My "insomnia" sort of went away after college when I fell into more of a routine schedule and normal bed time.
This winter, however, not only has my insomnia sort of come back on a lighter scale, but my husband was having difficulty sleeping as well! We tried Melatonin, Breath Right strips, hot baths, going to bed later and avoiding caffeinated drinks in the evening. Nothing was working. We'd still lie awake half the night. I'm the type, that when I can't sleep, I usually just lay there. Not my husband though! He thrashes, tosses and turns. Sometimes he sighs and huffs and puffs. It's like having a whale in your bed! I say that with love...
Last week, as I mentioned earlier, we were on our Western Caribbean cruise. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep until the sun came up. It was absolutely amazing! I couldn't think of the last time I had a full night's rest of sleep. We thought maybe we slept so well from running around the boat all day. We also thought that maybe the slight rocking of the boat helped us sleep. We weren't quite sure what it was, but all we knew was how refreshing it was to have 5 nights in a row of good quality sleep!
Once we got back from our trip, we realized that we were "unplugged" for almost a week. No phones, Internet or a lot of TV. I thought for sure the two of us would spend all weekend getting "caught up" on the week but really, once we were home, we were quite hesitant to get online or turn on the news. Instead, we talked a lot, did some grocery shopping, went out for dinner and rented a few movies. We had our first "unplugged" date back at home. It was really quite nice!
We've been back for several days now and yes, we've been online some but not nearly the amount we were this winter. I have found myself a little restless getting online this week whether it's Social Media, blog stats, checking email, the News, online shopping, catching up on a blog, etc. In fact, my husband and I both have been "unplugging" after 8 before we go to bed. Before our trip, this would have been so hard to do. We've gone so long this winter online window shopping, texting friends and Facebooking up until the point of going to bed that it became our nightly habit. And a bad one at that.
So guess what? Since we've started "unplugging" before bed, we both have slept all through the night every night since we've been back from our trip! Maybe it wasn't the rocking on the ship that made us sleep so well. It may very well have been the fact that we were "unplugged" and our minds were at ease during bedtime.
I know this is hard for some to do as after 8 is the only time for some to catch some Internet time but we really have no need right now to get online after 8. Maybe later this spring and this summer, that may change, but I think I am going to continue with this routine. It seems to be helping with the insomnia we were experiencing this winter.
It really does make sense, though once you think about how much light and information your eyes and mind are absorbing while being online throughout the day and at night before bed. I have read several articles in the past about how unplugging before bed is the best way to fall asleep... but I was never able to discipline myself to act on it.
I love the Internet and social media, but I think one of the reasons we felt so refreshed and so relaxed on our vacation is because we unplugged. We used each other and the people around us as our entertainment. I think it's good to unplug and take a vacation from everything going on in your world. It took me a while to get back online after our vacation. I slowly dove back in. I don't think I could give up social media completely as it's really made a positive impact in my life, especially as blogger, but I do think after having an unplugged vacation, I've learned the importance of managing it and scaling back. Too much of a good thing can definitely be a bad thing! You don't realize how much time you actually do spend online until you are away from it.
Do you unplug before your bedtime? How do you manage your social media and Internet intake? Have you ever taken an unplugged vacation?