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Old 01-02-2016, 08:16 AM   #1
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Sleep

Ginny and I received wrist monitors that keep track of our sleep and steps as gifts. I really thought they were another back of the closet gift. It's turned out to not be the case.

In some significant measure they have changed our lives. Every night we check to see how many steps we've walked before we go to bed. Each morning we wake up to see how well we've slept, the number of hours and the quality of the sleep, deep or light sleep.

Every day the 'coach' associated with the app encourages to do better providing tips and information on trends.

We now have sleep and step goals and most importantly a measurement of how we're doing. Things that are measured get done. For example my goal was 5,000 steps a day, now increased to 6,500 and even topping 10,000 one day. My sleep goal is 8 hours with at least 4 hours of deep sleep a night, my best is 6 hours. I'm also learning how to do deep sleep.

The reality is you can change, you can learn to be better even if you're old.

I'm realizing how critical sleep, good sleep and adequate sleep is. How not enough sleep can encourage bad eating habits (when tired I tend to eat more).

My new personal goal is learning to totally relax when I go to bed, to release my muscles and mind to relaxation.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:30 AM   #2
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Releasing.

Last night we had a few couples over to celebrate BatDude's wife Carolyn's birthday. One of the member's of the group had a stiff night, and I jokingly suggested that some free slightly wild sex might relieve the pain, might relax tight muscles.

Though I stated it with a smile, more in humor than science, I believe it's true. The relaxation of muscles can relieve the pain of tight muscles.

At a dinner party early in my life, about a dozen couples, a friend asked me if I would like a head float. I'm crazy enough to try anything and she gave me a head float on the floor surrounded by noisy chatting couples. WIthin minutes I was sound asleep on the floor. She also gave one to a woman friend, as well she was soon asleep beside me surrounded by 'party din'. We woke up after 15-20 minutes of sound dozing, really rested.

We simply layed on our backs and she held our head in her hands, causing us to release our head to her hands. Our neck muscles letting go to the heaviness of our heads. It was amazing and delightful.

I woke this morning at 5:30 and tried to repeat the event by placing my head on a low pillow and talking my neck muscles into letting go. I extended this to my entire body, even getting the tingling feeling of hands and arm 'asleep'. I woke at 7AM and found all the extra sleep was deep sleep. That it seems I can talk myself into a more relaxed state. More testing to come.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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Norm,

I am "sleep challenged" and I'm curious to know the name of the device you are using. I read an awesome book last year that's written by a man who does research on sleep for a local university. It's in French, sorry! I had found out before that some researchs tend to show that our body locks into whatever stress level it's at when it falls asleep. In other words, that means that it stays tense for the night if it falls asleep tense, and relaxed for the night if it falls asleep relaxed. You're onto something with your relaxation idea.

Sleep well...
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:48 AM   #4
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Oxygen

Not surprisingly Oxygen is important. As we age the oxygen level in our blood decreases. Interested in this, I bought an inexpensive Oximeter that clips onto my finger and tells the oxygen level in seconds.

I walk a few loops of the park every day with friends. I had been thinking about MRSA, the staph infection that many get after an operation. Practically everyone has stap on their body but rarely does a surface cut become infected by staph. My thought was that surface wounds are continuously bathed in Oxygen and possibly Oxygen is poisonous in some measure to MRSA.

I was to find out that Oxygen has been used to cure internal MRSA infections, though not FDA approved.

Apparently once your blood oxygen level falls below 90, organs begin to slowly fail. As a result I now breathe very deeply for awhile each day sometime if I wake during the night I do deep breathing. The Oximeter shows that deep breathing can raise my oxygen level a few percent.

Of course I know nothing about medicine except what I read but it's something worth thinking about.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Uncle Cereal View Post
Norm,

I am "sleep challenged" and I'm curious to know the name of the device you are using. I read an awesome book last year that's written by a man who does research on sleep for a local university. It's in French, sorry! I had found out before that some researchs tend to show that our body locks into whatever stress level it's at when it falls asleep. In other words, that means that it stays tense for the night if it falls asleep tense, and relaxed for the night if it falls asleep relaxed. You're onto something with your relaxation idea.

Sleep well...
Our marvelous niece spent a lot of time at our summer place. One night she couldn't fall asleep, not that the weight of the world was upon her, she was only about 10. I offered to teach her.

I told her to lie in bed on her back with her pillow low under her head, not with her head raised up as some do. Place your arms on your chest or tummy.

To think about her toes, to become conscious of relaxing them, to wiggle them a little to feel them but then to relax the working her way from toes to ankles to calf, consciously talking to every part of the body, relaxing each part. Working to relax it all in a piece wise way with closed eyes, while listening to your slowed breathing.

The next morning she rushed out with a strong embrace, "it worked" she said.

For adults it's a little trickier. Often the mind races with the problems of family, work and the world. Relaxing the mind is more difficult. I try to focus on the dancing brain images of closed eyes. Little patterns appear. I look for a magic curtian to fall over those images, at some point the patterns disappear and a ourole curtain falls.

If awake during the night I lie on my back and try to bridge my body between heels and shoulder (though I doubt my butt gets off the bed it feels like it does) I hold it for a 20 count, relax and repeat. Usually I'm back asleep in 6 reps.

More recently I've tried doing deep breathes,to pump the oxygen, slowly counting breathes, focusing on the breathing.

Those are my approaches. I'm actively working on trying to become a better sleeper. For hardware we wear a Jawbone 24. There are many products like this. It was bought to encourage the old parents to walk, but rather quickly we became fascinated with improving sleep.

I was always a proud 6 hour sleeper, even doing 48 hour stints for tough work problems. I believe that lifestyle was a mistake. The side effects of lack of sleep are huge. The wrist band coach encourages me to take a nap, to catch up daily if I haven't got 8 hours.

Hope this helps a little. I admit to trying to figure it out. My sleep cycle is getting better.

A little reality is that we sleep better in our Scamp. Partially it's because we're less with the world, less with family, less with problems, in our Scamp's womb like bed, away from a world and situations we can't fix.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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How many times a night do you wake up and check your sleep quality?
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:32 AM   #7
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I have found that relaxing my facial muscles causes all other muscles to spontaneously relax. I use this trick for everything from falling to sleep to relaxing in anticipation of lumbar injections.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:25 PM   #8
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What brand of fitness bands are you using? We are considering these also
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
How many times a night do you wake up and check your sleep quality?
Glenn,

I do wake up occasionally, last night once. Last night we had a birthday party and I made a French Chocolate Cake, high in chocolate and as a result caffine so I woke around 1PM. However I never look at the phone during the night. A summary of the night's activities appear every morning.

Norm
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by llfalcon View Post
I have found that relaxing my facial muscles causes all other muscles to spontaneously relax. I use this trick for everything from falling to sleep to relaxing in anticipation of lumbar injections.
Linda, I do try to relax everything but I'll start at the top next time and work towards the toes. The whole process just takes minutes.

The 'coach' suggests lowering the lights before bed. Ginny always does a plank before bed.

Thanks for the thought
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by swenny View Post
What brand of fitness bands are you using? We are considering these also
Tim,

We were given Jawbone 24s by our children for our birthday's. Occasionally we forget to set them for sleep at night. AMazingly we're disappointed in the morning to have not recorded the night.

The simple fact we're being measured and get feedback encourages action.
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:15 PM   #12
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Hi: honda03842... Yes... Stiff is good in some cases... but not necessarily your neck!!! If I can't get to sleep some deep breathing exercises usually work... but a cold shower not so!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Ginny and I received wrist monitors that keep track of our sleep and steps as gifts. I really thought they were another back of the closet gift. It's turned out to not be the case.

In some significant measure they have changed our lives. Every night we check to see how many steps we've walked before we go to bed. Each morning we wake up to see how well we've slept, the number of hours and the quality of the sleep, deep or light sleep.

Every day the 'coach' associated with the app encourages to do better providing tips and information on trends.

We now have sleep and step goals and most importantly a measurement of how we're doing. Things that are measured get done. For example my goal was 5,000 steps a day, now increased to 6,500 and even topping 10,000 one day. My sleep goal is 8 hours with at least 4 hours of deep sleep a night, my best is 6 hours. I'm also learning how to do deep sleep.

The reality is you can change, you can learn to be better even if you're old.

I'm realizing how critical sleep, good sleep and adequate sleep is. How not enough sleep can encourage bad eating habits (when tired I tend to eat more).

My new personal goal is learning to totally relax when I go to bed, to release my muscles and mind to relaxation.
I've seen many coworkers dive into this over the last two years. On the one hand, awesome! On the other, remember that you are in control, (the routine and ritual and addiction to these, or the club of fit bands, is not surprising but, then again, how bad can that be, right?)
Jen
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:19 PM   #14
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thx for sharing the info Norm. . . also enjoyed the reads/posts.

A note on _steps_ : ) my wife averages over 13K a day during a regular day's work...and the doctor told her _that_ doesn't qualify as _exercise_. she was bummed.

On _sound sleep_
Best thing for she and I to induce a restful night was to include running a sound file with white noise in the bedroom. It lulls us to sleep. We noticed how restful we'd sleep in camp within earshot of the river. Thought it was just because we were on vacation. For us? Now we can have the same rest even in the bustle of work life with a little fake river sound in the full time rig back in the city.

Cheers,
Thom
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