Sleeping Problems S.O.S

I wondered whether it was an age thing or a Covid thing – or perhaps a me-being-lazy thing – but lately, I’ve been able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat – If I sit in front of my laptop for more than a couple of minutes without concentrating on what I’m writing, I can feel my eyelids getting heavy and if I snuggle down in the evening to watch a movie with Stressed Husband, my eyes are shut before the opening credits have run. But my need for the zzzzzz’s became really disconcerting when I found my head nodding as I waited at a level crossing the other day. It took the honk of a horn from the car behind for me to shake myself awake and put the car into gear. Luckily, I was only 2 minutes from home so I didn’t have far to drive. My daytime dropping off is leading to exhaustion and I need to get my sleeping patterns back on track!

The 3.42am Rude Awakening

I can immediately think of one thing in particular that’s making me walk around like a zombie – it’s the regular 3.42am wake-up call. I don’t know why it is always that time, but I can guarantee that, even if I did manage to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, when those ‘witching hours’ come around, I’ll be rudely awakened by some strange dream or a rush of palpitations that bring on an anxiety attack as I lie there looking at the ceiling wondering what awful things are in store for me and my loved ones…illness, job losses, relationship break-ups, house falling down…all of these things cross my mind within a minute of waking up and it takes giving myself a good telling off and a few big deep breaths to calm down a bit and get things back into perspective. ‘The roof is sturdy and the kidults are all fine. Now, stop your ridiculous panicking and get back to sleep’ I yell inside my head. And just then I figure, well, seeing as I’m awake, I might as well go for a wee and once I’ve dragged myself to the bathroom and emptied my bladder (that seems to fill up every 10 seconds at night) I’m totally awake and sleep is just a yearned for dream.

The Covid Impact

Sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley who works with both Sleepstation and The Sleep Council was involved in a recent National Sleep Survey of more than 2,700 people to see how sleep was affected due to the pandemic. He says, “Given that millions of Brits have been impacted by the coronavirus in some way, it’s no wonder three quarters of those surveyed feel ‘corona-anxiety’ is affecting their sleep.” I’m not surprised either, judging from my own experience and those of many people I know. So, it is comforting to read that the NHS have teamed up with Sleepstation and they have lots of expert help and support for insomnia sufferers, so please do click on the link above and check them out if you are feeling at the end of your tether with little or no sleep.

Sleepy Tea Time

Having restless legs is another thing that prevents me from staying asleep no matter how tired I am. I don’t get it all the time but when I do, my legs are darting all over the place and poor old Stress Husband feels like he’s getting kicked out of bed! Although in some cases, restless legs can be down to underlying health conditions such as anaemia, it is often just another one of those annoyances that rears its head during midlife. I have it on good authority (that’s my methodical Midlife Mum research) that a warm bath before bed with magnesium salts is a great way to help relieve symptoms and then massage legs with a good body lotion such as BetterYou Magnesium Sleep Body Lotion, £10 from Boots. I’ve also just been sent some Pukka Tea – their latest blend is Night Time Berry organic tea, £2.37 which has a delicious restful and immunity supporting blend of ingredients including, Echinacea, valerian and chamomile. As Euan MacLennan, Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs says,

“A good night’s sleep can be the difference between a good day and a bad day for most of us.”

I will drink to that!

{I wrote this feature for my Midlife Mum column in the 17th March 2020 issue of Love it! Magazine and thought you might like to read it here on my blog incase you missed it…}

For more midlife musings, you can follow me @ukglowology on Instagram/Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

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