Tag Archives: sleep

The Solution for Good Sleep

Early in this quest for happiness, I identified a lack of sleep as a source of decreased energy and increased annoyance.  When I’m tired, little things get to me and I’m less happy and more snappy, making everyone around me less happy, too.

Despite consistently getting to be earlier and having a very dark room to sleep in, I found myself not sleeping well and waking up tired in the morning.

The solution came when my husband and I were in the drugstore picking up some allergy medicine since along with spring pollen comes spring itchy eyes.  On a whim, I picked up a box of Breathe Right snoring strip, and my husband mentioned that I’d been snoring rather loudly lately.  Usually, I’d have been defensive and brought up his snoring problem, but I decided that perhaps I do snore, and maybe these little strips could help.  They were on sale and they certainly couldn’t hurt.

breathe right strips

These simple little strips work miracles

That night I slept right through without waking once, and in the morning had enough energy to get up and make a special breakfast! The next night also went tranquilly…. and I was convinced.  These little strips really work!  The advanced were a little too strong for my skin, but the regular clear ones for sensitive skin work great and are gentle to remove.

So now, after a month of good sleep, I am feeling much more energetic, more creative and much happier. I never knew I had a problem before, but I’m glad I was open to the idea and the solution!

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Happiness Project, Goal 1

First things first:
Goal 1: Generate more energy

The idea is that if I have more energy, then I will be better focus, and be better able to do everything else that builds happiness.  It’s hard to feel happy when you can barely stay awake through lunchtime.

There are at 3 facets to generating more energy:

  1. Get more sleep.
  2. Eat better.
  3. Exercise better.

Get more sleep.

sleeping cat

I’ve fallen into the habit of watching the late night news, then doing the evening chores, then the brushing of teeth and washing of the face, then I read for a bit, and the next thing I know it’s past midnight, sometimes quite a bit past midnight, and by that time the brain is clicking with ideas, images and distracting thoughts. Then it can take hours for the brain the quiet down and rest.

I am definitely a night owl, getting a second wind around 11:30, so I need to strategize how to avoid that energy surge and get to sleep before it hits as advised by Dr. Michael J. Breus on WebMD

Most sleep specialists recommend the following:

  • Make sure your room is very dark with no blue or white lights.
  • Follow a regular bedtime/wake time schedule, even on week-ends
  • No naps after noon.
  • Vigorous exercise is good, but not 3 hours before going to bed.
  • Limit caffeine during the day, and stop drinking caffeine after 3pm.
  • Check to see if there’s an underylying physical problem such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome if the above isn’t working after a week or two.

I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I am convinced that more sleep will definitely help my focus and mood.

Ready, set, zzzz.

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The Quest for Happiness

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately.

Blah.

Uninspired.

Out of focus.

The usual winter doldroms.

So what’s the problem?  Scoutie Girl helped identify my malaise in her post today,  She asked: “Do you ever feel like things are out of focus? Like you just can’t see the bigger picture or know where to go from here?”

YES!  Yes, I do!  That’s exactly how I feel!

Scoutie Girl goes on to list a few suggestions to help nudge folks back on track, but none of them seemed to speak to me.

This malaise is pervasive, not just artists’ block or avoidance.  Things are getting done, but I’m not feeling the spark, the inspiration.

So, I checked out The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  It’s a practical and down-to-earth exposition on what happiness is, or isn’t, and Gretchen’s quest to systematically bring more of it into her life.

I like how she starts with generating more energy and at the top of her list is getting more sleep, followed by exercise better, and tackling clutter.  All those seem like that would benefit me.  I’ve found that bedtime has been drifting later and later and then morning seems to be earlier and more difficult.  I used to exercise each morning, but since I’m now dragging myself out of bed an hour later, it’s all I can do to feed the cats and get the coffee brewing.  Definitely programming myself to get to bed earlier will help me get more sleep.  And reviving my exercise program will also improve my overall energy levels and probably my mood as well.

The clutter is a constant battle.  I make headway, and then a month later, the tabletop is gone again. Gretchen has definitely identified an issue in my house and I look forward to seeing how she faces it.

I’m going to create my own Happiness Project, loosely based on the book and Gretchen’s journey.  It will evolve as I go along, but for now Gretchen’s book is a useful guide to get me started on the path out of the doldroms and back into the creative hum of life.

 

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