Sleep hygiene

Okay, I have a new homework experiment from my therapist. I really hate this one. I have to go to bed at the same time every night. I picked 9:30. She gave me certain rules to follow.

  1. I have to stop using all electronics one hour before bed (8:30)
  2. I have to stay out of my bed all day until bedtime (with the exception of…the other bedroom activity)
  3. I have to turn the lights off and lie down with my eyes closed as soon as I get in bed.
  4. If I don’t start to fall asleep within ten minutes of lying down, I have to get up and leave the room
  5. If I have to get up, I am not allowed to do any chores or work, and I can’t use electronics. I have to find a relaxing hobby.
  6. Yes, Ninjastar, your kindle counts as an electronic. Read an actual book.
  7. Research how much melatonin a healthy brain makes, so I know exactly how much I’m supposed to take.

I did 7 already. It took some research. The healthy level of melatonin in an adult of my weight is 4.5 mg (260pmol/l), with an absorption rate that (if my math is correct) appears to be about 35%, meaning I should take roughly 12 mg. And that was a ■■■■■ of a research project.

NOTE: these are the proper levels for me, a person who had a brain tumor and therefore does not naturally produce ANY melatonin. For someone without that problem, your dose would be much lower. Most people typically have at least some melatonin in their body, even if it isn’t a typical level.

I have zero faith that this experiment will work. I’ve tried all this before. It just makes me both awake and miserable, because I can’t even do anything useful with my time. She thinks it never worked in the past because I felt too guilty for just sitting up with a book, or coloring, or some other thing that doesn’t produce any measurable benefit to anyone except me. She thinks it I work on making myself a priority, I won’t feel anxious and guilty when I can’t sleep, which will help me feel relaxed enough to fall asleep.

I promised to do everything for one week, then report the results to her. So, for the next week, I’ll be unavailable from 8:30P-7:00A EST. Does anyone else want to try this experiment with me? We can report here in the evening.

Last night, I slept properly, but I hadn’t slept for the previous couple nights, so I’m going to say it was more of a crash than the positive effects of this experiment. I also took benadryl, because I had an allergic reaction to a new soap. Tonight, I will try it without the benadryl.

11 Likes

Good luck with the experiment. Even if it didn’t work in the past, maybe some good will come of it this time. If not, at least you gave it a shot. Either way, hope you get some rest.

1 Like

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:
Shutting electronics at night helps me. Sooner or a little later i fall asleep but if i’m on phone i can’t

1 Like

I’ll do the experiment with you @ninjastar. I always run into trouble sleeping too. It’s just part and parcel of my sza. For instance, last night I got no sleep. I have to stay up all day today because my pdoc told me that if I don’t sleep one night, I am to force myself to stay up all day so I can sleep the following night. That order is very hard for me.

I am very guilty of using electronics at all hours too. I gotta break that habit. But, I love to read and I love real books. I refuse to use a Kindle. I’m not of the computer generation.

3 Likes

Last night I had my melatonin, and left my phone in another room, and I was able to sleep from 10-3, then 5-7. Not amazing, but still pretty good. From 3-5 I was able to just relax in bed and daydream.

I’ve started writing during the hour before bed when I can’t use electronics. I may post some of my stories on here.

6 Likes

Those aren’t sleep routine instructions…they’re instructions for launching a nuclear weapon. I could never follow all of those bedtime rules!

3 Likes

Lol me too @PatrickT. My pdoc wants me to go to bed at a reasonable time and to be honest I did it for one night and then last night I stayed up until after 1 in the morning. :grimacing:

3 Likes

Yeah, it’s super hard. She made me promise to commit to it for one week, though. After that, who knows if I will keep up with it. But for the sake of the experiment and the homework assignment, I will do this one week. Mr. Star doesn’t like it, because he wants to stay up and read in bed for an hour or so, but I’m not allowed to get in bed until sleep time, and he doesn’t want to be stuck up there alone.

1 Like

wow I’m amazed you can do that before bed @ninjastar good for you !!

2 Likes

It’s so hard, and it sucks. I’m not gonna lie. If I somehow have miraculous sleep this entire week, I might consider making some of the changes more long-term. But it’s just not feasible to carry on with all of this forever, especially once I have kids. It’s like having a second job, and that job is sleeping properly.

This whole class has been super hard. It’s all about neuroplasticity, and forming new synaptic connections through behavioral changes. So, loads of really intense life changes. I really hope it helps, and all of this is worth it.

2 Likes

Okay, it’s 8:30. I’ll officially be gone until tomorrow. Damn sleep homework.

I was told - Lie down in bed for 1/2 hour.

1 Like

I got told just take my meds at a reasonable time and they expect me to fall asleep.

1 Like

Polite argument: The main objection is illuminated screens. I’m on a similar regimen and don’t find that using my paper Kindle is an issue. Using a phone or tablet hits my damn reset button and then I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed until 4 am.

I’m down to about 20 paper books that aren’t workbooks. Trying to reduce clutter and can’t read without my Kindle.

1 Like

HI, the gradual winding down thing should be easier if you use google chrome’s dark reader extension on your devices! Even if you are tempted to look at screens, display will be darker, you can adjust brightness and also use night mode on your devices to block out blue light…

Combine it with blue light blocking glasses…you’re golden!

1 Like

Thanks you for these suggestions :heart:

1 Like

I have a series of 3 CD’s I play every night. I fall asleep before the 3rd one ends. But that is using electronics so I guess you couldn’t use that idea.

1 Like

I think the Kindle would be fine, too. But I did promise to follow every rule.

Last nights, I had a bit of trouble falling asleep. I fell asleep around 10:30 and woke up at 3:15. I needed Benadryl to fall back asleep around 4:30, but that made it so I just woke up.

1 Like

For my Kindle I have it set to black screen with white words. I get sleepy reading that way.

I’m going to try this and report back but I’ve already been in my bed today.