New Sleep Regime, Number XNovember 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Posted in Sleep | 9 Comments
Tags: Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan
Two weeks ago I left the office at 5 PM for an 8 PM flight; this is an hour longer than usual but with the anticipated heavy traffic I decided to give myself space. I was tired after two specially short sleeping nights and a huge wave of tiredness came over me as I hit the first traffic jam and I decided to get off at the next exit and take a short nap. That worked.
It only struck me days later that I might not have pulled over had I not had that extra hour in hand. What would have happened then?
The next day I was in the library perusing and came across The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan by Michael Breus with Debra Fulghum-Bruce. I wasn’t interested in a diet but thought perhaps there might be some clue to my sleep issues in food. The book is like other sleep books – and I have read many – and before long I was skimming. But then I hit upon his best tips, the key 5:
- Be consistent in your sleep habits — when you go to bed and wake up. (This is challenging.)
- No caffeine after 2 PM (no problem).
- No alcohol with 3 hours of bed (some issues but generally do-able).
- Go for a 15 minute walk in the morning to get sun. (walk is fine but sun in Michigan and Chicago?)
- No exercising 4 hours before sleep. (no problem as I work out much earlier.)
What most struck me was the doc’s insistence on 7.5 hours sleep.
I preach that in order to change, one must change. Like many, I’ve bathed in my problem, luxuriated in it. But I had realized that I could kill someone in the process, so change it has to be. I decided to re-order my priorities from: coffee, workout, sleep if it happens to sleep, coffee and then workout.
It is one thing to say you’ll sleep for 7.5 hours and another to do it. So, I’ve begun by committing to staying in bed (save a trip to the loo) for the full time. Three days in and I’m getting kind of excited.