August 9, 2017 By Don Doman: I joke that my bedtime is 7:30 p.m. When my friends see me tapping my wristwatch . . . or even just my wrist if I’m not wearing a watch . . . then they know I am signaling my wife, Peg that it’s time for me to leave a party and go to bed. She nods if she agrees that it is time to leave, or she ignores me if she is having fun and wants to stay.
Even when we are home, 7:30 is not a really a strict guideline. At 7:30 Peg will watch Jeopardy, while I choose my own entertainment. If I’m working, then I’m at my computer. When the creative juices are flowing I go with the flow until they slow, or stop. If I’m not working I will head towards the bedroom with my cell for calls and on line searching, my journal, a sketchbook, and perhaps a magazine. In bed I’m prepared to think and plan, but it’s not mandatory.
Having a comfortable bed however, is mandatory. We’ve had a king size bed for decades and a memory foam mattress for around seven years. Peg has a king-size pillow with non-feather filling. I have two different sized memory foam pillows. When we travel, we take our pillows with us.
Some sleep experts suggest closing all the curtains when it’s time to sleep, along with no day temperature lights and no television. I say, go with what works for you. We have a fifty-inch TV screen about three feet from the foot of our bed. I leave the blinds open on one window that faces our yard. We have cable-TV and a DVR that records what we choose (more or less). If I’m watching an old black and white detective film and it changes to a musical in color seemingly before my eyes, I know it’s time to forget TV and go to sleep. Two of my recorded films I’ve seen countless times. I know the dialog. Once the introductory music fades, my mind knows the routine and within a sentence or two I’m asleep.
In a WebMD article entitled, “The Link Between Sleep Position and Sleep Quality” they state “Sixty-three percent of Americans sleep on their side. Only 14% sleep on their back and 16% on their stomach.” I never sleep on my back probably because I grew up reading late at night and I would turn towards the light on my night stand. I sleep on my right side in a loosely “Fetal” position with my right leg straight down under me with my left pulled up. Supposedly laying on your side provides the best alignment for the back. Sometimes when I wake up from sleeping on my right side too long, my lower back aches, so I turn on my left side to offset the alignment and counter the pain and then I go back to sleep.
Sleeping on my back in the “Soldier” position with arms by my side just seems weird. Although it is supposed to help with acid reflux it also aggravates sleep apnea and snoring. Sometimes you just can’t win. A few weeks ago I was really tired and lay down in the afternoon on my stomach. When I woke up hours later my back hurt as well as my shoulders. It must be an acquired taste.
Peg has allergies and her lung doctor recommended years ago that we raise the head of the bed, which we did. Those three inches eliminated most of my snoring, also. I don’t miss it. When we visit elsewhere, it seems harder to breathe with a bed on the level.
We recently stayed three nights in a converted boat shed on Puget Sound in West Seattle. There were no curtains at all. The afternoon sun sinking behind the Olympic Mountains in the picture window was my nightly TV show. The bed was an antique double. If I had slept on my back, there would have been little room left of Peg. Sleeping on my side let us cohabit in bed. My wake up time remained the same: 4:00 a.m., which is why I’m fairly early to bed. I like working in the morning. I read several newspapers, check out Yahoo news, scan and answer emails, write, and post on Facebook. I average six to seven hours of sleep a night. I often catch a nap at mid-morning.
Sleep positions change, which stimulates circulation. Positions are also an individual thing, although circumstances can force change. We adapt as needed. Sweet dreams.
Don Doman is a published author of self-help small business books, a digital marketer, an imagineer, and a community instigator.