Friday, 12 April 2013

Good Hygiene?

Did you know that habits to adopt at bedtime to ensure that we get a good night's kip are called sleep hygiene?  Look them up on the Internet if you're interested.  There's plenty of ideas out there, including advise about light and drink levels, what to eat and drink and what you're allowed to do in bed!

I did an essay on this very subject once and at that time I found that there was very little scientific study behind what was being advised.  Plenty of good sense yes, but concrete evidence behind those handy tips were thin on the ground. It was back of a fag packet stuff by someone who was definitely a man as shown by the rule about limiting activities in bed to sleep and yes, sex.  Funny that any other stimulating activity was banned! It also seemed that he lived in a big house where he could wander at will without waking the whole household when his own passage to the land of Nod was blocked.  Try the tip about getting up after twenty minutes if sleep eludes you in a normal family home and see how much stick you get from the other occupants.

So, at a time when a bout of insomnia has kicked in and knackerness is affecting daytime activity, I was pleased to StumbleUpon an article about the effects that body temperature has on our ability to drop off and stay asleep.  Based on proper research it suggested that a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime could improve sleep by inducing a drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath.

Desperately trying to ignore sizeable impact that this would have on my water bills, I've  tried this for the first time last night.  Apart from getting up for a wee at three (that rhymes!) and dozing off again soon afterwards,  I slept through for the first time in a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping that a couple more nightly soaks may reinstate my usual restorative night time snoozing habit and leave me tickety boo for those busy next days that I'm longing to get back to.

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