Tag Archives: sleeplessness

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. As a big believer in slash careers, particularly within writing, I was pleased to see Slate legal columnist Dahlia Lithwick trying her hand at fiction. Apparently, the editors at Slate have given her a (paid) month’s sabbatical to do something really different professionally, and she’s decided to write a chick lit novel in one month before resuming her Supreme Court beat. Read her explanation for why she’s decided to do this (includes a link to the novel in progress). Bravo!

2. And speaking of employment, here’s a great new blog I stumbled across (via @heymarci on Twitter) about an unemployed journalist who decides to drive a taxi. It’s called Recession Taxi. Love it!

3. I daresay that if you’re over the age of 30, you’ll relate to this New York Times illustrated blog post about what keeps us all awake at night in our middle years.

4. Here are two fabulous visual websites: one, a slide show of viral sculpture from the Daily Telegraph and the other, a set of photographs on Mental Floss of  ten unusual playgrounds from around the world.

5. Finally, my thoughts on measuring economic progress over on PoliticsDaily.com.

Have fun and Happy New Year (you know who you are!!)

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Tips For Adulthood: Five Ways to Reduce Insomnia

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

This week’s list was prompted by a new study showing that sleep loss in middle age is associated with high blood pressure. As a chronic insomniac, I figure this study just gives me one more reason to stay up at night worrying. But it also furnishes me with an excuse to pontificate about some of the more popular sleep aides out there:

1. Get a Mouthguard. If – like so many of us – you find that your night-time stress moves directly into your jaw, you might consider asking your dentist for a mouthguard. Yes, it may make you feel like Evander Holyfield. And, yes, as an old dentist of mine once said: “It ain’t exactly an aphrodesiac.” But if you’ve ever lain next to someone who grinds their teeth or – worse – woken up with a piercing pain in your own jaw, a mouthguard might be just the trick. (Insider tip: figure out if you are a clencher or a grinder. It may affect the design of your mouthguard.)

2. Wear an Eye Patch. These can be helpful for shutting out light that aggravates insomnia. But be sure to replace them frequently. Most eye patches use velcro to accommodate different head sizes. Over time, you may find that  most of your hair stays on the velcro rather than on your head. And some of us don’t have a lot to spare.

3. Employ a Noise Machine. Some people are big fans of background noise. You can listen to the soothing sounds of an ocean…birds chirping…or just plain “white noise.” But again, choose carefully. For the last several years, my husband and I have been using a portable air conditioner to cool our bedroom, which doesn’t have a window (we have a skylight instead). But said machine sputters, heaves and otherwise exerts itself throughout the night like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on steroids. If, like me, you’re prone to dreams about being chased, this doesn’t exactly lend itself to relaxation.

4. Take Ambien. Somewhat further up the food chain, you may need to resort to medication. I have no problem with this, although know that Ambien is often less effective when taken sequentially, rather than once in awhile. My own favorite Ambien story was the time I ran out of my own (5mg) pills and borrowed a friend’s 10mg pill. As the medication began to take effect and I got woozy, I freaked out and called 911. (Yes, you’re seeing a pattern here.) When the operator asked me how much I’d taken and I told her “10 mg,” she responded: “Call me when you’ve taken 100.” You know it’s bad when even the 911 folks are dissing you.

5. Move to France. Apparently, people in France sleep more than in any other industrialized country. Heavens knows why. Maybe it’s all that red wine.

Bonne nuit!

Image: B’s Mouthguard for Football by Axlotl via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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