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Jamie works long hours. To get through the day, he has a constant cup of hot coffee going. He jokes he should just take it intravenously. Sometimes he switches to Coke thinking he’s giving his body a break. The sugar buzz seems to help. Jamie often doesn’t have time for lunch because he works right through it.
He arrives home from work anytime between 7:00 and 9:00 at night. When Jamie gets home he’s absolutely wired, but at the same time tired. He’ll put a pizza in the oven or something else that’s quick. Usually he’s so hungry he thinks he could eat a horse. Not surprisingly, the whole pizza is usually consumed. Whatever he eats, it’s a big meal. He deserves to eat big. It’s been a long day with no food!
To unwind after dinner, Jamie goes to his laptop. He goes to Face Book, You Tube, randomly looks up stuff, or plays some games. Sometimes he gets so into the stuff he’s watching, reading, or doing, it’s 2:00 or 3:00 before he’s shutting off the light.
Recently, Jamie has tried having a couple of drinks to help him sleep. Better still is to have a chocolate bar with his beer. He admits he gets carried away sometimes and has several beers while he’s on the computer. The two just seem to go together.
Jamie tries to sleep but finds he spends a lot of time tossing and turning. He thinks about the things he’s watched on the computer, thinks about what he has to do at work the next day, or thinks about his relationship with his girlfriend. He gets really angry that he can’t sleep and punches his pillows. Sometimes he gives up and switches on the television. He’ll watch a show or two and then try to sleep again. If he’s lucky, he’ll fall asleep while he’s watching TV. The blue flashing light or a loud sound on the TV eventually wakes him up again, but it’s better than nothing.
The gym membership seems to be going to waste. Jamie used to go at least a few times a week when he didn’t work so late, or if he was feeling really ambitious, he’d go before work in the morning. But now there’s no way he can go in the morning and in the night he’s too exhausted and hungry. AARGH!
On his days off, Jaimie tries to catch up. He doesn’t set the alarm and can sleep until noon. He needs the extra sleep because at night he either goes out to the bar with friends, gets together with his girlfriend, or stays up extra late on his computer.
There’s days he feels like he has cement in his shoes until he can get a couple of cups of coffee into him-whether it’s during his work-week or on his days off. With caffeine at least he can function again. It’s so frustrating though! Why can’t he sleep?
There are several things Jamie can do to conquer those sleepless nights. Read on!
Drinking coffee or pop throughout the day may seem like a lifesaver to Jamie, but it’s probably also impacting his ability to sleep. Cutting down and stopping consuming any caffeine by mid afternoon or earlier will probably help. That means cutting out chocolate then too!
Jamie would do well to pack a homemade lunch. His body needs a chance to get some fuel so he’s not too ravenous when he gets home. Eating a meal several hours before bed that’s not too big will also help.
Having a drink while making or eating supper may help Jamie unwind if he really feels like he really wants to have a drink. Drinking to sleep, however, might help Jamie sleep for a little while, but won’t help him get the deep sleep he needs. It can actually prevent deep sleep. A couple of herbal tea like Chamomile would be a much better choice.
There’s something in the blue light of electronics that interferes with our body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. Jamie would be far better off flipping through a magazine or reading a book for at least an hour before he goes to bed. If he can’t sleep, he can get up to do those things.
Exercise helps tire the body. It may seem too exhausting to go when Jamie’s already tired, but even light exercise can help-as long as it’s done several hours before bed.
Going to bed at more or less the same time each night is also going to help Jamie. He’s got to train his body when it’s time to sleep. It would also help if he got up at the same time whether it was during his work-week or on his days off. Jamie’s body will like the routine!
I’ve written a couple of blogs about sleep including things described above to help you and Jamie have a good night. There are a few things Jamie can do about his racing thoughts including writing a to do list for work before he goes to bed. See 5 Steps to Sleeping Better and How to Sleep Better for more tips.