Saturday, August 22, 2015

Insomnia. . .

What is Insomnia?

I'm so glad you asked because I looked it up to find out exactly what this annoying like monster within some of us is! My go to place is Wikipedia, though when I was in school teachers said due to the site not being 100% factual you could not use it for research. It is still my go to place with loads of information.

It states "Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as desired."

Now defined like that anyone can say they have insomnia several times throughout their life. Heck, going to school I'd like to classify myself as an insomniac because I wanted to sleep through the bus picking me up every day. But that doesn't count. Darn.

Now there are three kinds of Insomnia with different causes: (again, as defined by Wikipedia)

  1. Transient insomnia lasts for less than a week. It can be caused by another disorder, by changes in the sleep environment, by the timing of sleep, severe depression, or by stress. Its consequences – sleepiness and impaired psychomotor performance – are similar to those of sleep deprivation.[link]
  2. Acute insomnia is the inability to consistently sleep well for a period of less than a month. Insomnia is present when there is difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or when the sleep that is obtained is non-refreshing or of poor quality. These problems occur despite adequate opportunity and circumstances for sleep and they must result in problems with daytime function.[link] Acute insomnia is also known as short term insomnia or stress related insomnia.[16]
  3. Chronic insomnia lasts for longer than a month. It can be caused by another disorder, or it can be a primary disorder. People with high levels of stress hormones or shifts in the levels of cytokines are more likely than others to have chronic insomnia.[link] Its effects can vary according to its causes. They might include muscular fatigue, hallucinations, and/or mental fatigue. Chronic insomnia can cause double vision.[14]

Wow! That's crazy. I didn't think there was so much behind this word I've been throwing around for over a week. If I were to try a diagnose myself (which is something a lot of us do. . . But should avoid WEDMD just because that will make you so paranoid and think you had the pledge when you have a rash. Crazy sight. Avoid.) i would say I could have Acute Insomnia. I don't have a lot of stress, but I have been mentally active and struggling to fall asleep until between one and three in the morning. It's not fun. and when I do wake I feel physically tired and easily agitated.

Now, skipping to the part everyone who is suffering wants to know, how can we get better?

This, in my opinion, comes down to what kind of insomnia you are. If you are suffering insomnia due to medications or from another disorder you will need to consult a doctor. We just want to be on the safe side. Remember, I am no where near a real doctor or anyone in a medical position (I use Wikipedia for Pete's sake).

Going back to struggling to go to sleep at night I have figured a large number of things someone could do to try and relieve the stress that could be clouding their mind when they lay down.

An hour before bed try this:

after the family is resting and in bed take some much needed you time and relax. Set thirty minutes to an hour of just relaxing. You could listen to music, read a book, drink a glass of wine, take a nice hot bubble bath, talk to your pets and ask them about your day, or mediate/yoga. The goal is to wind yourself down and focus, or not focus, on something else. You have been going all day, it's time to calm down. Forget about a butt at work that's been nagging you all day, or an assignment at school you are freaking out about, or the fact that your In-Laws are coming over tomorrow. Set it to the side. There is no point making plans, stressing out, or wondering about the future that you can't change in the next hour. Time to rest.

I am notorious about stressing out about things I can't do anything about and it's not doing me any good. (But I will probably keep doing it)

For the next couple of weeks make some much needed YOU time before bed and try and relax. set a goal. Do Yoga one night, read the next, and so on and so forth. Just make sure to bathe more then two times a week and maybe not drink the whole bottle of wine. That would be great. :)

With all of that being said I am making a secondary goal. To everyone that may know I am trying to do Yoga everyday, I it's going okay. I could do better. So I am going to set my Yoga time for at night before bed to help me relax. At least for the next two weeks I am going to try this and see if that helps me out. If I skip Yoga I will do one of the other things I have suggested to relax. I don't like relying on sleeping aids, and I have found myself reaching for them to help me at this point and that's not what I want, so. . . the fight against Insomnia is on!

Continue following along to hear how I am changing my life, one goal at a time, as well as a whole world of random things filling my mind.

-Brenda Franklin

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Change For The Better Day 15

Everyone needs a Cheat Day (or days)

Okay, so i have been a very bad person. I skipped a couple of days! I know. . . I need to start my sister a little piggy bank because she has earned 75 Cents. :( I can't be perfect. Not to mention when you have people over (like my sister) you kind of use that as a great excuse not to do YOGA. And I did.

I thought it was a great excuse, but apparently it wasn't. Oh well, it happens. It's like breaking your diet once every so often. You just have to work twice as hard on the other days if you do that. Right? Anyone on my side?

Anyway, so after she left I just picked up right where I left off, with a little resistance. I mean, I hadn't done it for three days so getting up and shoving myself back into a the little routine I had been trying to establish was a pain in the butt.

Note to shelf and everyone out there: If you are going to cheat make sure you have already established a good routine so that it is just as easy to jump back in to.

And another day done! On to the Next!!

-Brenda Franklin

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A change for the Better Day 8

Day 8

Oh my Gosh, I’m in shock. Kind of beaming with pride for doing Yoga longer than a week, but at the same time it is an uphill battle. Each day I have to continue to push myself to do it. To get dressed, put in the DVD and start it up. It’s hard. But once I am sitting on that mat starting my breathing I’m in the zone. Not to mention Shawn, my husband, rewards me with affection. Okay, I get affection either way, but it is nice.

So do that. Do your Yoga and then treat yourself. Give yourself a little reward every now and then. Ten extra minutes to be lazy watching TV or a scoop of ice cream. I know it’s bad for you. But I didn’t say anything about starting my diet portion yet, so eat away!! Right now I’m just trying to train myself to do Yoga once a day. So spoiling myself is nice for the time being.

Oh! Here are a couple of poses, what they are, and how they help. And you haven't noticed Yoga has a lot of weird words. Well, I will break is down a little when I talk about the poses.

Asana = Pose or posture. This word is always at the end of each kind of stretch you do so get used to it now. 

My favorite pose is the Cat Cow Pose

Cat (Marjari) Pose (Asana)
Cat pose = Marjariasana
Cow (Bitil) Pose (Asana)
Cow Pose = Bitilasana

Inhale during Cow pose and exhale during Cat pose.

What this does is it:

flexes out the spine
strengths the wrists and shoulders
improves digestion
helps with blood circulation

Great blogs to follow for more information: (But go at your own pass. this person is a Pro.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Change for the Better Day 7

So, my sister and I have this bet going. She says, for every day I don’t do Yoga I owe her 25 Cents. That might not sound like a lot, but it adds up.

1 day missed – 25 cents
4 days missed – 1.00 dollar
10 days missed – 2.50
20 days missed! – 5.00
100 days missed is 25.00 Dollars!
By a year, 365 days, I will have lost 91.25!

Yep, gotta love Family support. Now I do get exempt days. Like if I am medically unfit, or something crazy has happened like a family emergency or holidays even, depending what I am doing. My sister isn’t that cold and heartless, she’d let me have a couple of days. . . Though I should probably double check and make sure in our verbal agreement I am correct about that.

Note to Self, find out fine print.

Again, gotta love family. Best kind of love and support you can have.

But thankfully I am kicking butt and doing great. I haven’t fallen over and I am starting to feel more flexible. Not saying I can lock my ankles behind my head but my calves and legs feel as though there isn’t as much tension as there used to be or that I am able to move my body into positions with more ease. My breathing is still pretty bad, but I must remind myself this isn’t going to happen overnight.

I have already fallen prey to laziness slept past when I was supposed to get my yoga done. So the first thing I wanted to do was promise to put it off to the next day. Go my husband for pushing me to get it done anyway. I just moved my time back for everything. Little bit of coffee and a little cereal and then Yoga. Yeah, it was close to eleven, but at least I got it done.

You can do this! I picture Chibis in the background cheering me on. It’s fun imagery.

Okay, it’s onto the next day! See you soon.

-Brenda Franklin

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Change for the better--Day Three

 Ah! I skipped one! Where’s day two?

Well, don’t worry, you didn’t skip one. I just didn’t write one. J I figured you don’t need to know what I do every day. Changes should be spaced, not a new one every day. Soon I will run out of things to talk about. Then what? I will start to ramble on about nonsensical things like whether its human nature for a guy not to throw his clothes on the floor when he is feet away from the hamper or whether if I leave my hair frizzy as I go into town how many horrified looks I will get. . . yeah. You see my point?

Anyway, day three!

I have been using Element, YOGA for Beginners. I recommend this DVD for anyone that is just getting started. I looked up some of the advance poses and trust me, she's being kind and keeping it relaxing compared to some poses out there. Though I haven't experienced all of her works I do know this is easy enough for me to do.

Even though it’s an hour long it doesn’t feel like it. Time doesn’t just fly by, it’s kind of irrelevant as you are focusing on your breathing, while trying not to stare at the TV to figure out what you are doing. Yeah, anyone who has done Yoga knows exactly what I mean. She had me turn to face away and I was trying to look over my shoulder to figure out what I was doing. . . . Maybe that is why I lose my balance a bit? But that’s neither here nor there.

She helps you focus on your breathing and trying to relax. So when you do this go into a quiet room and have some you time or bring a buddy. I do this in my bedroom and lock the door so as to tell people. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” I might actually make a sign to clue in my husband, but he is starting to understand that nine is my time and my time alone. I know, it’s only been three days. I still very happy with myself.

Continue following my posts to read up on the different poses and the language behind Yoga. Find out what are my favorite and least favorite poses.

-Brenda Franklin