My sleep habits have never been good and as I've gotten older, have gotten worse.
For me, it's rarely normal insomnia (although occasionally I have trouble getting to sleep), but more often going to sleep, then waking up 2-4 hours later and THEN not being able to get back to sleep (or being up for a couple hours before managing it).
I suppose if I were truly productive during those hours it might be worth it, but it rarely is! I'm much more likely to surf the net.
I've always been a late-night person and, even as a kid, tended to be the last of the cousins to sleep when we were together over holidays. And even when I'm in an early morning routine--and going to bed at a more reasonable hour--I can get back to the late night (early morning, really: one or two AM) with just one or two late nights because of travel, a late concert or party, etc. My brain and body clock shift back to their preferred routine very quickly
So one of the things I have to address is better sleep habits. The route to good sleep usually includes the following:
- get up at the same time every morning, weekends included (so your cycle is always the same)
- no stimulating activity (TV, computer) late at night
- have a usual bedtime regime (ablutions, hot bath, meditation, writing down the things that need to be done tomorrow, etc.)
- keep your bedroom dark and cool
- use your bedroom only for sleep (and lovemaking!), so you associate it with those things only, not watching TV, reading, etc.
- exercise, but not in the evening, so you're normally tired
- cut down on stimulants (caffeine)
- my body's overheated (hot, sweaty)
- I have trouble breathing (I use a C-PAP for sleep apnea -- if you can't breathe through your nose, you can't breathe--and I have allergies that tend to act up regularly)
- my back is sore
- I'm a middle-aged male: I have to pee!
- get up at the same time every day
- cut out late-night computer/tv and find something that is relaxing (set a limit as to how late I can do those things--10 PM?
- build a pre-bedtime regime (I'll have to think about that one)
- as my exercise program gets into gear (Bikram Yoga, back exercises, walking), that should help on the physical front
- as my back is healthier, it should take away one cause of my waking up (backaches)
- I also wonder if carbs (especially eaten late) cause the overheating--it'll be interesting to see if low(er) carb and no eating in the evening after dinner makes a difference
- don't drink fluids after about 7 PM!
- when I find a doctor in my new town, I'll see if my current allergy regime can be better (right now take claritin once per day and use a steroid nasal mist (nasacort) to keep down swelling--all of which would mean not waking up because I can't breathe through my nose
- when I DO wake up in the middle of the night, I need a better way to deal with it. Maybe I should do productive work . . . or maybe find something soothing to do