Navigation

rest/sleep – how do you make sure you get more/enough?

I have seen some discussions here about how we feel better and sometimes have less symptoms if we're well rested.  But…that can be so hard to do.  I know I try to go to bed at a reasonable hour – I don't always succeed and even when I do, I'm often still tired.

What do you do to make sure you get enough sleep and are well rested?

41
99

Comments 41

  • Pljohns

    I never get enough sleep.  I go to bed at the same time every night but DH is a night owl and has never required much sleep, so he comes up at 11:00, cranks the TV up, then DS#2, who is also a night owl and has NEVER required more than 4-5 hours of sleep comes up about 11:30. The dogs here him coming up the stairs so they go nuts, then all 3 of them decide they have to go out, DH takes them out, but then one of them (the 5lb yorkie) that sleeps with us, bails back in the bed and has to give me tons of kisses. I'm lucky if I'm back asleep by midnight or 1AM and the alarm goes off at 5:45. At least the clinic that i'm covering now doesn't want me here until 8 so I can sleep until 5:45.  If I have to be at a clinic at 7:30, and depending on how far the drive is, I'm up as early as 5AM.  Work is non stop until 4:30-5 then home to cook dinner and start the three ring circus all over again.  At least on the weekend I can sleep until 9:30 ish-that is unless DH has a meeting or a car doesn't need to go to the shop for oil change and if I got grocery shopping done on Friday afternoon.  If not, it's up early to get that done and I usually spend the weekend running like some crazy person.  Crud-after I re-read this, no wonder my doc tells me I'm burning the candle at both ends.  I wish there was a way to slow down but no such luck.

  • K8sMom2002

    PLJohns, I feel for you — but it's the exact opposite at my house. I'm the night owl and my DH is the lark. He hates it when I come to bed late, and I hate it when he feels the need to elbow me in the AM at 5 AM and say, "Hey, you awake?"

    Uh, bud, I am NOW.

    In our nearly three decades of working out peace treaties between the night owls and the larks, we've used some pretty drastic measures.

    •  - I'm deaf as a post, and DH has ears like a bat, so in order for us to peacefully co-exist, I invested in a pair of these. They worked pretty well indeed, especially when I pair them with closed captioning. You can also get a free phone app that will do something very similar — BioAid, TVLouder, and Ear Machine are all app-based personal sound amplification products. The tv could be turned way down and your DH could still hear it through his ear buds. 
    • An alternative is something DH wouldn't do — ear plugs. Perversely the silence kept him awake. I think his real problem is he's sure that if I'm up, I'm having fun without him.
    • Nowadays I watch most "TV" at night on my tablet or my iPhone, so I can use earbuds and watch in the living room and no one is disturbed.
    • NO TV in the bedroom. I made this rule a long time ago, and I'm happy I did, as DH is addicted to TV. 
    • No lights and respect the other person. I'm actually better at this than DH is. I color coded my closet so that I could lay out my clothes in the dark, and I can get ready for bed/work in pitch black. I figured that if a blind person could do it, I could, right? (DH OTOH still does the elbow thing at 5 AM)
    • Preparations for bed don't have to be RIGHT before bed. Our dog goes out earlier, and I take out  my contacts and floss my teeth earlier (the things I need light for — though I still haven't figured out how I can brush my teeth but not floss in the dark. ) 
    • These days because hot flashes cause me to wake up in the middle of the night, my family has mercy on me. I get to sleep a bit later than the rest of the family, especially if I had trouble falling asleep, but I'm still up every AM about the same time. 
    • Streamlined mornings help — everybody has a job to do, and they ALL know that AMs are not my best time.

    Since DH works 7 days a week, we don't really get to sleep in, but I do enjoy my Saturday mornings where I can poke around in my PJs a bit longer before jumping into the Saturday shopping grind. I hate Saturday grocery shopping, but there's just not any help for it. 

    I used to have to get up at 5:30 AM every morning to make it to the office, and it was no fun. I feel ya, I really, really do. 

  • Jen

    I'm also a nightowl.  It's usually 9 by the time I stop whatever housework/to do list stuff I have.  Then I get ds ready for bed – he gets melatonin and usually is asleep within the hour.  I try really really hard to not watch tv or use my phone after 10p.  At that point, I try to get ready for bed and maybe read for a bit.  But…what ends up happening is this – the boy is wound up and won't go to sleep, at least one of the girls needs me to sign something/help with homework/you name it, I get caught up playing on my phone, etc.  It's particularly difficult on the nights I work until 930p.  I feel like I need the time to unwind.  I have an iPhone and did start using the nightshift feature where it reduces the blue light coming from my phone.  I have that set to start at 10pm.  I may look at starting that a little earlier, so even if I'm on my phone, it's less stimulating.

  • Pljohns

    WOW-you guys have ti down pat!  We do OK except I have a family of night owls that don't realize what it's like to get up at 5:30!  Our dogs go out before bed too, but DH takes them out when he comes up so they will leave me alone until I get out of bed the next morning.  What I'm going to wear all week is put together on Sunday so all I need to do is put it out the night before.  It's just a bit crazy-DH has PTSD and doesn't just go to sleep-he takes melatonin too but he has to have something on and him get sleepy with it-so they TV stays on until the auto timer shuts it off around midnight.  by the weekend, I'm dead.

  • D Nice

    I never get enough sleep, and it doesn't help that I work the graveyard shift. It also doesn't help I have insomnia. The only time I get sleep is when I  have an asthma bout. 

  • Kathy P

    Wow D Nice, I get less sleep when my asthma is flares since I'm up coughing all night. 

  • K8sMom2002

    D Nice, hugs on the insomnia and working the graveyard shift. What has your doctor suggested to help? 

    PLJohns, one thing I might suggest having your DH try is to use podcasts on his smart phone instead … I do that to lull me off to sleep.

    I found that I could fall asleep in front of the TV, but not if I just lie down. So I figured out that what was helping me fall asleep is that my brain's language "bandwith" is just enough to process one person/program talking. If I'm listening to the television or radio, for instance, I can't keep myself up worrying, and I drift off to sleep. 

    But TV's flickering lights really do a number on my sleep — it screws up my sleep cycle. So I started downloading podcasts or audiobooks on my iPhone and using an earbud in one ear. I set the sleep time for 15 minutes, and nine times out of ten, I go to sleep before the 15 minutes is up. How do I know? Because when I start the podcast/audiobook to listen to it again the next day, I have to rewind it!

    It has really helped my sleep. Not saying that it works every time — insomnia will still get me on occasion, but it really works. What's more, it doesn't keep my DH up! So that's a win-win!

  • Pljohns

    Cool suggestion-I'll see if he will give that a try.  He and DS#2 are night owls and neither of them ever sleep more than 5-6 hours max and they are good the next day.  DS#1 and me-no way-6 is tolerable, 8 its much better and 10 is super but most of those never happen.

  • K8sMom2002

    Did you have a chance to talk with him about using his smartphone? I hope it works as well for him/you as it has for me and my DH. 

    The older I get, the more sleep I need … ah, for the days in college when I could pull an all nighter and not think about sleep until it was time to go to bed the next night.

  • Pljohns

    I tried and he won't bite-says he can't go to sleep with anything in his ears or on his ears.  I thought about getting some ear plugs for myself, but he sleeps so hard that if the kids get sick over night or anything goes on in the house, he never hears it.  You could blow up our house around him and he would sleep right through it.  

     

  • Jen

    Grrrr….

    So…I switched the nightshift settings on my iphone from 10p to 930p.  I do think I went to sleep maybe 15-30 mins earlier than I had been.  Time will tell if this change does the trick.

  • Mandy

    I have slept with earplugs for years. My husband is a dead sleeper too but I have never missed one of the kids needing me. Seems one of them always falls out at some point. I even used them when my son was a baby. I can't go without them. Every noise including my hubby's snoring irritates me beyond belief. So ear plugs it is. 

    I don't get enough sleep or so it feels. The average healthy person needs 7-9 hours of sleep so what do I need? My therapist thinks it should be in the 8-10 range consistently..bahaha that doesn't happen…but I have gotten better at napping. Small victories

  • Pljohns

    Mandy-you are a better person than I am!  I NEVER get enough sleep but I just can't do ear plugs.  I will generally catch a nap over the weekend sometimes-but not nearly often enough!

  • Jen

    I tell you, even when I get enough sleep, it still doesn't feel like enough.  

  • Shea

     I was prescribed a muscle relaxer because I have a lot of upper back tension and it is my savior when it comes to getting g to asleep. Its called  Tizanidine HCl 4mg tablets, I take 2 (Zanaflex). Because I have little willpower to force myself to wind down early, and it will make me sleepy after I take it, but I wake up fine in the morning from it. I don't tasks it every night, and sometimes I wait until really late to take it because I like the night hours and need the me-time, but I know its there for if I can t sleep or to make me go to bed at a certain time at least.

  • K8sMom2002

    PLJohns, grr on your DH. How about this, then … how about if YOU try the earbud trick? Mandy is right … when I wake up in the AM, the earbud has fallen out. 

    And while once I go to sleep, I sleep like the dead, when my DD was a baby, my DH would wake ME up with an elbow to the ribs, saying, "She's calling you." 

    She was calling for anybody, but naturally he thought it made sense to wake me up rather than him to go check.

    Shea, I'm glad you have something that works for you!

  • Pljohns

    Are you sure we aren't  married to brothers??  I very well may find the ear buds-he's been being extra quiet the last few nights since I"m only sleeping 3-4 hours a night.

  • K8sMom2002

    Don't you know that ALL southern boys are brothers?  

    I hope the earbuds work! And I'm glad he's being more considerate. Maybe he'll do a better job about it in the future.

  • Pljohns

    They must be~~~. Ear buds found and getting used tonight!  We had ghosts in the house last night-my stupid computer started playing ads on the browser at 1:30AM, then somehow at 3:30 the TV came on in the living room (I suspecian the dog rolled over on the remote on the couch) and then my phone started playing Bon Jovi for no reason at 6AM.  It was one of those nights!

  • Jen

    pljohns – how did the earbuds go for you?

    I sure could've used something last night.  Ds was up at 3am, so I gave him a 2nd dose of melatonin per his doctor.  That usually does the trick.  Last night?  Not so much?  He was up the whole day.  I figured he might sleep on the bus ride to/from school (he's on the bus for at least 40 mins one way), but the bus driver and aide both said he didn't.  I think he's just now falling asleep.  *yawn*  All that said, I can sometimes sort of sleep even when he's up (he has gates at his door, so he usually doesn't escape ).  Not this time. I have had some stiffness/pain in my upper back and neck.  It was really bugging me last night – the combo of my boy making noise and the pain wasn't so conducive to sleep.  I hope to crash soon so I can catch up a little.

  • Kathy P

    That's really weird Pljohns! I'd have been freaked out! 

    Hope you and the boy both get some sleep tonight Jen. 

    Usually if I can't sleep, and it's not asthma coughing, it's a migraine starting. If I treat that, I can usually manage to fall asleep. 

  • Pljohns

    Thankfully no ghosts last night-we knew no one was in the house because the dogs didn't bark.  We have one dog that sneaks onto the couch to sleep and she has turned on the tv by plopping her head on the remote beside the couch several times and not even moved off the couch when we come to turn it off

  • Pljohns

    Ear buds worked great last night-I was still up at 3:30 from the pred and now the leg cramps have kicked in.

  • K8sMom2002

    PLJohns, I'm glad that the dog didn't channel surf again! Yay for ear buds working! 

    Jen, that sounds like a really tough night … hope your kiddo's doc can give you some different strategies if it keeps happening. And I hope you can fix the stiffness in your neck!

    Kathy P, ugh on the migraines … those are never pleasant. 

    I've been finding if I get my steps in during the day, I sleep better at night. I started really re-committing to getting at least 6K steps in sometime ago when Jen talked about how exercise helped her feel better and de-stress. It works! Now, I'm no gym rat … and my exercise is mainly just indoor-walking, so we're not talking heavy duty exercise. But it has helped. 

  • Jen

    Yes!  We both slept better the last couple of nights.  There was a time when we had a handful of bad sleep nights a month.  Fortunately, these days, nights like Wednesday seem to only happen once a month or less.  We do get the occasional brief (well, an hour maybe) night wakings and waking earlier than normal.  We both actually crashed real early (for us) last night.  He was asleep before 9, so I took advantage and was knocked out by 10.  As for the neck, it's a lot better than the other night.  Every so often, I get these knots/nerve issues in my upper back/neck area. It seems to be moving now, which is a good thing.  Less pain and soreness.  I started stretching it a lot after it happened, so hopefully it will all be gone soon enough.

  • K8sMom2002

    Fingers crossed, Jen, that your good sleep streak is continuing! Also, one thing that has helped me with pain/knots/nerve issues is the old tennis ball trick — I put a tennis ball between me and a wall, and use it to give myself a DIY massage. Ice packs help, too!

    Storms kept me up until 12:30 this AM! Ai-yi-yi! Did not help matters that we had to be out the door at 7:30 AM to make DD's tutoring session at a nearby college. We got there just in the nick of time. 

  • Jen

    Been doing a bit better on the sleep front this week.  There were a couple mornings where ds was up a bit earlier than I'd like, but nothing too crazy.  I hear you on the storms.  It was raining last night and I kept hearing this banging (like dd1 was awake and rummaging in the cabinets), so woke up a few times.  As it turned out, the banging was our screened in porch door that wasn't latched.  Thanks for the tip on the tennis balls.  DD3 has a few different massage tools that have rollers on them, so similar concept to the tennis ball.  May give those a try next time.

  • Pljohns

    Now that I'm off the prednisone, am back to getting 6-7 hours a night and last weekend-I made up for lost time-10 hrs Fri night and Sat night!

  • Jen

    ds has been getting up a bit earlier than I would like the last few days.  530am this morning.  *yawn*  Fortunately, dh got up with him.  But…then ddd3 came in our room shortly after, crying about her head hurting (she gets migraines on occasion).  So…I ended up sleeping off/on for most of the morning.  

    Still…I really need to work on getting to bed earlier since mornings seem to be a wild card in terms of wake up time.

  • Jen

    Well…now that school is out for summer, ds has been sleeping in a little.  He's generally not getting up til after 730.  But….the last couple nights he's been up a little later than I'd like.  At least I don't have to get up til after 7, so it all works out.  Still trying to get to bed earlier when I can.

    Has anyone else's sleep schedule changed over the summer months?

  • K8sMom2002

    This week was tough, because DD was going to a healthcare camp that was an hour away. For most of the days, I would take her to her grandparents, who would ferry her on, but they were anxious about getting there and finding the place, so we had to get up even earlier to build in extra time. 

    Today was the first day she didn't have to be up and out the door by 7:20, so that was great — it meant I didn't have to get up as early as I have been. 

    But I really need to try to get to bed earlier!

  • Pljohns

    I STILL haven't figured it out.  I can almost count on DS#2 coming up to do his half of the laundry after I go to bed (the laundry is right outside our bedroom door) and then he wants to come in and talk.  I would never ever tell him that I was tired or could we do it some other time.  I am just very strong in the belief that if a teenager wants to talk to you-no matter what time of night-I do.  I know DS too well and if I ever told him I was tired, he would never come back in to talk to me.  I'm lucky that a 16yo boy still wants to talk to his Mom-and he talks to me about everything, so I listen to make sure he knows he can talk to us anytime about anything.  He will be grown soon enough and if he has any questions, I want him to get the answers from us-not his friends or the internet.  SO-I average about 5 hrs of sleep a night and am usually worn out by Friday, spend all weekend running errands and start the next week more tired than I ended the previous one.  so goes life…

  • Jen

    I hear you, Lynn.   I really try to remember that about my kids when they want to talk.  

  • Pljohns

    Have you ever gotten so frustrated with stuff keeping you awake that you just yelled???  I HAD IT Sunday night-DS#2 got in from being with friends and wanted to talk-that was fine, I had just gone to bed.  Then at 11 he decides he hungry(aren't teenagers hungry ALL the time?) so upstairs he comes to fix dinner (pulled out all of the leftovers we had for dinner, clanking bowls and plates along the way), plopped the dishes in the sink-and every step of the way, the dogs started barking, then DH comes up for a snack (he was downstairs watching TV with DS#1), wakes the dogs up again and we have barking for another 10 minutes, then after 11, DS#2 decides he wants a snack-never mind he cleaned out all of the leftovers 2 hours earlier-so up the stairs he comes again-barking dogs again-then around midnight, all 3 come up for snacks and potty break in between the movies they are watching-more dog barking-DH finally came to bed a 2AM with more dog barking, slamming doors because one dog wanted to go out, then 3:30, another dog decided they had to go out and somehow it was my turn to get up with them and my alarm goes off at 5:30.  Sometime after all 3 came up for the second time and got the dogs barking, I finally had enough and just yelled that I wished someone would tell me WHY I even try to go to sleep!!!

    Needless to say, Monday, I was running on about 2 hours of sleep.

  • Jen

    Oh man, Lynn.  That just stinks.  I have found that not getting enough sleep makes me so irritable.   And I have totally been in similar situations.  Ds can't really control his sleep issues so much, but  I really could do without the extra noise from dd's and dh sometimes.  On the mornings dh goes into DC for work, he's usually up around 5 and out the door by 6.  I vaguely remember his alarm this morning and have no recollection of him leaving the house (other mornings I can not sleep through his noise.)  Then ds was up bright and early at 630am today.  I was hoping for another half hour.  Alas, I may have to take a nap instead.  Totally going to blow off the to do list so that I can function later today.

  • Jen

    Have people been managing to get enough rest/sleep this summer?  My schedule has been off with the kids home this summer.  I've been going to bed a bit later than I'd like some nights – I wind up watching tv/hanging out with the girls.  Wakeup time has been off too.  During the school year, I usually get up around 615.  This summer, I've been up anywhere between 7 and 830.  The kids all go back in a few weeks, so hopefully I'll get back on schedule.

  • Jen

    I got a fitbit a few days ago and am using it to monitor my sleep.  It's no wonder I feel  tired.  Even though I shut my eyes for 7 hours or so most nights, I seem to have a number of restless periods each night.  I might have to work on going to bed earlier to make up for that.

  • Jen

    I really need to work on the getting to bed earlier thing now that school is back in session.  My wakeup time is at least an hour earlier than it was over the summer.

    Any suggestions for trying to get to bed earlier?  I feel like I am doing housework/to do list stuff after dinner til about 9 and then I need to get ds ready for bed and next thing I know it's slightly after 10.  I still need to get ready for bed and then unwind a little.

  • Jen

    I use the night shift setting on my iPhone to dim the screen brightness.  I have that set to start at 930p.  I'm thinking 9pm might be better.  That might help me get sleepy faster and then motivate me to get ready for bed.

  • Pljohns

    I sort of have my nightly "to do" list  but it's pretty much done by 7:30.  When the kids were smaller, they had set bedtimes of 8:30 and 9 (depending on their age) but they had to have baths done and homework done before they did anything else.  DH is a night owl so he was always up to make sure they went to bed on time and even in HS, their time is 11 for DS#2 (he doesn't take much sleep) but DS#1 for the last couple of years, has gone to bed when he feels like he needs to-sometimes 10, sometimes 10:30 but always before 11.

    Once dinner is cleaned up, I do what little I have to do and then off to shower and I'm normally in bed by 9 and can unwind until I fall asleep-usually before 10.  Our kids have done laundry for YEARS and that helps a lot and they take out the trash so that helps with nightly things  I run the dishwasher at night before we go to bed and they each unload half the next day after school.  I started when they were really young giving them things to do and now they just do it without having to be ask.  I figured that I worked full time and so did DH and they had the equivalent of full time with school so if we all pitched in, it made it easier on us all.  Now, DH isn't the greatest to help but the kids-don't know what I'd do without them.

  • Jen

    I did end up changing the nightshift setting on my iPhone. I now have it set to start at 9pm.  That seems to help get me off my phone sooner most nights.