Ever wake up during the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep? I believe it happens to all of us at some point in our lives. About 20% of people wake up during the night, then struggle to get back to sleep. Here are some tips to help you doze off again or perhaps keep those wake-ups from happening in the first place.
*Forget about the time- It's tempting to peek at the clock as you toss and turn, but that may make it harder to fall back to sleep, as you worry about the sleep you are losing. Turn your clock to the wall and resist looking at your phone so you may relax enough to fall back to sleep.
* Stay away from screens- The blue light from tablets, phones or laptops signals your brain to wake up. Keep devices out of reach at night and even avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime.
* Move to another room- Try to do something peaceful or calming like taking deep breaths or reading a book until you feel sleepy enough to return to bed. Avoid turning on bright lights or the TV.
*Do not be productive- Do not be tempted to take advantage of your “extra” time by doing chores or being creative in the kitchen. If you reward your brain for waking up when it shouldn’t, it will be more likely to happen again.
* Count sheep- If a “busy brain” is keeping you up, you need to turn it off to return to sleep. Counting backward from 100 shifts your brain from past regrets and worries by focusing your brain to stay in the present. This may relax you enough to close your eyes and return to sleep.
*Ease your muscles- Start at your feet and flex the muscles in your toes for 5 seconds, then relax. Take a slow deep breath, repeating these steps with your legs, backside, belly, chest, arms and face.
*Unwind at bedtime-Listening to soothing music or a calming podcast may ease your stress before heading to bed. A few deep breaths or easy yoga positions may also help you unwind and relax. You will be more likely to stay asleep if you fall asleep with a quiet mind.
*Meditation-Learning this popular practice may allow you to quiet those racing middle-of-the-night thoughts. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Think of calming words or a short phrase or picture a place that makes you happy. The more you practice this the easier it gets. If you are interested in learning more, the Tree of Life Shoppe in Ringtown is offering Chakra Balance Meditation on March 5, 2022, and Meditation on Tuesday, March 8th. Registration is required by calling (570) 741-3574.
*Keep Cool-Cool temperatures help your body sleep. Try keeping the temperature at 60-67 degrees, running a fan, or using several lightweight blankets instead of a heavy comforter.
*Go easy on alcohol-Having a glass of wine before bed may not help as much as you think. Although alcohol does boost a chemical in your body to help you fall asleep, you quickly run out of this chemical. That may leave you wide awake before morning, so cutting back on adult beverages may help you sleep more soundly.
*Stick to a schedule if you are awake during the night, you’ll likely be tired and groggy in the morning. Try not to sleep in or take a nap to make up for lost sleep. You may wake up less often if you train your body by keeping a routine of the same bedtime and wake-up time.
*Noise-free room-Even while you’re asleep your brain is still listening. The sounds it hears can wake you up, even from a deep sleep. Earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine may help block out sounds as you sleep.
Other things that may help are limiting caffeine or not eating too late. Health issues may cause you to wake up at night. Chronic pain, depression, sleep apnea, or other health issues may be to blame. In this case, your doctor may be able to suggest treatment.
I came across this prayer from the Hindu Tradition at a continuing education seminar. I thought it was a beautiful prayer and it reminded me of a bedtime prayer so if nothing else works for you try this.
May quietness descend upon my limbs
My speech, my breath, my eyes, my ears;
May all my senses wax clear and strong.
May God show himself unto me.
Never may I deny God, nor God me.
I am with Him and He with me-may we abide always together.
Diakon Community Services is partnering with AARP Foundation to offer free tax service from February 4 through April 2. Tax-Aid is a free service available to taxpayers 60 and older with low and moderate-income. AAPR can only prepare simple returns such as Pay from a job (W2 0r 11099 misc.), Social Security, Railroad Retirement, Pensions, Dividends, Interest, Capital Gains/Losses (1099 reports), Itemized Deductions, Health Savings accounts, Property tax/rent rebates. They cannot handle Income from rental properties, Debt forgiveness accept credit cards and out-of-state returns. Call the Diakon office at 570-624-3018 to see if you qualify and schedule an appointment.
Father Kurt recently conducted a HIPAA information session for Marion Price Trust Fund Board members and Trinity office staff. Please keep in mind that if you notify the office of an illness or prayer concern be specific as to how you want it advertised to others. When sharing prayer requests with the staff please specify if you want these concerns shared with others and/or on the prayer list. Although we like to “share” illnesses and medical diagnoses with the intention of increasing prayers it can be in violation of HIPAA law.
Since spring is just around the corner, I am sharing some gardening tips:
*Coffee grounds are full of nutrients that your acid-loving plants crave. Save them to fertilize rose bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and evergreens.
*Ashes from your fireplace can be scattered around the border of your garden to deter cutworms, slugs, and snails - ash sticks to their bodies and draws moisture out of them. Also, sprinkle small amounts over garden plants to manage infestations of soft-bodied insects. Be warned: Since ash is alkaline, it should not be used on acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and mums.
*Cut flowers will stay perky longer if you add a copper penny and an aspirin to the vase of water or a small amount of 7up or sprite added in the water also works. And don’t forget to change the water daily.
****Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 13th - Don’t forget to change your clocks! ****