Today’s Featured Comment
I’m a chronic insomniac and menopause has only made it worse. My brain doesn’t turn off as it should. I’ve been told that there are certain bio-chemical processes in the brain which motivate the descent into sleep. Body temperature begins to drop and thoughts that keep the brain busy during the day wane. This happens with most people. Chronic insomniacs such as myself have higher body temps and more active brains. Or, the natural progression to sleep simply takes longer than normal sleepers.
A lot of folks have good advice regarding the proper “sleep hygiene,” as a doctor once called it. I’ve found the following to be the most helpful:
- Regular exercise no later than 4 pm. This will raise body temperature and then lower it more quickly, helping you get to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine after late morning.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even if you’re tired. This will induce a certain sleep debt that may make the sleep you get of better quality.
- Finally, if your brain’s active, find a way of “unloading” your thoughts. For example, I’m a writer. I get lots of good ideas late at night. I keep a digital recorder near the bed. When they keep me up I flip on the recorder, record the thoughts to get them out of my brain and then get back to sleep.
[This comment was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]
What helps you sleep?