I’m the same way! Once asleep I sleep well. The alone time at night is so addictive I want to stay up. It really stemmed from when Juliet was little. She always woke to nurse at midnight so in anticipation I would just stay up. Still do but she’s not nursing at midnight.

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