Like so many people, my lifelong issue has been falling asleep. My mind just does not cooperate. While my body is exhausted, my brain decides it is time to solve all my problems – and hey, all the world’s problems for that matter - NOW. The only good thing is that once I finally went to sleep, I stayed asleep.
Yoga, meditating and an occasional Ambien enabled me to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time. Nice… but then I started waking at around 5 am, and was unable to get back to sleep. Not fair, solving one problem just to develop another.
It took me awhile to figure it out – my brain works slowly on 4 to 5 hours of sleep. But I finally realized that thanks to the new glass in my triangular transom windows (impossible to cover with a curtain) and daylight savings time, my bedroom was getting bright early!
At about the same time I started seeing articles stating that to really get a good night’s sleep, it needs to be DARK! Sleeping in a bright room, in front of a TV or electronics, not only gets in the way of our sleep, but has been linked to a number of other serious problems as well, including depression, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular problems. This is compounded by the fact that many of us do not get enough sunlight in the daytime, since we are trapped in offices. The combination of too little light in the day and too much at night throws off our natural rhythms.
(As an aside, my new theory is that is one of the reasons we feel so great when we are on vacation! Outside soaking up the sunshine, maybe at a beach in the day, and nestled away in the dark by night. Our bodies and our circadian rhythms are in balance and we are happy.)
My waking-up-early problem? Easily solved with the HappyLuxe Escape Sleeping Mask. Not only did it completely block out the light coming in my window, but when I put it on, I feel peaceful. Soft, comfortable and soothing…. I now drift off and stay happily, soundly asleep all night long.
Interested in some great articles about darkness and sleep? Just click here:
*The Sound of Silence, Paul Simon, 1964