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Princess and the Pea

2009 October 21
by Jess

One of the very best things about vacation is sleep. Usually, I’m the princess and the pea when it comes to sleeping away from home. Luckily, that wasn’t the case in Napa last week. I slept like a baby. I didn’t sleep for the desired eight hours, but I did sleep for at least 6 solid hours each night. At home, I rarely have six hours of uninterrupted sleep.


We returned home from vacation late Saturday night. The number one indicator that I wasn’t on vacation any longer was the sleep factor. The second I went to bed my thoughts began racing. Until, that moment I didn’t even realize that my thoughts had been quiet while on vacation.

Believe it or not I try using counting to help lure me to sleep. It helps me fall asleep, but I still wake up in the middle of the night with sporadic thoughts regarding work and other things. How do I calm those middle of the night thoughts and dreams?

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch gives us six reasons to get more sleep:

  1. People who sleep after learning a task perform better on later tests.
  2. Consistent sleep loss may cause weight gain by altering hormones which effect appitite.
  3. If you lose sleep, you are more likely to fall asleep during the day time while performing regular tasks such as driving.
  4. We are more likely to moody and irritable without sleep.  ( I tend to act like a toddler who missed their nap)
  5. Serious lack of sleep has been shown to cause serious health problems such as elevated blood pressure.
  6. It can alter immune function.

I would love to hear what you do to calm your thoughts before going to sleep. Curious to see if you are getting enough sleep? Head over to the Cleveland Clinic’s website to take a Sleepiness Quiz.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. October 21, 2009

    When I have trouble falling alseep (whish is most nights) I try counting from 250 backwards. It usually helps!

  2. October 21, 2009

    I try and keep my bedroom as a “sleep sanctuary” although I rarely have a problem falling asleep. No TV in the bedroom, dim lights, and I usually read for a few minutes before turning the light on. I also keep a notepad/pen next to my bed and if I think of something for my to-do list or something for my shopping list I write it down so I can just move on and not worry about it.

    Adventures in Tri-ing

  3. October 21, 2009

    I’m currently working on getting more sleep during Mon-Fri for work. I don’t think I’m use to my new bed and apt just yet.

  4. October 21, 2009

    I tend to have a hard time falling asleep because so many things are running around my head. One thing that works for me, is reading right before bed.

  5. October 21, 2009

    I often find if I just chat about whatever with my husband, even if he’s nearly asleep, it helps. I was surprised that when we were in Ireland I slept so well, probably because by the time we got where we needed to be I was so damn tired.

  6. October 21, 2009

    I think it really helps not to have a tv in the bedroom. There are many days/nights when I’m lazy or have a cold and I REALLY wanna just lay in bed watching tv, but I think the fact that the bedroom is reserved for sleep helps me fall asleep a lot faster!

  7. October 21, 2009

    I make a list of everything I need to do the next day so it’s not racing through my mind as I try to fall asleep. It almost always helps.

  8. October 22, 2009

    I am not sleeping so well these days but sometimes counting backwards from 500 shuts my mind down and bores me right to sleep. ;-)

  9. October 22, 2009

    I am a champion sleeper! But when my mind is racing, reading a relaxing book makes my eyes heavy and I’m asleep in no time.

  10. October 22, 2009

    Glad you had such a restful vacation! I usually just try to quiet my mind to go to sleep. This or I’ll pray – and it usually works for me:)

  11. Jenna permalink
    October 22, 2009

    Making a to-do list or praying helps me…I have a lot of things on the prayer list, so I usually fall asleep before I get done! :)

  12. October 24, 2009

    Sleep really is the most vital aspect of maintaining health and fitness, your body restores and repairs so much while you’re getting solid z’s. I feel like in the out-of-balance pace of modern life, we constantly find silly ways of cheating ourselves out of something so essential.

    On WNYC, there’s a show called “Radiolab.” You can subscribe to the podcast, there’s one whole episode about the science of sleep that’s absolutely riveting. Highly recommend it!

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