About four years ago I couldn't sleep. I would wake up frequently throughout the night, sometimes upwards of five or six times. It got so bad that I would actually put off going to bed because I didn't want to wake up... not exactly the best plan. This went on for about eighteen months, and then, one night, my daughter actually slept through the night. I awoke in a panic (in the morning!!), realizing that not once had I been awakened by cries and a baby frantically signing "milk milk milk!" at me. I hurried to my daughter's bunk, and there she was, all tucked up in a little ball, blissfully asleep.
After that, she didn't sleep through the night every night. We easily hit the two year mark before we were all sleeping through the night regularly. This was a tough time for my husband too, as he was often awoken as well. He was working full time and at one point also taking classes for his Captain's license in the evenings. We were exhausted. He slept through lunch breaks at work, and I think I was probably mildly crazy--but in a nice way.
Now, four years later, I can't sleep. I'm waking up frequently throughout the night, sometimes upwards of five or six times. This has been going on for a few months...
And I don't have a baby.
Why can't I sleep?
And how is all this related to my blog?
Well, today I did some reading. Not too in depth, just "12 Tips for Better Sleep," (spotted on the cover of this Month's Shape Magazine). And there was a bit in there about food. Or more specifically, about beverages. I am not a big tea drinker, I am a huge tea drinker, and I'm of the caffeinated persuasion. But one of the 12 tips was, "no caffiene after noon." !!!!!! Really!! That is what it said. I like to drink my black, chai spice tea right up until the moment I go to bed, but according to the article that is wrong for a couple reasons:
1) Caffiene keeps you up.
2) Liquids make you pee (and wake you up first, we hope).
So, first offense caffienated tea, and second offense drinking liquids right before bed. Apparently I am supposed to only drink calming beverages, like a soothing herbal tea or a tart cherry juice, and nothing at all in the last hour before bed. This includes nightcaps. One of the tips actually stated that you only think alcohol helps you sleep, but really it prevents you from entering a deep sleep, so no alcohol in the three hours before bed. I don't know what time you get home at night, but this could easliy just translate into "no alcohol," thereby not only helping with your sleep, but giving your liver and budget a break too.
Anyway... I never buy tart cherry juice. Or rather, I never used to buy tart cherry juice. Or soothing herbal teas. But today I bought both: Cherry Juice and "Bedtime Tea."
I did have just one eensy little Red Bull after noon today, but now I'm done. No more caffiene today. No alcohol. Cherry Juice and Bedtime Tea tonight. I'll let you know how this new beverage experiment goes.