Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Warning; Long entry but read it if you are like me, and yes the frikkin' sentence rhymes

Stopped my mission to bust the flab for a while.

I changed it to The ultimate sleeping challenge mission.

For the past several weeks, I have been getting difficulties to get quality sleep. The thing is, I have no problem getting to sleep, I just have trouble sleeping properly, a restful sleep, whatever you might coin it as.

Just sleep, pure, unadulterated, SLEEP!

The situation had come to the extent of me worrying about my health. I feel lethargic, tired and it feels as if I never rested.

So, nowadays, aside from checking my emails, blog and fesbuk (Yeah I still do that, though I no longer poke people) I would usually Google ways to get good sleep.

And I found a really good website that listed 33 secrets to good sleep.

Somehow, a bit disappointed that sex was not in the list. It would give me a good reason to start a proper relationship again (Yes it has come to that stage where I would consider doing everything just to get a good sleep!)

Well… if any of you readers are experiencing the same problem, I am listing out all 33 secrets to a good quality sleep here, together with my smart ass comments and action plan… hahaha… being Saarcy and all… The ones that I have decided to try out and cross my fingers to hopefully work on me are the ones in red (and my comments are in girly pink… Hik…) ;

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn this gentle tapping technique in several minutes.
EFT can help balance your body's bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to the insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and the improvement is remarkably rapid. – I don’t have any idea what this is but it’s a kind of mental tapping method that sounds a bit too technical for me. It has acronyms, so it MUST be complicated! What would probably happen is that I might just be up all night googling about it. It has something to with assuring yourself that everything is going to be okay. But I am sure I will be following that sentence with a … " But…. On the other hand, the ant that bit me earlier today that sparked the whole controversy of the office being infested with bugs are just lost… I feel so bad for killing it now…". Oklah… crossing this out. It could not work with vain self absorbed people. (Wait, isn’t it suppose to work for vain self obsessed people) – there I go again.

Listen to white noise or relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. – Have yet to go to Border’s to find the CDs. I am looking for the delicious sound of rain. I find that I sleep well when it is raining outside. And then put it on repeat for about 8 hours… whoa…

Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. This will raise blood sugar and inhibit sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you might wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. – Okay, this I already am doing it but I did it for another reason and that is to lose weight. So I guess I am already on the right track.

Sleep in complete darkness or as close as possible. If there is even the tiniest bit of light in the room it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and seratonin. There also should be as little light in the bathroom as possible if you get up in the middle of the night. Please whatever you do, keep the light off when you go to the bathroom at night. As soon as you turn on that light you will for that night immediately cease all production of the important sleep aid melatonin. – I have a thing about heavy dark curtains. I’d feel as if I could not breath if I have curtains like that hanging in my room. I prefer light materials for curtains. I don’t like to sleep in the dark. So I am not willing to try this out.

No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even out of the house, completely. It is too stimulating to the brain and it will take longer to fall asleep. Also disruptive of pineal gland function for the same reason as above. – Already doing this. Now just waiting for it to just frikkin’ work already

Wear socks to bed. Due to the fact that they have the poorest circulation, the feet often feel cold before the rest of the body. A study has shown that this reduces night wakings (Click Here). – Again, I am already doing this, but for another reason. As you guys know, I am a vain person, so every night I would wear some lotion on my feet and I wear socks so that my skin would absorb the lotion.

Read something spiritual or religious. This will help to relax. Don't read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, as this may have the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might wind up unintentionally reading for hours, instead of going to sleep. – I am going to cross this out because I am so not into anything spiritual or religious, as far as books are concerned. I would probably go with something dull and boring, like the Osho book one of my flings gave me years ago. It’s been about 5 years, I have yet to finish the first page. Go figure. This might just work… uncrossing.

Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on the body to be awoken suddenly. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, they should be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock. The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 provides an ideal way to wake up each morning if you can't wake up with the REAL sun. Combining the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, this amazing clock simulates a natural sunrise. It also includes a sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time - ideal for anyone who has trouble falling asleep. – My first respond to this was… wth is this, so crossing this one out too. I figure sometimes westerners just have too many weird gadgets for their own good.

Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my coritsol levels are high (CLICK HERE) – I have a blog don’t I? So I guess I am right on course with this one.

Melatonin and its precursors. If behavioral changes do not work, it may be possible to improve sleep by supplementing with the hormone melatonin. However, I would exercise extreme caution in using it, and only as a last resort, as it is a powerful hormone. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. One should get blackout drapes so no light is coming in from the outside. One can also use one of melatonin's precursors, L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). L-tryptophan is the safest and my preference, but must be obtained by prescription only. However, don't be afraid or intimidated by its prescription status. It is just a simple amino acid. – I hope my situation won’t come to me taking hormones just to get sleep. This is somewhat very disturbing although it would totally sound normal to my expat friends. Syringes freak me out, hell… pills freak me out.

Get to bed as early as possible. Our systems, particularly the adrenals, do a majority of their recharging or recovering during the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into the liver which then secondarily back up into your entire system and cause further disruption of your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well. – This I would love to do, but I could not do considering my irregular working hours. Strange because my American boss suggested for me to not sleep early. Earlier or later, this makes no sense to me. You can get good sleep regardless of when you sleep.

Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and seratonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To purchase a gauss meter to measure EMFs try Cutcat at 800-497-9516. They have a model for around $40. One doctor even recommends that people pull their circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in the house (Dr. Herbert Ross, author of "Sleep Disorders"). – Again, westerners have too many gadgets for their own good. Now, it would probably work, but Sarcy is a renowned simpleton. All things that have acronyms is much too complicated.

Keep the temperature in the bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly the upstairs bedrooms too hot. – I get cold easily. To add on to the abnormality factor, I don’t even sleep with the fan on. Go figure… so this one… crossed out.

Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan need to produce melatonin and serotonin. – Is Biskut lemak included? If not, then I don’t think I can do this.

Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross the blood-brain barrier. – This one I can do. I am a fruit person. I love my fruits.

Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter may have effects on sleep. In most cases, the condition, which caused the drugs to be taken in the first place, can be addressed by following the guidelines elsewhere on this web site. – Back when I was under meds for depression, I especially loved Prozac. Xanax worked wonders for me. The sleep was great as it totally knocked me out for several hours. But I guess, it takes a druggie to say that drugs are not good for you… but it works. I have been given doctor’s advice to stay away from drugs though I am so tempted to.

Avoid caffeine. A recent study showed that in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently and therefore they can feel the effects long after consuming it. So an afternoon cup of coffee (or even tea) will keep some people from falling asleep. Also, some medications, particularly diet pills contain caffeine. – Being a vain person, I don’t take coffees or teas before bed because I am extremely careful with my teeth. I dread discoloration and I am currently in the middle of pooling in money to whiten my teeth. Yeah I am that vain.

Alarm clocks and other electrical devices. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from the bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. – Check. No more cellphones on bed next to pillow.

Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make people drowsy, the effect is short lived and people will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep, where the body does most of its healing. – Owh… how is it that I could totally sleep after I drink? I will consult my doctor about this.

Lose weight. Being overweight can increase the risk of sleep apnea, which will prevent a restful nights sleep. CLICK HERE for my diet recommendations. – Duh… hellooooo… vain… diets … cardios … geddit????

Avoid foods that you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for dairy and wheat products, as they may have effect on sleep, such as causing apnea, excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, and gas, among others. – I avoided food. Period. Not really sensitive to any is my point actually.

Don't drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom or at least minimize the frequency. – I was informed that I am supposed to drink water before I go to bed. This is for my circulation and all that jazz. Oh well, I’ll try this. No harm innit?

Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating sleep. – Did this. Doesn’t work. Means I have to do it again?

Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when constantly staring at it... 2 a.m. ...3 a.m. ... 4:30 a.m. ... – I don’t have clocks in my room. So occay…

Keep your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and to think of the bed as a place to sleep. – Owh… So no more RPG games for me in bed then…

Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, August 2001; 86:3787-3794). – Uuuu… this sounds interesting, I am going to do it, and this is going to be billed to the company… ihihihi

If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause problems if not properly addressed. – I am not? Cross out cross out.

Don't change your bedtime. You should go to bed, and wake up, at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning. – Okie doke.

Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday can help you fall asleep. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can do it. – I don’t really have the strength too, but let’s KIV this and mark it as green for now.

Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the day's tensions. – A massage from partner will lead to something else innit? Okay la check!

Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you'll wake up to go in the middle of the night. – Always been doing it. My mother pushed us to since we are kids. Go and pee now cause you might wake up in the middle of the night asking me to accompany you to the toilet!

Wear an eye mask to block out light. As said above, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it's not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can help to block out the remaining light. – Do you know good eye masks could set you back for about RM 30? This I did not know. :P.. Now I know!

Put your work away at least one hour (but preferably two or more) before bed. This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow's deadlines. – I am a professional. I don’t work when I am not in the office. That’s how frikkin’ professional I get.


  1. Who says sex doesn't help you sleep? Regular good-sex is apparently good for your skin too. Something about melatonin or some chemical in the brain that gets released after sex that relaxes your body and makes you sleep better. Wanna experiment? Keke

    And try hot milk before you sleep. Doesn't have to be a full cup, just enough to drink in a mouthful or two.

    Personally I exhaust myself before I sleep - either exercise or watching boring movies. Little mermaid does wonders.

  2. I happen to love Little Mermaid la dude... janganla...

    try reading Osho... guaranteed lala-land, but whether it is good sleep or notlain cerita