Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Big Sleep

For the past 5 years or so I have had a great deal of trouble sleeping longer than 4-5 hours at a stretch. This isn’t so much an issue when I am on holidays or weekends as I can nap throughout the day. The downside of spending extra time sleeping on the weekends meant I wasn’t nearly as productive as I wanted to be.

Weekdays exhausted me almost beyond measure. I would come home, feed the family and generally pass right out only to awaken around 1am or 2am, and rather than struggle fruitlessly trying to go back to sleep, I would get up and move around.

Of course, this meant I was suddenly exhausted and ready for sleep around 6am – just the time I had to be getting myself and the family ready for the day. I would soldier on and be almost dead on my feet by 2pm. The hours between 2pm and 3pm were a special torment for a woman who spends most of her working day looking at a computer screen.

Anyway, a chance encounter with the wisdom of an old rabbi, suggested my problem was I wasn’t drinking enough water. To correct the problem I should make sure I drink a large glass of water before bed and immediately after I washed my hands upon rising I should drink another large glass of water – before coffee even.

I thought it was a daft idea as I drink plenty of water throughout the day but I though why not try his cure? I’ve tried just about everything else and it didn’t seem like it would hurt. So I gave it a shot and for the first time in 5 years I have managed to sleep on average 7 hours or more consistently in the last two weeks. All of which is my long winded way of saying there will be no more posts until later on in the day because I was busy sleeping rather than blogging this morning.


Jim said...

Good news!

(for me, the large glass of water at night has exactly the opposite effect!)

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Absolutely, and I really did think drinking water before bed would have the opposite effect...but apparently not.

stageleft said...

I habitually wake up between 2:00AM and 4:00AM - I used to try and fight myself back to sleep but after many years of failure to do so, and an equal number of years "hitting the wall" at 3 in the afternoon, I talked it over with our family medicine woman (no laughing, we have an elderly Gaelic medicine woman instead of a doctor) who told me to "go with it".

According to her this was a normal thing back in the day when we were (as a species) more connected to the land and not quite as safe and secure in our beds as we are now, essentially, a matter of survival - so I took her advice, and went with it.

When I wake up in the night now I'll get up, turn on the radio, have a smoke, maybe turn on the computer or read a bit of my book, and lo, usually within 30 or 40 minutes the eye lids get heavy again and I'm back in a horizontal position and sleeping like a baby.

The most important thing she said was "don't worry and fret about it, that's what keeps you awake" - she was right :-)