On Sleep

Sleep is something which occasionally eludes me. Take last night for instance, I was awake, and anxious about many things, most of which were unfounded.

Historically I’ve never been one to stress about sleep, and for the most part still am not. But a few years ago, which was a few years after Katrina, I had occasion to visit a specialist in sleep, who taught me about Sleep Hygiene. At the Mayo Clinic they talk Cognitive Therapy instead of pills. And in more general cases, offer great and simple sleep tips.

Most of them are common sense, and the rub comes in actually trying to make better habits regarding sleep. A big issue I was having at the time is, that after Katrina one of my physicians offered me mild tranquilizers, which made me drowsy. I offset that drowsiness with caffiene, and as a result ended up chronically caffeine toxic.

Things I remember fairly often are:

  • Most people wake up ten – eleven times per night. And the thing is to just stay in bed and nap, more or less, until sleep arrives again.
  • It’s not necessary to look at your clock or watch during the night to see what time you woke up. Just set an alarm for the last possible moment it needs to be set, and never worry about it again.
  • More than 16oz. of caffeine per day is considered too much.
  • I still break that one, fairly often.
  • Proper bedtimes, proper beds, proper diets, ect., all the usual suspects are rounded up in the Mayo Clinic handouts.

I’ve also been reading through Gray Hair and Black Iron, which is specifically for those over 40, 50, 60, 70, even 80 (I don’t think he mentions those over 90…)

The advice and technique is right up my alley, because it’s more or less what I was doing when I was last training regularly with free weights (as opposed to machines). Keep it simple, use the big lifts, warmup, stretch, cooldown, and allow for plenty of recuperative time. Growing older, this kind of happens naturally, still having it spelled out is always a good thing.) A lot more there, which I’m looking forward to working on regularly.

But recuperative time, of course, comes back down in part, to sleep. Which leads us back to the point and origin of this entire post.

With that…

Splash, out.

Fr. Kenneth Allen