Monday, February 16, 2015

Yes, I'm Sleep-Deprived... Now What? Part 4

This is part 4 in The Sleep Deprivation Series.

Sleep Deprivation.... a serious subject.... and lots of people suffer from it. Sometimes it is mild and sometimes it is severe, sometimes it is temporary and sometimes it is long-term. If we know we are sleep-deprived, WHAT can we do about it???

If you haven't yet read the first 3 parts of the series and would like to, you can find them here:

Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1

Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived - So What? Part 2

Sleep Deprivation Affects Children Also-Part 3

We have learned that sleep deprivation can become quite serious as the sleep debt grows and recovering from sleep deprivation is not as easy as just taking a nap unless only a very little sleep has been lost.

For more severe sleep deprivation- that is more than missing just a few hours of sleep once in a while... it can take days, weeks, months.. or even years to stabilize the body and repair the damage.

We have reviewed some of the dangers of losing sleep... of a building sleep-debt. Some of those are health problems, accidents, clumsiness, irritabilitiy, depression, weight gain, fatigue, memory problems.... and more. So maybe you have concluded that you DO have at least some sleep deprivation.... maybe a little or maybe a lot. What can you do about it? Is there hope? What if you try... and still can't sleep?  So many issues.... 

There is no magic cure... no pill to make it all "better"... and no shortcuts for making up the sleep.... but there are some things that can help. I do want to state that I am not a doctor... nor am I a health professional of any kind.... I am just a woman who has suffered from sleep deprivation and I have studied and experimented and I am sharing some those things. You will have to decide if you will do anything about this... and what it will be.

Here are some things that may possibly help:

~ limit caffeine and don't take any caffeine after 3pm or even 2 pm

~use only lower lights for 1-2 hours before bed.... not the overheads, if possible

~stop using the computer, cell phone, and other electronics devices 1-2 hours before bed

~keep the room you sleep in... a bit cool

~establish a bed time and try to keep to it as much as possible

~develop a routine for before bed and try to stick with it

~do lighter reading before bed and not high exciting adventure

~exercise, but earlier in the day-not right before bed

~make it a practice to breathe deeply several times a day

~a warm bath with epsom salts and/or a few drops of essential oils can be soothing

~don't watch TV in bed... or in the bedroom at all, if possible

~a cup of tea may be calming... chamomile is good... or peppermint...licorice, hops, etc
~sleep in a dark room, if possible                                                         
~wear ear plugs or a sleep mask, if necessary

~melatonin may help

~have a quiet spirit before bed... this isn't the time to "brain storm" or debate a subject

~be thankful, recite scripture, pray

~ a snack of bananas, turkey, yogurt or milk

 There are also many sleep aid medicines on the market, but some of them can be dangerous, have unpleasant side effects or quit working after a while and I don't choose to use the mainstream remedies, although you are free to do so, if you choose. It is a good idea to do your research on them first.

There are natural ways to investigate for dealing with the problem also...   Good nutrition is important for a healthy body, so eating a healthy diet is helpful. As was already stated, exercise is important... and working hard can lead to better sleep as the body, including the muscles, gets tired and relaxes.  Also, sometimes certain vitamins or minerals could help.... like magnesium, calcium, brewer's yeast, and more.

 Some possible nutritional helps include: hops, valerian, melatonin, lemon balm, passionflower,skullcap, california poppy.

Essential oils can be helpful and used as a bath additive or topically.... some good ones are: lavender, chamomile and marjoram.  I suffer from allergies and feeling "stuffed up", so I LOVE using eucalyptus and peppermint in my bathwater. I put a few drops on the top of the water, then sprinkle epsom salts over the drops to absorb them... they stay fragrant, but they don't burn my skin when I get in.
Hormonal changes can lead to insomnia, so if you are at an age where this can be an issue, it might help to address that.

Obviously, this isn't a comprehensive article... much more could be said. You wouldn't want to do all of the things listed here... some of them I have never done, but I might someday... others I do every day and they help. It is important to do your own research before you use herbs, essential oils and more. They are VERY helpful... but be wise in using them. For example, some things are safe in pregnancy and others aren't, some are safe for children and some aren't and some may not mix well with medicines you are taking, etc.  If you choose to try something, choose one item and research it and add it to what you do... if it helps keep it... if not, discard it.

There is hope... and it is possible to recover from sleep deprivation. Thank you for joining me for this series..... I am planning a summary article to the series, so I hope you will return for that if this is a subject which interests you.  I hope you are able to sleep well and wake refreshed.

Shared on:

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Mom 2 Mom
Modest Monday
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Saturday Soiree
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The Enchanting Rose


  1. A good reminder to take better care of ourselves. I find afternoon naps help quite a bit. Yes, I've reverted to my childhood.

    Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! We hope to see you again next week!

    1. Yes, afternoon naps can help a lot... Thank you for visiting. :)

  2. Keeping the room cool doesn't work for me. I can't sleep if I'm cold. In fact when it's cold I have more trouble staying asleep. But the other tips are really great.

    1. I can't either... in fact, if I am chilled, I HAVE to get warmed up... and then a cool room works. A hot bath before bed helps much... and I usually take my warmed rice bags to bed with me also. It feels wonderfully comforting. Thank you for visiting.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the tips for sleeping better. I have noticed when I am on the computer right before I go to sleep that I don't sleep well that night. This was very helpful, my dear. Thanks a bunch for sharing at ROI.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this... I don't sleep well, either when I work too late... I get too keyed up and can't settle down. :) Thank you for your sweet comment.. you are such a wonderful encourager. :)

  4. Thank you for the tips. Eating a banana is a new one for me, but it makes sense.

    1. It does sound funny, but it has even worked for my children when they are hungry and a bit keyed up... and I have seen it recommended more than once. :)

  5. Does anyone want to keep my 11 month old during the nights so I can recover from the sleep deprivation from the last 11 months? lol. I do love your tips though! I definitely find that limiting my screen time for the last hour or so before bed makes a huge difference. I love having a cup of chamomile tea, and I will try your banana tip as well!

    1. Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop this week! :)

    2. I understand the need for sleep to "catch up" when you have little ones in the house... such a wonderful age.. such a tiring age!!! :) Thank you for visiting.... and for the wonderful blog party.... and for the work you do in hosting it. :)

  6. What a great post. My husband has trouble sleeping at times and I might try a few of your ideas on him. It seems it is a family thing - his grandmother and aunt had and have the same problem. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays, it is always a pleasure when you stop by. Blessings

    1. I hope it helps.... sleep problems are hard to resolve. Thank you for your sweet comment. :)

  7. Hey there lovely lady! Just dropping in to let you know this helpful post has been featured at Roses of Inspiration - thanks for sharing it with us :) Hugs to you!