Tips & Tools for Sleeping Well – Part III
Sleep is something I’ve talked about quite a bit. Of course, it is something all of us with fibromyalgia wish we could get more of. A few months ago I read an interesting article from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation talking about counting sheep to fall asleep. That method has never worked for me, so I’ve always wondered why it was such a big thing. The article explained that distraction strategies are supposed to work by getting your mind to quit turning gears, which lowers cortisol levels. Good methods should be, simple, repetitive, pleasant, relaxing and a little, but not too much, boring. Because we each react differently to things, the same thing doesn’t work for everyone. Sleep psychologist, Dianne Richards, suggests visualizing:
- Touching the wool on sheep that’re standing still
- Four, colored 2-D shapes and examining everything about them
- “Waves gently lapping against the side of a boat
- Coloured fish slowly swimming by
- The arrangement of petals in a single rose
- A plane slowly skywriting, perhaps spelling out the word ‘relax’”
If visualizing isn’t your thing, I’ve got other suggestions too! One idea to help you sleep better is to wear socks. They help regulate your body temperature, which helps you sleep. Dr. Oz suggests wearing wicking socks so your feet don’t get too hot, but I usually wear a loose fitting pair that I can easily nudge off if I wake up feeling hot. Keep lemon scented products (think candles & cleaners) away from your bedroom since that scent is one that stimulates your brain. Remember to replace your mattress, as most don’t last more than ten years. Avoid using white sheets because they reflect light, which suppresses meletonin production. Dr. Oz went as far as to use sheets in the color range of yellows, oranges, reds and blacks and stay away from blues or greens, for that same reason.
Do you visualize anything to help you fall asleep?
*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by romainguy