October 29 2012 Editor Assistance Newsletter
I'm in Massachusetts, so I might be losing power soon :). I do have my cell phone powered up so I'll post on my Facebook page if I do, so you know my status. We have oodles of water and food, so we'll be fine. It would give me time for yoga and some reading!
In the meantime, it's a perfect time for me to start my summaries from our lovely Plum Island Retreat last weekend. Our first session was on Insomnia and Stress. I'll tackle Insomnia alone first so this message doesn't get huge :).
Sleep is important. Human bodies need sleep to repair themselves and to prepare the brain for the coming day. Some studies show that doing activities without ample sleep is the same as doing activities while drunk. What's interesting is that in both cases the person rarely thinks they are impaired. The think they are doing OK. But in reality they're going slower and doing things less efficiently. So they would actually save time by taking a nap and then going more quickly.
Tips for sleep:
* keep the room cool
* take a hot shower / bath beforehand. It then makes the room seem cool.
* eliminate allergens / get a fresh pillowcase. I have to be sure to wash them with non-allergenic / non-bleach detergent to sleep best. I switch out the pillowcase even when I'm not ready to switch sheets.
* white noise helps. I run an air filter in my bedroom. Some people have apps on their phones that have a wealth of noises to choose from.
* make it *really* dark or wear an eye mask. I have double shades on my windows, and curtains too. I also cover up or turn off any glowing plugs or clocks. I keep my watch by my bed which is push-button to light up, if I need to know the time.
* avoid caffeine / chocolate / alcohol beforehand
* avoid glowy devices & TV for an hour beforehand. Light on your eyes causes melatonin not to be produced, because your brain thinks it's still daytime. So your brain needs that dark to start preparing for sleep.
* lavender as a scent can help bring on sleepiness
* chamomile tea is also known to help here
* keep a journal by your bed, with a glowing-pen. This way you can write without turning on a bright light. Here's an example if you haven't seen one -
This way if you have a thought that's stuck in your head, you write it down and then promise yourself "I'll deal with it when I wake up". Any time the thought circles back again, promise yourself you'll deal with it later. This is a training process. The more you do it, the more it works. So don't be frustrated if it doesn't work the first time, or second, or tenth. Keep at it. The training is key, and it does get better over time. Focus on your breath instead, and let the thought drift away like a cloud.
* exercise. I know we can sometimes tend to avoid exercise. But it really does help the body sleep MUCH more easily. Find something you love to do. Dance with your Wii. Go for a lovely walk in nature. Play with your pets. The more you do it, the better you'll sleep.
* remove stress from your life. We'll talk about this in the next part :).
I've begun a thread on ideas for sleeping better here -
Please chime in with ideas to help your fellow editors out! We could all use better sleep :).
If you're in the storm path, hang in there! We'll get through it. Just be sure to stock up with water!
Lisa Shea, owner
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