Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This is not my bedroom. If it were, I'd probably sleep better.

There's been a lot of conversation within my relationship circles lately regarding sleep, or better yet, lack of sleep. I've been a horrible insomniac for most of my life but never really worried about it until I learned that it is a contributing factor in developing dementia. That scared the bejeezus out of me! And made me worry more that I wouldn't be able to sleep.

Everyone I know offered advice. I'm sharing some of their suggestions here, in case, like me, you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying  asleep.

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. Going to bed at roughly the same time every night and following a bedtime ritual helps you trick yourself into getting ready to sleep. (Kinda like you do for a baby.)
  2. Take all electronics (computer, smart phones, television, etc..) out of the bedroom. You're there to sleep; not work.
  3. Make the room dark.
  4. Read before bedtime.
  5. Listen to audiobooks so that you can keep the room dark and your eyes closed.
  6. If you can't sleep, get up and read or do something else relaxing instead of tossing and turning.
  7. Limit caffeine. (This is the toughie for me. but I have stopped drinking coffee after noon.)
  8. Take melatonin every day to reset your sleep cycle.
I've tried everything on this list. All of these suggestions have helped, but I'll admit that melatonin has made the biggest difference. I have a prescription for Ambien, but don't take it unless I really can't sleep, which is problematic since at that point, I probably don't have enough time to let the Ambien work. But by taking melatonin every night, it has improved my ability to fall asleep.

I still have some sleepless nights, but the insomnia is much less frequent now. I think the biggest change is actually that I take sleep more seriously now. I'd never considered how important it was to my health before, but now that I do, I'm making sure I get more sleep.


  1. Good to know about the melatonin! A friend recommended that for Andy (who goes through periods of difficulty sleeping) and he was resistant, but maybe a second endorsement would make him more likely to try it. Now I just have to figure out where I can get it...

  2. You can get melatonin everywhere. It's at the grocery with the vitamin supplements. Hope it's as successful for him as it has been for me!