Kathy Hedberg: Commentary: Ah, sleep, that thing I used to do when I was younger

Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune, Idaho
·2 min read

Apr. 3—Don't you just love it when health experts tell us that we would feel better, lose weight faster and be overall healthier if we would just get a good night's sleep?

Great advice, but one question: Do these guys think that insomnia is a choice? Do they suppose we go to bed planning to toss and turn for hours with a tsunami of worrisome thoughts flooding through our brains? And then intentionally wake up at 2 a.m. and not be able to get back to sleep?

I would sleep like a baby if I could. But the older I get the more elusive it becomes. I remember sleeping. I used to love to sleep. It was something I did every night — usually the minute my head hit the pillow. And I wouldn't wake up until I heard the birds chirping the next morning.

These days trying to get to sleep and staying asleep for seven or eight hours is about as difficult as fitting into a size 4 pair of jeans — something I can no longer do because I've gained weight — probably because I'm not sleeping so well. That, and ice cream.

A friend of mine once told me that all post-menopausal middle-aged women have trouble sleeping. The more sleep deprived we are, the grumpier we get. That explains a lot.

They say people who are sleep deprived are as dangerous behind the wheel of a car as someone who's had a few too many drinks.

I don't doubt it. When I don't get enough rest, I have trouble even operating my vacuum cleaner, let alone a motor vehicle.

I have never seen anybody get a ticket for driving while sleep deprived (DWSD), but if that happened to me, I would hope for a post-menopausal middle-aged judge so maybe she could empathize.

There are plenty of remedies out there to help a person get to sleep. Cashing in on the sleep deprivation industry is probably as lucrative as the diet business.

I prefer, however, to avoid chemical solutions and other wackadoodle fixes. I go more for natural approaches, such as a glass of almond milk and a banana before bed, listening to soothing music or meditating. And all of these things have an effect, which is a blessing.

Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that when I wake up in the morning I won't still be grouchy. I guess that's another issue.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 743-9411.