Some of you might have noticed how this site has evolved over the years – since it’s beginnings in 2002.
Back then I was focused on the Compatibility Blanket, the blanket we invented to help partners who argued about the amount of bed-coverings they had on the bed – because one partner is often hotter than the other in bed. You know how it happens, if you’re the cooler partner you are continually sleeping under whatever ‘junk’ bedclothes your partner has pushed over to your side. Or if you are the hotter one, you’re hanging your leg out the side of the bed to get cool, or finding it very hard to sleep properly.
Overheating in bed reduces the quality of your sleep.
After finding this information, and experimented with it myself, I began the journey to find out what else we didn’t know about better sleep.
The next phases included a mail order catalogue selling items that might help people sleep better naturally (remedies, oils etc), while continuing to research sleep.
I have been interested in alternative health as well as main stream health for many years – but it was difficult (and still is, often) to find empirical evidence and clinical trials to support some of the processes and systems that either don’t work, people “believe” work, or they simply do work.
Some solutions appear to work without any supporting evidence.
My research appeared to be getting more and more obscure, trying to find the latest information from a neurological perspective, evidence that certain non-drug solutions actually worked, etc.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Whatever the science and technologies, natural, drugs, and otherwise – what I’ve found just talking to people is a lot of the underlying real, human, life issues are not being addressed when people have sleeping problems.
People just want to pop a pill, or have an instant fix, without actually getting to the underlying cause of the sleep problem. It’s never going to work that way, sorry. I know no-one wants to hear that, but …
I’ve spoken to many people over the year who can’t sleep because of relationship problems, bad diet, little or no exercise, a job they hate, they’re really overweight, they have a ridiculously stimulated lifestyle, no play time, etc.
So, it’s like I’ve come full circle on it all. Yes, some of the issues can be as basic as overheating in bed (I still have people who improve their sleep when they dump their heavy doonas/duvets).
The trouble is – lack of sleep becomes a vicious cycle.
We’re tired, then we get grumpy, then we start having relationship problems, and get depressed. Or we’re tired and we eat chocolate and drink too much coffee to keep us awake – then we start putting on weight, don’t feel so motivated to play sport of any kind, then we start snoring, maybe develop breathing problems, even sleep apnea. Not good.
So before you take any medications, natural or otherwise, have a little sit down and list a few things in your life that are getting you down, making you fat, hurting your feelings, or stopping you from relaxing and make a strategy to solve those things.
Each week address one. Maybe diarize it for Wednesday’s each week.
Next Wednesday I’m going to book for a weight reducing program. The week after that I’m going to start a fun sport with some friends. After that I’m going to have that “deep and meaningful” conversation with my partner about what improvements I’d like in our relationship. The week after that I’ll get a cleaner in for one hour to help me with the extra work since my new baby arrived. Etc, etc.
Small change by small change – whatever yours might be.
It’s often the simple things that are keeping us anxious, feeling bad, and stopping us from getting enough sleep. When we are happy and relaxed we often sleep just fine.
One last word, if you have trouble falling asleep, and I know a lot of you do, don’t convince yourself that you have a ‘problem’. It commonly takes people a little while to fall asleep – especially if they’ve just been doing something proactive, watching scary/violent stuff on television, working on the computer etc.
Turn the lights down early and put some soothing music on instead.
Here’s where you’ll find more information about the Compatibility Blanket. For those of you who haven’t been around that long.
P.S. Does any of this make sense for you? Put your comments below: