5 Steps to Healthy Sleep

Enough. Enough bleary-eyed wakeups feeling more tired than when you went to bed. This isn’t one of those righteous blogs that tell you to avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar.  Nope. For January’s Squint-Eyed Look at Changing Yourself, we’ll grab Morpheus by the dreadlocks and wrestle a goodnight’s sleep out of him.

GOB UP ON TRYPTOPHAN

Turkey before Bed!!! Not turkey vulture

You know how a hefty dose of turkey leaves you hibernating like a hungover bear? That’s because your body can’t cook up one of its 9 essential amino acids. (Thus genetically interlocking us to the turkeys of the world.) Our hallowed torsos need the tryptophan from proteins to produce the joy-juice of serotonin  (also a sleep inducer).  So keep an emergency pack of turkey-bird on hand to gorge on those rough nights.

MOOOOOOre CALCIUM

Remember your 5th grade health class?  If you follow all the baloney you learned when you were 10 years old, you’ll be in decent shape. If you’re waking up because your legs want to do a dance or your muscles are cramping, increasing dairy products may help. A big bowl of cheese, yogurt, and dark-green leafy vegetables will increase your calcium/magnesium  intake.  Sprinkle it with turkey for a sleep-combo meal.

CAUTION: Don’t abuse the Dairy. Too much tryptophan from too many sources shuts off the serotonin factory and creates muscle. So just knock-it-off  unless you want to wake up looking like a slam-head wrestler (but don’t think about that…it won’t help you sleep).

Yes. I feel safer with the bed not directly in front of the door

Rearrange Your Bedroom

According to feng shui experts, your bedroom door should be hidden and the bed shouldn’t be directly in front of the door, but off to the side.  This positioning decreases anxiety of intrusion. There’s also a lot advice about decluttering, but straightening up the room makes me tired and I fall asleep in the process…so mission accomplished.

COLOR ME SLEEPY

These sheets are too loud!

Use skin-colored sheets. Beige, chocolate brown, peach, terracotta. Allegedly this helps your sleep attitude. I don’t know why. I can’t see the sheets in the dark, but supposedly my skin can. However, I find it’s still good advice because colored sheets don’t show the stains from eating the turk-yogurt-leafy green entrée in bed.

RESTORATIVE YOGA POSES

Sooooo relaxing

Inversions for 5-10 minutes which place your pelvis higher than your head supposedly balance hormone levels.  This reduces brain arousal and blood pressure.  Do not stay upside down so long you pass out.  That’s not the same as sleeping.

You know how I hate change, but maybe these alterations to your routine can put an end to your nightmarish crawl through sleep.  If not …do what I do…get up and blog.

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Humor, Life, Satire, Sleepless Nights and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to 5 Steps to Healthy Sleep

  1. The Hook says:

    Cool, helpful post, young lady! Thanks!

    Like

  2. Lisa Nowak says:

    I wonder what turkeys eat when they can’t sleep?

    Like

  3. Margie says:

    Good post about an issue that bothers many, including my husband! I’ll have to tell him your suggestions. My sleep has been vastly improved with a comfy “bowling ball” mattress (so I don’t even realize he is thrashing about) and individual comforters (so he doesn’t steal the covers)!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Okay Margie…let me get this straight. You bought one of those beds where you sleep with a glass of wine while your hubby drops bowling balls around you and it doesn’t bother you a bit? I guess this proves that the mattress only helps SOME people sleep. Maybe it would be better if your spouse drank the wine and went bowling. There’re a lot of us who are up at 2AM. We could form our own bowling team: The Dream Pins.

      Like

      • Margie says:

        Yes, you are right – the mattress (or the wine) improved his sleep somewhat, but not as much as it improved mine! There are just so many variables to work out, not the least of which would be the benefit for him of getting off the couch and going bowling now and then!

        Like

  4. Rose L says:

    What the heck was Dan talking about? Haiku?? I thought this post was about insomnia and turkey and how to sleep.
    Did I fall asleep and miss something????

    Like

    • Barb says:

      You’re wide awake. It’s Dan who’s fallen asleep and dreaming he’s on his own blog and not over here in Squint-Eyed-Change Country. He’s a funny guy, but doesn’t realize that most of us can’t or don’t express ourselves in 17 syllables. Thanks to for checking if the subject had changed in mid-reading.

      Like

  5. Angela Young says:

    Love it! Especially the turkey buzzard picture. Had a couple of those spend a couple nights in my back yard – talk about not sleeping lol. Good advice.

    Like

  6. Was waking at 3:00 am every morning. Then I got a puppy. Now am up at 2, 3 and 4. Need I say more?

    Like

  7. dan says:

    I not sure, but I think this is only the sixth haiku contest I ever entered. I can’t write haiku either. It’s not serious, it’s just a game we play. I don’t know how to dance but that never stopped me. I definitely don’t know how to write. All I remember is that there are seventeen syllables Lines are 5,7,5. You write humor, write a funny one. Join me on the short bus of haiku!

    Like

  8. My main challenge to getting enough sleep is that I am married to a night owl. I thought it would be our political and religious differences that would be an issue, but nope – the main thing we argue about is when to go to bed!

    Like

  9. Geez! One night this week I downed three sleeping pills and a quarter bottle of Ny-Quil, when clearly I should have had a glass of milk and a turkey sandwich. Now you tell me!

    Like

  10. Orice Klaas says:

    And if you’ve tried them all and still can’t sleep?
    Blogging sounds good to me. . .

    Like

  11. souldipper says:

    This is a riot… I do everything wrong and sleep like a guiltless person. Well, except when a cat pounds at the window to be let in or out. And except when I am revolving through my routine where I go to bed later and later until I have to stay up all night to get back with the human race.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Uh…huh….and how often do you stay up with vampires all night if you have to get back to the human race?
      See…that’s what I love about blogging. The longer we do it, the more we know who’ll be up when we can’t sleep.

      Like

      • Spectra says:

        That’s definitely how I got involved in blogging, Barb…insomnia. I don’t eat dairy (intolerance to caseine) but I do sometimes remember to take my calcium/Vitamin D. Magnesium is important to sleep?…better go refill my stash. I am usually completely nocturnal, and have been since I was a baby (so says my mother, anyhows ) Good post, helpful. Now I have to go hide my bed…under my bed.

        Like

  12. This was a very funny and helful post. I had the worst fifth grade teacher ever so that explins a lot.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Hey!!! I did too. Maybe your teacher and mine were out drinking together…let’s not give them the benefit of the doubt…afterall…they were baaaad teachers. (And I was a saintly child.)

      Like

  13. digipicsphotography says:

    Melatonin, valerian and benadryl work for me…at least for 6 hours anyway.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Are you Dr. House? Of course you’ve got an all-night schedule so I’d think garbage trucks and neighbors with lawn mowers would be your biggest sleep enemies. Why not get a turkey vulture. Your neighbors won’t doodle around outside if he’s constantly circling them.

      Like

  14. I also suffer from insomnia and walk the night. Pace the night. My smaller portion sleeps like the dead. Jealousy may yet mean he wakes up dead.
    I read blogs and books. I pat the cats. I punt the cats.
    As a vegetarian turkey is out. Sigh. Iinvestigate the contents of the fridge. Food eaten in the dark has no calories.
    One method which does work for me is ironing. I really, really hate ironing. Loathe it. So I think about it for a while. I may even get the ironing board and the iron out. Immediately my eyes start to close and I skulk back to bed.
    On the rare occasions that this doesn’t work I start the day with the rotten ironing done. A win of sorts.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      I can’t reply because I’m so busy applauding. You’re a hoot.
      I’m definitely trying your “Eat-IN-the-dark” diet. Cat punting must be some kind of sport in OZ. Say…you’ve got a lot of birds in your backyard…do they all sleep at night?

      Like

      • No. The wattle birds wake up considerably before sparrow fart and proceed to brag about it in that infuriating ‘early to bed, early to rise’ voice. The sparrows awake farting shortly afterwards and then it is on for young and old. This wakes the cats. Who proceed to wake me if I am not already up.

        Like

        • Barb says:

          Uh… the turkey vultures are silent…so I guess you win on looks and i win on audio. And the cats…cats win all the time (at least they think they act like it)

          Like

  15. Elyse says:

    Really funny post. Brilliant pictures!

    But I need no help falling asleep. My husband says it’s my best skill. I can fall asleep anywhere, any time. I make a special effort not to do so while driving, though.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Oh…a car trip over 20 miles is like a drug to me. I’m out like a lightning-stuck cow. Mouth open…snoring. Remember the days we’d put a squalling kid in the car and drive him around until he fell asleep? That’s me. Maybe I just need to hire a late-night chauffeur to tote me and the turkey vulture around.

      Like

  16. Love those pics, especially the last one. A bunch of good suggestions, but I already know why I don’t sleep well. Cats. Two of ’em, who wake me up a gazillion times every night with their nuzzling, licking, and purring in my ear. But I don’t care. I can sleep when I’m dead. (or something like that)

    Like

  17. dan says:

    I saw trytophane (the thing in turkey that makes you sleep) in health food stores again. I use some
    herb called theanine, also in the health food store. Meletonin never did much for me but, I take it since I don’t get outdoors to much lately. That being said I couldn’t write well if I slept well. It’s one or the other.

    I bet you’d get a kick out of my haiku this week and I put up a new entry about going to Saturn.

    I was trying to figure out how to make a snow woman grabbing her skirts above a little snow mouse but Styrofoam balls wouldn’t work well and I have the manual dexterity of any left over turkey you might still have.

    My fen shui consists of stepping on sleeping dogs in my bedroom and anything they might have left on the floor.(don’t ask)

    I don’t know about sheets but maybe a skin colored girl from Silky Sue’s?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Ah…ha!!! The truth comes out. You’ve been bellying up to the bar at the Salt Lick. I told you we were watching you. The first time you wander across the street to Opal’s Palace, the Daughters of Two Pan will be all over you.

      You know I can’t do haikus. But I do enjoy going over to your site and posting whatever meter-of-verse that suits me. Sometimes it’s even on the subject.

      Like

  18. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    Loved the post a great laugh.
    I will definitely give the turkey a go, I have beige sheets, so I know that one doesn’t work, and I could change the bedroom around, although the bed is already to the side of the door, but if I read in bed I fall asleep without any problems.
    I love your pics, well done. 😀

    Like

  19. That was funny, Barb. By the time you get through doing all those things you should be able to sleep, no problem. LOL

    Like

  20. I like the turkey advice just fine. I can eat a turkey sandwich and have a snooze anytime! I still go to sleep like a drumstick for 2 hrs. and then wake up and stay wide awake the rest of the night. I run out of turkey sandwiches quickly, so I may as well blog. Great read !

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Raymond. Perhaps if you’d substitute cooking for blogging you’d not only have a plentiful supply of sandwiches, but you could work the midnight shift at the Grill. There’s a bunch of us that would frequent the Two A.M. Turkey special.
      How do you function on 2 hours of sleep?

      Like

  21. JSD says:

    This is so funny!!! I am just finishing the bedroom re-arranging, decluttering routine (actually switching my bedroom with the sewing/art room), and it works! I am exhausted! But I don’t have a turkey like you do. Would it help to find a man instead?

    Like

    • Barb says:

      Well, some men are turkeys, so you could get a combo deal, but I think you’d be better off finding someone who’d warm the skin-toned sheets without leaving feathers.

      Like

  22. Love the turkey pics! That last one had me spitting out my coffee.
    I happen to own relaxing brownish sheets and I still can’t sleep. Go figure. My husband is hooked on using melatonin now. But if I told him to eat a turkey sandwich and a glass of milk before bed, I’m sure he’d be all over that advice.

    Like

  23. Roxie Matthews says:

    A warm bath right before bedtime helps me fall right to sleep. If I wake in the night, I play lullabies in my head. Or you could put in the earbuds and listen to a worthy, boring book. Something by Henry James maybe. And Yes to the yogurt for a nightcap!

    Like

    • Barb says:

      What happens if you read Henry James in the tub while eating yougurt? Are you asleep all night and don’t need the lullabies? I get up and talk to the turkey vulture.

      Like

  24. This is a riot. You are a goof. Love the pictures. See you at 3 a.m., LOL! xx, Margie

    P.S. Only you can write an post about melatonin and tryptophan and make it funny! You have a gift my dear.

    Like

  25. Teaching every variety of gobbler all day, every day for 33 years was exhausting and made me insomnia free. Now I wake up three hours after my hard sleep and use melatonin to round out the night. You’re right about decluttering…my husband and I decluttered the bedroom over Christmas…amazingly, that helps too.

    Like

    • Barb says:

      There should be a special certificate for teachers so they get a “Hall Pass” to skip crummy nights of sleep. How did you ever teach the next day if you didn’t get much sleep the night before?

      Hopefully decluttering the bedroom means you kept your spouse and his collection of whatzits.

      Like

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