Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep


Do You Have Trouble Getting a Good Night's Sleep?




I find it hard to fall asleep. Not only am I very distracted by any sounds that aren’t relaxing, I’m also pretty wound up before I go to bed. I do most of my writing at night, and often the ideas are still buzzing around my head when it hits the pillow. Many times I’m not even sleepy. I’m only going to bed because I know it’s past time. 

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep
My Son Asleep on Floor of Motel Room, © B. Radisavljevic

Some people, like my son in the picture, can  fall asleep almost anywhere, as he did on this motel room floor. My husband is another one who can fall asleep the minute he puts his head on the pillow. Sometimes he even falls asleep in his chair. Not me. 

Here's What I've Done to Start Falling Asleep Faster


Nutritional Supplements that Help Me Fall Asleep

For some time now I've been taking a couple of nutritional supplements that have helped me relax if I take them about half an hour before bed every night. One is Natrol® Melatonin 5 Mg, 250 Fast Dissolve Tablets Strawberry Flavor. It has worked better than any other Melatonin product I've tried, and I've tried a lot of them. I usually buy mine at Costco, but I have linked to Amazon here in case Costco isn't convenient for you. I also take an amino acid, Nature's Plus L-Tyrosine with B-6 500mg/50mg - 60 - Capsule. I'm  not so fussy about the brand for this. This combination helps me relax. 


Noise Blockers


I am also very sensitive to noise, and noises can keep me awake even when I'm relaxed and very tired. Before I moved here, my computer was in my bedroom and I didn’t like to turn off more than the energy- hogging display. If I tried to put it to sleep, it didn’t do any good, because for some reason I haven’t yet figured out, it suddenly woke up anyway. So as I was trying to sleep, I heard my computer working in the background, making those distracting little clicking sounds. Sometimes there were animal noises outside or the neighbor on the hill was having a very late party. Now that I've moved to the city, there are even more outside noises, as well as clicking sounds from my windows when the sun comes up. 

It seems the thing that relaxes and soothes me most when I am lying in bed is the sound of rain on the roof. It doesn’t matter how loud the rain is; it’s like a lullaby to me. I finally got the bright idea that I should look for CDs that make rain sounds. But they were hard to find. Almost all the nature sound tracks I found had more than rain in them. They had orchestral accompaniment, bird song, and other things included that although meant to enhance, only disturbed me and broke the steady sound of the rain falling.

It was only after I’d bought and tried about five other CDs that didn’t work for me that I saw Rain and Relaxation on Amazon and bought it. It’s made a great difference. If I go to bed tense or still full of creative fervor that wants to leap back to the computer and write more, I just play the CD, which I keep loaded in my CD player in my clock radio. All I have to do is press the button in the dark to start the process of calming down enough to sleep.

This also works after my early morning bladder wake-up call. At 6 AM the sun is about to rise or has already risen. The birds start making noise outside my window swamp cooler, and sometimes the neighbor’s dog is barking. Later my husband is in the kitchen making his breakfast or talking on the phone. I want to keep sleeping until about nine after my late night writing, so I play the CD again, loudly enough to block out the other noises.

I highly recommend this solution to others who find it hard to fall asleep at night or who fall back to sleep in the middle of the night after using the bathroom. It’s made a great difference in the quality of my sleep. It’s also made a great difference in my temperament in the morning when I wake up.


When Rain Alone Doesn't Do the Trick

Sometimes I need something a bit different than rain alone to put me to sleep. I have shared some of the other recordings I have used below. Although you may also feel the need for white noise, maybe something different like ocean, night nature sounds, or even electronic relaxation is what you need to do the trick. Check  these out, as well as some others that may be suggested as you look at them. 

One more hint. I have a repeat function on my CD player, but it only repeats one track. It really helps to get a CD with everything on one track. The last suggestion here, Summer Evening Serenade, is the one I currently use, since my rain cd wore out and I haven't remembered to replace it yet. It has everything on one track, and I keep it repeating all night. It used to be when a CD ended, it would wake me back up with its whirring sound as it shut off. When it keeps repeating, it doesn't do that. Some of my suggestions below are also available in digital downloads if that works for you.  

Recently I also decided to buy a white noise machine that does a fantastic job of blocking out louder sounds than the CD's  can cover up. Read my review of the Marpac DOHM-DS. 



If you have a way to watch a video on your computer until you fall asleep, I would suggest this one. When I try to put it on my computer the display goes out and I can't hear it anymore, either, so I need to use the CD's.




If You Need to Sleep During Daylight


If you sometimes need to sleep after the sun is up, I have found another useful product. I have had two  surgeries in the last year that required me to move into a one-story house to heal. Fortunately I inherited one I was mostly using for storage and entertaining from my mother , but it's in a neighborhood in the city limits, unlike our rural home. It is much noisier than in the country, and my CD's have become even more important with noisy vehicles parking outside my window and then leaving before even the roosters wake up.

This house also has lots of windows in my bedroom and they face east. Once the sun is up the room is flooded with light. After many mornings trying to keep my head under the covers to block out the sun, I finally broke down and bought this set of eye shades that comes with ear plugs -- Bedtime Bliss® Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask & Ear Plug Set. Includes Carry Pouch for Eye Mask and Ear Plugs - Great for Travel, Shift Work & Meditation.

I could kick myself for not getting it sooner. When I had my second surgery last December, I took them to the hospital, and you know how hard it is to have it dark there. The sleep mask was a great help in keeping light out of my eyes, though it couldn't keep the nurses from waking me up. I wasn't quite as happy with the ear plugs, but I've tried every ear plug I've been able to get my hands on, and none of them do much for me.

Begin Now To Sleep Better and Longer


If you have trouble getting a good night's sleep, I hope one of the ideas or products reviewed above will help you. Before you take any supplement, especially if you are on any prescription medications, it's best to check with your doctor first. Just because something is right for me might not mean it's right for you. The sleep mask and music I believe would help anyone. Why not click some of those links now and begin sleeping better very soon. Believe me, a good night's sleep is worth every penny it takes.  

13 comments:

  1. Ah, to be able to sleep like a child again would be fabulous! I often think it is my daily work prompting me from a sound sleep to get up and get busy. I have never considered trying nutritional supplements to help me relax and I certainly appreciate that recommendation and suggestion.

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    1. I thought almost everyone took Melatonin these days, but maybe that's because we've been doing it for years. It's a hormone your body makes, but as you get older it doesn't make as much. It helps regulate our sleep and wake cycles. The older you are, the less your body makes and the more you may need to supplement.

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  2. I can sleep anywhere anytime but my poor husband and my 2 sons all have problems so I will send them this article.

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    1. Lucky you. My husband used to be that way, but now that he's almost 80, he needs Melatonin, too.

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  3. My sleeping is sometimes fine, sometimes interrupted, so I'd need one or more of these suggestions on different nights, depending on whether I'm having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleeping habits seem to change as we get older.

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    1. I usually need more help getting to sleep than staying asleep, unless I'm in pain. My suggestions here don't help much if pain is keeping one awake. That often involves something stronger than I can get over the counter. My trouble is mostly falling asleep in the first place. I can usually fall right back to sleep after a bladder call wakes me and I respond.

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  4. Barbara now i'm convinced, it's our shared name that's the problem! Wow, reading this, it could easily be my story! I've always been a night person and work best at night, and my mind spins with creative ideas at night! It's just the way we Barbs are built! lol - My entire family sleeps with a fan for background noise - everyone of my kids as well as my hubby and I - I use various sleep aids once in a while when I absolutely need them - these are great tips, and the sound of rain is the best!

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    1. Barbara, before we moved over here for my convalescence, I used to use the swamp cooler fan, but it was really load and sometimes had its own little noises. Wasn't good in winter, either. That's why I started using the CD's. Maybe it is our names, LOL.

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    2. Hit "publish" instead of "edit" when I wanted to change "load" to "loud" above.

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  5. I am a light sleeper who suffers from chronic migraines. Melatonin has been VERY helpful with decreasing my migraines. Although the experts all say that Melatonin is not helpful with headaches. A co-worker and I are proof that it has been helpful. I usually have run a fan to drown out the noisy neighbors at night. I have considered music or nature sounds to replace the fan. Thank you for this review and suggested CDs!

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  6. I never knew this would help with migraines, but as you've proved, everyone's body is different and you don't know what will work for
    you until you try it.

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  7. I never knew this would help with migraines, but as you've proved, everyone's body is different and you don't know what will work for
    you until you try it.

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