Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had this trouble sleeping. I tried practically all possible methods to improve my sleep pattern but they were not good enough. For almost a decade now, I have these dark lines below my eyes which seem like results from punches, so-called “black eyes.” They don’t appear too good. It may sound funny but I look like drug addict or something. So I have to cover them up with eye “concealers” with skin tone color.
I decided to see a doctor to help me with this difficulty in sleeping. So I was advised to concentrate in making effort to sleep without taking any medicine. Dependency on pills definitely has uninteresting effects. For the past week, I tried to write down the efforts I exerted to improve my sleeping habits.
My physician told me to drink at least two glasses of milk everyday — 1 glass in the morning and another one before I go to bed. So today, I drank 1 glass during breakfast and another 1 before sleeping. Aside from that, I also did a 20-minute brisk walking early this morning. I also did breathing exercises for 10 minutes before I took breakfast. In the afternoon, I rode my bicycle around the neighborhood. After dinner, I opened my computer and surfed the Internet for about an hour. Then I read a few chapters of the book I borrowed from a friend of mine. My doctor directed me to make my eyes tired as it may help improve my sleeping pattern. With all these effort, I was able to sleep for 4 hours.
My doctor mentioned that I need to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day. So when I woke up today, I had a 20-minute risk walking and jogged for about 10 minutes around the neighborhood. After jogging, I rested for a while and took my breakfast with a glass of milk per instruction. In the afternoon, I rode my bicycle again for an hour and half this time. After dinner, I watched a movie for about 2 hours. After resting for a while, I continued reading my book increasing the number of chapters this time. I made my eyes tires. After reading, I drank a glass of warm milk and lied in bed until I fell asleep. I slept for 5 hours.
I was also told by my doctor that in order to facilitate sleeping, the bedroom should not be used as an activity area. I should condition my mind that the bed should be used only for resting and sleeping. Other hobbies like reading should not be done in the bed.
When I woke up today, I did a 30-minute brisk walking. I tagged along my dog while strolling so I won’t feel lonely. After sweating myself up, I drank a glass of milk then ate a light breakfast. I went to the beach afterwards to meet friends and we played beach volleyball for about 2 hours. The heat made me quite tired. In the afternoon, I stayed at home and watched TV. Even if I was quite sleepy, I did not sleep as this may distort the pattern I am trying to develop with regards to my sleeping. I might end up waking all night. After dinner, I read my book and increased the number of chapters. I fell asleep unknowingly. I forgot to drink my milk. I slept for 6 hours which is a great achievement for me maybe because I was so tired today.
I felt healthy today as I was able to sleep for more hours the previous night. I did another 30-minute brisk walking and again, my dog accompanied me. I also jogged for about 20 minutes just within the neighborhood. After heating up, I drank a glass of milk and took a nutritious breakfast of oatmeal and fruits with a piece of meat. I rested for about 2 hours then watched a movie. In the afternoon, I went to the skating rink and skated for about 2 hours. I was all sweat again. After doing such, I took a rest. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon making embroideries to tire my eyes. After dinner, I surfed the Internet for about 2 hours because I chatted with someone. I drank a glass of milk afterwards as I might miss it again like the night before. Then I read my book — just a few chapters to fill my night. Then I lied down and slept effortlessly. I slept for 6 hours again.
Today I did not do the usual brisk walk because we went to camp. When I woke up, I took a glass of milk and quite a heavy breakfast. I need to carbo-load in order to have enough energy for a very physical activity. After breakfast, we sweat out as we prepared all the stuff we need for camping. Tents, food, gadgets and pastime materials were packed tightly to manage its transport easily. The entire groundwork took us around 2 hours before everything was set.
In going to camp, I need to drive for 3 hours which was quite exhausting with all the heat and air all over us. When we arrived, we had to set up our tents and arrange our stuff. It took us another 2 hours to fix everything at the camp. We rested for about 30 minutes before we decided to explore the area. We hiked for about 3 hours and returned to camp. After which, we had to prepare dinner. We made fire and cooked for about an hour. We rested for a while and took dinner. After dinner we, cleaned the area and gathered for some entertainment. We sang songs and played board games for about 2 hours. As there is no proper lighting, I did not read. I just took a glass of milk to warm me since the surroundings was kind of cold. Then after a very long day, we retired helplessly. I was bale to sleep for 7 hours. An additional hour! Praise God.
It’s our second day in camp. We woke up early and prepared breakfast immediately because it would take us longer than the usual allotted time for cooking in fire. I did not perform my usual brisk walking or jogging as the activities itself were more than exercise already. As early as sunrise I was sweating hard by then. I drank milk and took oatmeal for breakfast. After which, we cleared the area and prepared to go fishing. We fished for about 3 hours under the extreme heat of the sun. We caught several fishes then started to grill them afterwards in preparation for lunch.
After a heart-friendly lunch, we rested. In the afternoon, we played ballgames. Before dusk, we had dinner ready. It was a long day again. After dinner, we cleaned up and began fixing our stuff since we are leaving the next day. I was so tired that my body ached a bit. I drank milk before getting into bed. It didn’t take me long before I’ve fallen to a deep sleep. Finally, I was able to sleep for 8 hours. What a success!
We woke up early today. I had a good night’s sleep. We set off for departure. We got our things intact for 2 hours then we started our journey home. I drove again and I was quite weak after the strenuous activities we had the past few days. We arrived in the afternoon. Still I tried not to sleep. I just rested and entertained myself by reading magazines and watching TV. Late in the afternoon, I strolled in the neighborhood with my dog to get some fresh air. At dusk, we prepared for dinner. After dinner, I surfed the Internet for about an hour. Then I resumed reading the book I am supposed to finish. Before I retired, I drank a glass of milk. I rested in bed without realizing that I have already fallen asleep. For the second time in years, I slept for 8 hours.
In this one-week exercise, I have improved my sleeping pattern. I used to be exhausted and tired all the time due to lack of sleep which is also affecting my health. I easily got sick because I had a weak resistance to infection. This has become a great health dilemma for me because it has been disturbing my performance of daily activities. Before, I cannot complete my tasks and whenever I do, my outputs were not that good. This is why I made several attempts to change my unhealthy sleeping pattern but they were unsuccessful.
I learned that in order to achieve your goal, you have to dedicate yourself holistically. Half-baked efforts certainly are doomed to fail. Doing things with one’s heart in it is the key to perfect an aim. In this experience, I have learned the importance of perseverance and hard work. Even if what I did has exhausted me to the limit, it felt good to finally accomplish a long-time aspiration. Now, I am feeling better and healthier. I am able to perform my tasks productively now and psychologically, I met self-actualization.
At present, my sleeping pattern has greatly improved. I get at least 8 hours of sleep daily as long as I get enough physical exertion to drain my energy. I noticed that if I don’t use up my “power” like when I don’t exercise or succumb myself to physical activities, I have trouble sleeping. The secret therefore is to tire myself so my body will seek rest and sleep. Moreover, the bed should not be utilized as an all-around working area. It should be dedicated for resting and sleeping only so that one’s mind and body will be conditioned as to its sole purpose.
One should always bear in mind that “Health is wealth.” If we take it for granted, it would deteriorate and may destroy our normal way of living. Money can’t buy health. It is only up to us to nurture it by maintaining healthy habits. We should take care of our body because it is the only treasure we truly have and we can call our own.
“Sleep Hygiene: Helpful Hints to Help You Sleep.” (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.umm.edu/sleep/sleep_hyg.htm