Insomnia making you miserable? Here's what you can do.
Though her character on HBO's "Entourage" has everything under control, actress Debi Mazar says she has battled insomnia since her mid 20s. Luckily, the 44-year old mother of two eventually sought help and is managing her sleeplessness. We put our kids on sleep schedules, yet many of us are suffering with sleep issues, and the truth is, it affects everything in our lives. It's a very common problem in America (as many as 1 in 10 people) and is twice as likely to occur in women, especially moms.
Momlogic's sleep expert Jill Spivack says the reason why moms in particular deal with sleeplessness so much, is that "moms are hyper-alert during the night because they are conditioned to be woken by their baby or child."
How do we retrain ourselves so we can get a good night's rest? Here are some easy tips from Jill:
1. First, you need to know the reasons why you're having insomnia and address those reasons directly, so you can find solutions that best work for you. For example, are you having anxiety, stress or have you just withdrawn from a specific medicine?
2. If you do have anxiety, make sure to be with friends frequently. They help reduce anxiety when sharing your problems and stressors. It's hard to find the time when you're a mom, but can really help -- even if it's only five minutes.
3. Make a to-do list before getting into bed, so you don't think about it when your head hits the pillow. If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking, have a pad and write your thoughts down.
4. Exercise regularly, but be sure to exercise several hours before bed time and eat two to three hours before bed time
5. Keep the bedroom dark, don't watch television or read. The bed is for sex and sleep only.
6. Try to wind down before you go to bed, not as you're getting into bed. Even listening to some calming music if you don't have time for a bath can help.
7. Just like your kids -- go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time.
8. Go to bed when you feel tired, not to try to GET tired. You'll just be anxious and stay awake longer.
9. Working moms: turn those Blackberrys off! Knowing it's on your night stand will only keep you up through the night.