There is a trendy new term for problems with sleep. Sleep Hygiene.
I’m not sold on the use of the word ‘hygiene’ this way, but hey, who am I to argue. It’s a thing. A very real thing. Sleep Hygiene. And mine sucks.
Being a good Dad can be really hard work. At various stages of your childs life, you will undoubtedly find yourself up till all hours for any number of important reasons. I remember walking the streets at 2 am with my baby’s head on my heart in his Baby Bjorn in an effort to get him to sleep.
When this happens a lot, sleep patterns can be disrupted, and before you know it, hello Insomnia. I used to think that having very little sleep was OK, and I’d just cope with it like every other change. But research says that sustained sleep deprivation, or simply very bad sleep patterns, will often have a significant impact on your health. Of course, we all underestimate this, just like many other actions that are shown to impact our health, and think we’re doing the right thing.
How many ways have you tried to get to sleep when it simply doesn’t come? Reading, hot chocolate, a chat, writing, massage, sex, work, internet surfing, long movies, binge-watching on streaming TV, warm milk, your Mum’s secret remedy, a rocking chair, brandy?
Too many things on your mind? Ruminating? Addicted to something – work, gaming, gambling, alcohol, online shopping, porn? Shift work? A crying baby (yours, or your neighbours), a child with nightmares, toilet training accidents, teething? There are plenty of reasons you’re awake as a hard working Dad. (or Mum).
Then there’s Sleep Apnoea, excessive snoring, and other such physical reasons for poor sleep. They can do a lot more damage than give you and your partner a lousy nights sleep. Constant lack of oxygen can cause long-term physical damage. Go see your doctor, get a sleep study done, do what they recommend. Probably rent or buy an APAP or CPAP machine.
Mental health conditions can cause poor sleep hygiene. Poor sleep hygiene can cause or exacerbate mental health conditions.
You need to sleep. Seriously.
I have poor sleep hygiene. For some reason, I consider time after my boy is asleep extra ‘me time’, and I tend to ‘research’ things of interest online. The truth is I end up simply surfing the net, with an initial intention of really finding something out. All too often this ends up in many hours of browsing any number of things that I have found interesting along the way. These days I also stay up late writing. When you can no longer see the browser well enough to click a different ‘tab’ from the one you are currently in because they are so crammed in they all look the same, it’s time to stop. Apparently.
I seem to push on though, I see the clock reach 1 am, 2 am…. about there I start falling asleep at the keyboard with my finger on a key and it repeats until I wake up. I’ve seen a whole page of nnnnnn….then my exhausted mind justifies staying up even more because, well, I’ve already stayed up so late I’ll be a write-off tomorrow. I might as well just keep going.
So, the serious answer – seek medical help. Setting an alarm doesn’t work. I need to set some way of being accountable. Doctors can help. This is serious, and can take years off your life. Sort your sleep hygiene out.
Now the reason I thought about writing this, late at night, is because I’ve discovered what I think is a very novel website that made me laugh. So much, I just have to share it. No, I have no affiliation with it – I don’t even know much about it, except that it’s apparently Spanish, and started as a bit of a laugh, designed to assist siesta time.
So, given my recent binge-watching on Netflix, it seems appropriate.
Introducing, Napflix. Yep, Napflix. Clever bastards.
There are many clips on here you’re not likely to come across elsewhere.
Relax to such classics as Forgotten Stamp Collection, Swan Lake, Fishing Tournament, Tupperware Party, World Dog Show 2014 Helsinki, Dishwasher, Canal Ride, Zen Sand Raking Instructions, Many Many Sheep to Count, Wood Burning, and Paint Drying. (OK, I made that last one up).
There’s excitement for women too – Matthew McConaughey watching the rain fall for an hour. My personal fave? A 10-hour marathon of an oscillating fan. Minimalist perfection.
I’ve only scratched the surface of this treasure trove of boredom. In today’s hectic world, I can think of few better ways to waste the remaining time I have on this planet, all in the comfort of my favourite armchair.
Wow, shhhhh. Zzzzzz….. no, not now son, get back to bed
What lengths have you gone to in order to get a good nights sleep?
Seriously though, seek medical help if your sleep hygiene is becoming a problem.