Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sleep oh sleep, where art thou?

Good sleep is a wonderful thing.  Waking up feeling calm, refreshed, ready to face a new day.  But in reality, how often is this achieved?  Most of the time I end up having difficulties getting to sleep, or waking up in the middle of the night, waking up too early and not getting back to sleep, or just generally feeling run down.  I'm not sure why that is, but many people that I speak to seem to have similar issues when it comes to getting proper rest.

Stress is a big factor.  When laying in bed and thinking about too many things, it can become nearly impossible to fall asleep.  When I'm feeling calm it's easier to fall into that relaxed state where I can drift off into dreamland.  But often I lay there thinking about the day that has just passed and the day that is approaching.   I am envious when I hear people tell me that they can hit the bed and fall asleep within minutes every time.  Maybe I used to be able to do that when I was a child, I know I used to be a deep sleeper.  But now it seems like my mind likes to begin racing as soon as I lay down, no matter how tired I am.  

Naps are another wonderful thing.  The best is the middle of the afternoon, on a weekend, with the rain falling outside.  I had one of those a couple of weeks ago and I woke up feeling so refreshed and relaxed.  When we don't get enough sleep it feels like the body is running on adrenaline, and often lots of coffee, which just isn't the best way to feel calm and focused.

This past week has been particularly bad for sleep.  I eliminated caffeine for about 6 days and it seemed to have a slight improvement on sleep quality but not as much as I would have hoped, so I continue to enjoy my coffee and tea.   I did notice that I slept deeper and for longer, but I guess I didn't give the experiment enough time to notice the full benefits. 

Work has been extremely unproductive over the past week, so hopefully as of now I will be able to get some decent sleep and get things done.  Doesn't always seem to work out that way...


  1. For 2 years I couldn't fall asleep before 4am. Fortunately I was usually able to sleep late to compensate, but it still sucked. I've noticed that if I'm going to fall asleep, my mind's eye will fill with vivid images. The images seem to me to be a general result of taking thyroid. Now I take cynomel 15 minutes before I want to sleep. It really gets the ball rolling.

  2. Andrew, that's interesting that the thyroid helps you sleep. I tested my thyroid and it seems fine, except maybe free T4 was at the bottom of the range. But TSH and free T3 looked good. But temperatures are a bit low so I don't really know if I need supplementation or not.