Sleep: Part Two

So continuing on from yesterday and tricks I've used from The 4-Hour Body... This one is a freebie: f.lux.  The theory is that because we have so many devices that emit light our bodies become confused and our body clocks go all wonky.  f.lux is a free program that is so awesome :), it dims your cpu or iphone/pad as the evening carries on.  It's sort of like working at your puter in sepia tones really late at night. 

This is the one I ordered
 The next one is California poppy extract.  "California Poppy Extract ( This extract from the California poppy acts as a mild sedative, and I found it to increase my percentage of deep-wave sleep."  (p. 285). I have been using this for 5 days now and I've been getting less and less sleep each day and I haven't felt "punished" for it yet.  I have been using this without my slow wave delta audio and it seems to be working better than it.  In a week or so I will start using the audio again to see how I feel with them combined.  The poppy extract also seems to help me feel drowsy if I take it early enough, at least an hour prior to bed.

"Philips goLITE ( This light is most responsible for my sub–10 minute sleep times after decades of futile effort. I’ll usually set it to the side of my laptop for 15 minutes a day. Battery life is long, it’s portable enough to take in a carry-on bag, and it can also replace your morning coffee if you give yourself 2–3 days to adapt.  (p. 285).

According to Sleep, "Use bright light therapy. Exposure to light boxes (similar to those used by seasonal affective disorder or SAD sufferers) helps people whose body clocks are out of sync. The idea is that bright light in the evening slows down the body clock while bright light in the morning speeds it up. If you can’t get to sleep and find it difficult to stay asleep or you’re a night owl who can’t go to bed until the early hours of the morning, your body clock is lagging behind normal. So sitting in front of bright light in the morning for at least an hour brings the body clock forward. If, however, you wake up too early, your body clock is running faster than normal. You need bright light in the evening to slow your body clock down – just 30 minutes can cure early morning insomnia in some people."  (Kindle Locations 472-478).

The general recommendation is for 15 to 45 minutes within 2 hours of waking if you are a night owl and you are trying to change your body clock.  If you have onset insomnia, use it in the evening (at least 2 hours prior to going to bed) for 15 to 45 minutes.  If you find yourself sleepy at various times during the day then it doesn't seem to matter when you use it.

this is the one I ordered
I have been drooling over this device for a year now.  When I decided I was going to set healthy sleep as one of my habits I knew I had to have one.  And for Christmas I got me some lovin (Amazon gift cards, woot) so I went to order one.  I knew I wanted to purchase some more books on sleep so that limited my budget and necessity being the mother of all I decided to price out other light therapy devices. 

This is revolutionary for me.  Wow!  I received this on February 1st.  Instead of struggling to wake up 15 minutes earlier each day, I woke up before my alarm.  2 days ago I hit my target wake up time of 7 a.m.  I haven't had to wheel and deal with myself in order to get myself out of bed.  I've been AWAKE.  I have never been awake awake at 7 a.m. unless I didn't go to bed (used to happen often).  I am so excited about this and it really gives me hope that I can change my body clock.

I love being a night owl.  I love the night time.  I love working when everyone is sleeping.  I homeschooled my children up until November of 2005.  I have been fighting my night owl tendencies since then as my children need an attentive parent in the early morning.  Or making deals with family members to watch them.  That isn't as good as having mommy directing the household.  Kids wear the same clothes for a week straight, their clothes are scattered throughout the house (who changes in the kitchen???  really???), and their hair.  We thought we'd have to cut all of Bella's hair off as it was one giant rat.  A bottle of conditioner and 2 days later Anna and I were able to save her hair. 

I am so excited about the long term effects.  In the past, when I tried to change my sleep habits I tried to force myself into it.  Being educated, having tips and tricks in my tool box, has given myself more patience with myself.  I am not a night owl because I'm lazy or because I want to be.  I am a night owl because my body clock doesn't run on the average schedule.  My parents still talk about me banging around my room in the middle of the night as a child.  It isn't a learned behavior.  Instead of forcing my body into a box, with patience and education I can make a difference.  Woot! 

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