Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sixty and single: Is a good night's sleep possible? Maybe, yes!

Women 60 and single have a lot on their minds. All of those worries, issues and concerns can come to bed with you every night and prevent you from either going to sleep or staying asleep.
In my case, I often go to sleep but find myself awake at about 1:30 or 2 a.m. I can be awake for hours reading my smart phone, playing Solitaire and lately, watching episodes of the TV series about a high school chemistry teacher gone wrong called, Breaking Bad.
Yes, I know, that show is the last thing that's going to put me into a restful state. I'm into season No. 3, most of the viewing done in the middle of the night.

News flash: Last night, I may have found a solution. Instead of doing the usual middle of the night threshing, I used Google to do a smart phone search on "getting a good night's sleep." Up popped the Mayo Clinic Sleep Center Web site on the topic, which mentioned hypnosis as a possible tool. That in turn got me to thinking about smart phone apps. I went to the apps marketplace on my phone and did a search using one word: SLEEP.
There were many many apps to choose from with a download fee, most ranging from 99 cents to $4.99, but there also are many that are free. Since I wasn't too confident on the whole thing, I choose a free app labeled "Sleep Soundly Hypnosis" offered by Kym Tolson,a clinical social worker and therapist based in Chesterfield, Va. Kym's 10-minute hypnosis sleep session worked.
With my ear buds secure, I followed her softly spoken instructions to relax, get comfortable and take my mind to an uncluttered place where I could let go and go to sleep. The first time through got me to a level of relaxation that usually eludes me. I then went to sleep before the second round ended. When did I wake up? Seven hours later. I felt restored, if not liberated.
There must be tons of people who aren't getting a good night's sleep based on the billions spent advertising sleep medications on television. I've tried a few, myself: anti-anxiety medicine, prescription sleeping pills, over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol PM. All of them have negatives from drug hangovers to allergic skin reactions.
My strategy is going to be to use Kym's relaxation-sleep hypnosis session every night for as long as it works. The good news is that there are many more sleep apps out there that I could switch to, if this one loses its effectiveness.
For those without a smart phone, may I recommend an iPod download or some other recorded way to set up a regular nightly "going to sleep" session. For me, the result was waking up feeling sane and rested.
For me, sleep makes the difference between coping with life's challenges and not coping with them.
Based on my first late night experience, I may have found something that will work for "getting a good night's sleep." Additional resources:
National Sleep Foundation, click here.
"Ten Tips for a Good Night's Sleep without Pills,"  click here.

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