Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Not getting enough sleep: 4 Ways to Cope with a Snoring Partner

Are you ever faced with the dilemma of kicking your partner out of the room vs. just not getting enough (or restful) sleep? Are you kept awake at night by their sleep laughing, restlessness, talking, snoring or some combination of all of these things? In the beginning these things might seem amusing/tolerable but after a while the “bloom is off the rose” and the need for getting a good night’s rest takes over.  We love our partners and don’t want to kick them out of bed but when do you step back to find a solution?  A good starting point would be to determine the cause of the sleeping issues.
1.)  Get to the bottom of it – There are many contributing factors that cause someone to be a restless/snoring sleeper including dehydration, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, weight issues, and even preferred sleep positions among many others.  Figuring out what the root causes of your partner’s restlessness/snoring are and addressing them could lead to better more restful nights for all.  If they are talking in their sleep, it could be due to anxiety, stress, or some issue they need to work out and are unable to address during their waking hours.  If that’s the case, be sure to check in with them to see what’s going on and to see if you can help them talk it out before you go to bed.
2.) Eat a good breakfast – This is so important for so many reasons, but among those reasons is the fact that it will lead to better sleep.  People who eat first thing tend to have/produce more melatonin, which aids in sleep at night.  If you have less melatonin in your system, you may be more susceptible to waking up and more likely to be affected by the night time shenanigans of your partner.
3.) Consider sleep aids – There are lots of products in the market that claim to reduce snoring and/or promote restful sleep from breathing strips, oral/nasal decongestants and antihistamines, anti-snoring pillows to white noise machines.  If the snoring is a result of a cold, allergies, or one or more of the issues in the first point and not something more serious like sleep apnea then consider some over-the-counter options, if appropriate.  Also consider wearing ear plugs.  This may not be the most comfortable option but if you are determined to stay in the same bed, then consider it.
4.) Sleep in separate rooms – It doesn’t have to be a permanent solution but when all else fails, it might be necessary.  Many people balk at this notion and feel like it should be a last resort measure.  However, the thing to keep in mind is that sleeping in separate rooms does not mean there is something wrong with the relationship; it simply means you need your rest and sleeping apart will ensure that you do.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Signs That You Are Doing Too Much

Life is busy, life is messy, we all wear many hats and find ourselves encumbering many roles, but when do you say enough is enough?  Do you ever find yourself awake at night because you feel anxiety about all the things you have to do, literally the "to-do" list is playing over and over in your head and you feel your anxiety mounting? Have you ever found yourself in a situation and wondered why am I doing this or why am I spending time on this?  If you are like me this didn't happen overnight but was more of an accumulation of items piling up over time until you realized one day what once was manageable has now become a little bit more than you can handle.  If you haven't had your "moment of clarity," here are some tell-tale signs you can use to help figure out if you are in this situation:

1.) Regular exercise ain't happening

Were you once a gym rat, or did you get out and run/walk/bike a few times a week on a consistent basis and now you have no time for it?  For overburdened people a common practice to create more time is to cut exercise out.  Sometimes putting aside that trip to the gym in favor of something else is necessary but it is all too easy to fall out of the habit of going, which isn't good for anyone.

2.) Healthy eating is something you aspire to

After a hectic workday and coming home to a  huge list of household chores, it can be pretty easy to give in to fast food temptation or ordering out instead of cooking your own meal.  Again once in awhile is okay but if the pizza delivery guy is on your speed dial and you have already stopped working out, it is not only unhealthy but a sign you might have too much going on.

3.) Hobbies have become a non-existent priority

If your hobbies have been replaced by household chores, doing laundry, running errands, etc, there is a good possibility you are doing too much.  In general, people prioritize things they "must do" over things they "want to do" and sometimes "it is what it is", but if you let life pass you by without doing the things you love and get energized by,  it is a clear sign you are doing too much.  After all, what is life without time to pursue and enjoy the things you love to do?

4.) Constantly running late

We all run late from time to time, our alarm didn't go off, the train/bus was delayed, we're stuck in traffic, or a meeting ran long, but if you are perpetually running from meeting to meeting and are late to all of them, you are doing too much and you either need to dial things back, learn to say no, or learn to time manage a bit more strategically.  The danger here is that while you are trying to accommodate everyone and get to every meeting, your lateness can be perceived as unreliability or lack of respect, and that is clearly the opposite of the message you want to convey.

5.) Stress is impacting your health  

If you experience regular headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, chronic cold-like symptoms, insomnia, weight gain, hair loss, or some combination of these in addition to irritability, lack of patience, become easily frustrated, feel overwhelmed or like you are drowning, lose focus easily and have become forgetful, you are definitely experiencing stress.  If this sounds like you, then you've reached the point where you need to make a change, drop some items off the to-do list, so you can get back on track and return to a more manageable work-load.  After all as the great Count Rugen in the Princess Bride says, "If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."