Monday, November 3, 2014


This is my 500th post.  So, yeah.

Since I was very little I have had a hard time sleeping.  I woke up multiple times a night and am prone to nightmares and unique and vibrant dreams.  I had a sleep study done in December 2012 and the doctor told me that he would call me if it turned out to be anything and I never heard from him and so assumed I was fine.  It turned out that he passed away shortly after the sleep study and the study was never reviewed.  I found out about this this past spring, and my GP sent me to another sleep doctor.  At the first visit, the new doctor told me that he suspected nothing was physiologically wrong with me and that it was behavioral.  After the second sleep study showed nothing other than extreme insomnia (2-3 hours), he gave me a long list of suggestions to change my sleep behaviors and help me sleep.  I'm going to share these with you.

Do not try to try to modify your sleep patterns if you have a big project or event coming in the next two days.

1. Get up at the same time every day - weekdays, weekends, holidays.
2. If you take a nap, it cannot be within four hours of getting up and must end four hours before you go to bed.
3. Go to bed at the same time every day - weekdays, weekends, holidays.
4. Do not use the bed for any non-sleep activities, specifically reading, watching tv, checking cell phone, etc.
5. Cover or hide all night time lights in sleeping room, especially blue and green lights.  
6. Use a comfortable sleep mask.
7. Stop all backlit activities 1 hour before bed - tv, tablets, computers, cell phone.
8. Get a sleep friendly bulb and use that for light at least one hour before bed. (like
9. Get up to see the sun rise.
10. Nice early to mid morning exercise at the same time each day.
11.  Hot shower, bath, or hot tub every night right before bed.
12. Socks if tolerated, if not at least use a blanket.
13. Write a list of things you need to do next day or think about the next day before you start your bed time routine.  Leave it outside the bedroom.
14. If you wake up and must do something do not turn on any lights that are not sleep friendly.  Do any activities outside of the bed and preferably completely out of the bedroom.
15. Do not eat closer than 2 hours before sleep.
16. Try to eat breakfast close to the same time every day.  
17. When losing weight do it slowly, but do lose weight.
18. 5 mg melatonin daily one hour before bed.
19. Daily multivitamin.
20. Take allergy medicine every day when you get up and consistently every day (because I usually just take it when I'm having issues).
21.  Sleep on your side.
22. No caffeine after noon.
23.  Do not sleep with someone that snores or makes other noises in their sleep.

Other non-doctor suggestions, I have gotten from friends:
1. Add magnesium to your daily list.
2. Warm drink before bed.

I have been following these as closely as I can and they have been immensely helpful.  I still usually get up once per night, but I am able to fall asleep fairly quickly (within 30 minutes) and so overall I am getting a lot more sleep and the sleep I am getting is much better.  I am also not having anywhere near as many nightmares.

So today I would like to express my gratitude for sleep doctors and friends with good sleep suggestions and for better sleep.

An added thing I would like to say is that if you are cold all the time, check out the symptoms for magnesium deficiency.  I had no idea that so many of my issues could be fixed with a little magnesium.

And because it is sort of sleep related, I will share the picture across from my bed that the nerdlet made at the end of Kindergarten.


  1. Hi Kimberley,thank you for sharing these. I too have problems sleeping, waking up 2-3 or more times every night and always waking at 3.23. It really makes you exhausted during the day. I am going to try them all, even if I have to be surgically removed from my ipad. Glad to hear that they are helpful for you. :) xx

    1. When I wake up once now, it is usually between 3:15 and 3: 30, too. It took less than two weeks for me to see a drastic effect.

    2. I wanted to let you know that I slept through the night last night for the first time in forever, so they are definitely working for me. How have they been working for you?