the ups and downs (and all arounds) in a determined quest for beauty sleep
Consistent sleeplessness is torture. I wouldn't blame you for taking anything, including on purpose :) And this story is hilarious.
I love practicing Yoga Nidra during the day--its shocking how it helps hours later. I found this one through the Huberman Lab...he's a neuroscientist at Stanford and really goes deep on sleep and performance.
I am in bed under the covers, warm and cozy, take a deep breath. Turn on the Calm app and I listen to "A New Day" by Cooper Sams. It relaxes me, sometimes I fall asleep with the headphones still on...It always relaxes me.
I hope you do find sleep, in the right doses and at the right times. Ox
I do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia with my Vets. It really works, but it does require some effort to change our behaviors around sleep.
So funny. Here’s a good one to try. Works wonders. Reveri app. Apple only. Science based out of Stanford lab. Self hypnosis for sleep.
OMG, thank you for sharing your THC gummy story. Hilarious and horrifying at the same time - well, maybe not horrifying. Pre-COVID, I once bought a cannabis cookie in Massachusetts then left it in my fridge for some time. On a Saturday early morning, I decided to ingest the cookie before going on a walk with colleagues on the Walkway over the Hudson because I have a signficant fear of heights. However, the effects of the cookie didn't kick in until AFTER the walk (which actually went better than I expected as I was in company with others) and had to drive to a massage appointment. Although it was only 10 min away I seriously wondered if I should drive. I eventually did and my massage was doubly relaxing!
Thanks to my dermatologist daughter, I discovered and now use nightly magnesium glycinate (which has nothing to do with skin but everything to do with a decent nights sleep. I took 200 mg at first but found that taking it right before be sets you up for groggy in am. Taking it one hour before sleep allows me to drag myself to bed and sleep almost immediately. I have backed off to 100 mg and continue to sleep. I can even skip fretting over taxes if awakened in the middle of the night!
OMG! LOL! That graphic! It didn't come through with that in the newsletter. I just saw it when I happened to click on your home page. Wow. Grammie wasn't just high she was riding first class on that trip!
VAL! Alas! Alas! Sleeplessness is a torture! I think it comes in clumps. Next month you will be sleeping like a champion!
My trick? A half a grapefruit thirty minutes before beddy bye and a few almonds.
All the world loves a clown! You always could make me laugh and your star turn on “To Tell the Truth” is priceless! But no clowning around re sleepless nights!
I often play “Soundscapes” on Spectrum TV’s Music Channel (channel 1943). Sounds hokey but the soothing sounds are very meditative. Also have a white noise machine.
You got me hooked on white noise machines years ago when your son was an infant and you put one in his bedroom to filter out the noise of the refrigerator trucks on the street that droned night long. Can’t live (or sleep) without one in NYC!
I also used to take 2.5 mg of a melatonin lozenge placed under the tongue. For years! Then one night a few months ago I stopped and found—to my delight—that I fell asleep quite easily. But my dreams can be so vivid I sometimes wake up feeling like I’ve been up all night. Still, melatonin usually left me feeling groggy most mornings, which is why I wanted to stop, and I’m happier without it.
Wellness guru Andrew Weil mentions a practice called “mantram,” sort of a meditative equivalent of counting sheep. (Weil says you can also practice “mantram” when you’re awake to ease anxiety.)
The idea is to “choose a word, sound or phrase that is pleasing to you, and repeat it.” What about your beautiful granddaughter’s name?
Whatever sleep remedy you land on, I wish you sweet dreams, dear Val!
And how could I forget my sleep mask? I just woke up! With 10 hours of beauty sleep, I’m sure to look my best for my son’s wedding on Saturday 😍
I'm a fan of magnesium, already mentioned by another reader. I have found that a dab of Sweet Dreams magnesium cream, from Cooks Organics, when massaged into the soles of my feet has produced a deeper, dreamier sleep from the first night I used it. On the occasions when a busy mind leaves me wakeful after a trip to the loo, I've drifted of after running through the progressive relaxation series I recently read about in the Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/05/opinion/relaxing-muscles-skills.html
Even worse, many recent articles describe how not getting enough sleep, or the right type of sleep, leads to weight gain, drastically lowered immunity, heart attacks, and even a shortened lifespan. If only it were bad skin! It’s enough to keep you up all night. I’ve also tried it all…..
I, too have run the gamut with respect to chasing sleep for the last 15 years or so. I've tried ALL the things you mentioned including both THC and CBD gummies, and nothing ever reliably helped. I now practice all the "clean sleep" methods you mention—no lights, no devices, no exercise before bed, no booze, cold room—save the weighted blanket (that's my husband's game). My sleep isn't too bad, finally, but whether or not that's due to what I ingest at bedtime or would have happened anyway, I can't say. Nowadays I take magnesium, melatonin, and a herbal sleep tincture made locally. When I still can't sleep, or I wake in the middle of the night, I practice the same breathing I use in meditation (I use the Waking Up app with Sam Harris). Focusing on my breathing—effectively, getting out of my head and back into my body—has proven to be very effective at getting me back to sleep.
I've tried all the things you describe short of the CBD and THC. The current brand of time-release Melatonin seems to help with those wee hours ruminations too. I'm reading Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness where he wrote a lot about good sleep. So I found a mantra for myself, plus the 478 breathing technique for stressful (or wakeful) times. Not sure which of these helps most but I'm sticking with them for now. I miss the days of championship sleeping!
Even post-menopausal, I'm still blessed with the ability to drift off to sleep approximately 30 seconds after dropping my head on the pillow. However, I sometimes wake in the night and unable to stop ruminating on something. This is especially aggravating when it's a trivial thing that I keep telling myself "You don't need to think about returning that sweater RIGHT NOW." Or a song that's stuck in my ear. I've found that a round of yoga nidra works to get me back to sleep about 90% of the time.