Waking Up to a Good Sleep

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Update 5/16/15: everything I mentioned here improved my sleep tremendously. However, late in 2014, I noticed that even though I was sleeping better overall, I was tossing and turning quite a bit. I’d wake up with sore muscles and aches and pains.

Then we got a new bed — the right sleep surface is oh-so-important! My sleep improved the rest of the way with our new intelliBED. It provides gives a healing, comfortable, supportive, and non-toxic sleep. I’m an early riser, yet now I have trouble (the good kind) getting out of bed in the morning because it’s soooo comfy and wonderful.

Check out your intelliBED here; using my special link and coupon code Wardee you can save 10%, plus they offer in-home 60-day risk-free trials with free shipping. If you’re in pain, it’s worth taking a look!

Below, I mentioned everything else that helped me finally learn what a good night’s sleep is. And to enjoy it regularly.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. –Psalm 4:8

I am 38 years old, and I didn’t know what a good night’s sleep felt like until I was 37.

Okay, maybe I slept well when I was a baby. Probably did. But as soon as I got old enough to worry about things like homework, tests, music performances, and relationships, I stopped sleeping well. That was probably in my teens.

But, here’s the thing. All that time, I didn’t know I wasn’t sleeping well. I just accepted it; that what’s sleep was like.

I wasn’t totally clueless, though. I knew that since I was emotional and tended to take my problems to bed, sleep was difficult at times. But since I slept well enough the rest of the time, I would never have said I had a problem with sleep.

Until last year — when I finally slept, and felt good, deep, restful sleep.

This isn’t going to be a post on the importance of sleep. I think we all know it is important to sleep.

It’s not going to be a post on how a nutrient-dense diet plays a role. (Still, I want to mention that it’s important not to skip meals or to replace meals with coffee, especially breakfast.)

It’s not even going to be a post on taking your problems to the Lord. Not that I wouldn’t like it to be — but if I’m honest, I would have to say I’m still working on that one.

This post is going to be about me — how I learned what a good night’s sleep is. And what I do to achieve it.

This is the story of how I woke up to the fact that I wasn’t sleep well.

The Teeth Issue

me, cropped

Last year about this time, I transferred pictures from my camera to my computer and saw something in myself I’d never seen before. Where my top front teeth had been pretty straight and even, one of the front teeth was sitting a bit forward. (It is subtle but can YOU see it?)

What? How did my tooth get out there? Is that really what I look like? Is my tooth moving?

I have to admit, discovering this was quite alarming because…. well, I like having straight teeth. At least on top — my bottom teeth could use some help. But the top! They’re straight!!!

I called my mom and asked her if I had always had a front tooth sitting forward? She didn’t think so, but like me, she looked through old pictures. She concluded, as did I, that my tooth had probably moved.

It was not like that my whole life.

Though I was not happy that my tooth was moving, I suppose it would have been even more weird to just not know something like that about myself for 37 years.

My mom asked me if I was grinding or clenching my teeth at night.

No. Of course I don’t do that.

She said: start paying attention and see if you notice anything at night.

Well, I did start noticing things. I noticed that I would wake up during the night with my jaw all tensed up. I noticed that I would wake up with a fair degree of pain in my jaw. I truly did not notice these things before — so yeah, I am clueless at times.

I went to the dentist (on my mom’s advice) to ask his opinion, because by now I was pretty sure that I was clenching and I wanted to know if clenching could be moving my tooth.

At this point in time, I was most concerned that my tooth was moving, not with that I might be clenching and why. Just a wee bit of vanity there.

The dentist looked in my mouth and saw all kinds of proof that I was clenching, including wear patterns on the teeth. He pointed out that my bottom tooth, which juts out a little bit, connects with the top tooth — the one I thought was moving. He said clenching could very well cause the bottom tooth to push out the top tooth.

Totally possible. Very likely. Yeah, the tooth was moving.

He advised a night guard. One of those retainer-like things but made of tougher material.

I was still in a bit of shock about the whole thing. Yet I went ahead with getting the impressions and ordering a night guard. But I wasn’t sure I would wear it.

When it came in and I put it in my mouth, I wanted to gag so badly that I put it away and didn’t touch it again for a month.

My mom kept asking me, “Are you wearing the night guard yet?”


“Practice wearing it during the day for just a little at a time so you get used to it.”

(You’d think I was a child because of the way I was acting about it.)

Well, I took her advice and I “practiced” with it and I got so I didn’t feel like I was choking. It only took a few practices, by the way. Can we say ninny?

Then I wore it all night for the first time. Without any difficulty. Without waking up so often. And without waking myself up in pain. In fact, I woke better rested.

That’s when the lightbulb went off. Granted, why I’m clenching in the first place is a problem of its own — yet to be solved, I might add. But just realizing that my sleep was impaired was huge. Huge.

I haven’t been sleeping well? Do I really know what sleep is?

At this point, I was beginning to get a taste of what good sleep is. Yet I had no idea what was coming.


The Noise Issue

Fast forward to June. I took a trip to Arizona. I couldn’t sleep at all on the trip until the last night of the 3-night stay. That’s typical for me. Any little ruffle — emotional or physical — and I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep if I rearrange my own bedroom!

So when I got home from the trip, I was so tired I headed straight for a nap. But it was daytime and people were doing things and you know… household noises.

Maybe I should try ear plugs.

My husband has always worn ear plugs to sleep. My dear friend in college wore ear plugs. I tried them once but because it felt so different, it made sleep worse. Remember, any little ruffle?

I guess I’ll try the ear plugs.

Heaven on earth. I’m not kidding. Blissful, silent, deep, restful sleep. I took a 4-hour — completely uninterrupted — nap that day.

Since then, I have worn ear plugs every night and for every nap.

I’ve gone from wakeful sleep to completely uninterrupted sleep. Just like that.

I don’t wake when my husband turns over in the bed, climbs in bed, or climbs out of bed. I don’t wake if the kids open the door to see if I’m sleeping or not. I don’t wake from dogs barking or the wind whistling. As long as I don’t hear it, I don’t wake.

I had no idea that for me, sound rather than movement is wakeful. (Perhaps it is different for you.)

We live in Oregon. Where it rains a lot. Now I get up in the morning, pull out my ear plugs and say:

Wow, it is raining. I had no idea.

I am not one of those people who are dead to the world when they sleep.

The world’s noises keep me up. Rain, wind, dogs barking, people noises.

My mind keeps me up, too. But. If I can turn off the sounds, it’s like my mind gets a free pass to take a break, too.


So, I am an ear plug girl now. All the way!

(Let me take a moment and say that I could not have worn ear plugs earlier in life when the kids were little, dependent, and their needs were both constant and unpredictable. I am thankful God waited until now to reveal this to me — when I can benefit from it.)

The Light Issue

And one more thing happened.

We have a security light outside installed on a big pole. It shines right into my bedroom. I have hid under the covers many nights trying to get that light out of my space.

When my husband worked outside the home, he had a Blackberry and was often on call. When he had to use it at night… oh, the misery. The lights and the clicking buttons. The worst possible combination for me and my sleep.

Last fall, I finally made dark curtains for my bedroom windows. They’re not totally dark, but enough to make a huge difference.

My husband no longer has that Blackberry. :)

Problem solved. No more hiding under the covers for me.

My Bottom Line

With those three changes — night guard for clenching, ear plugs, and dark curtains — I am almost sleeping like a baby.

I say almost because while those physical things help, my emotional nature will always make sleep challenging at the best and worst of times. That’s the stuff I take to God.

And I should mention, now that I am really, truly sleeping deeply and uninterrupted — I have been more productive and more rested. I have always been an early riser, but I’m able to rise earlier and am more rested when I do so.

I just can’t say enough how thankful I am to sleep in peace! I cannot believe that I can sleep all night without waking up or being waken up.

I had no idea what sleep was really like. Now that I do — I look forward to each night’s rest like I do a good, nourishing meal.

Update 5/16/15: everything I mentioned here improved my sleep tremendously. However, late in 2014, I noticed that even though I was sleeping better overall, I was tossing and turning quite a bit. I’d wake up with sore muscles and aches and pains.

Then we got a new bed — the right sleep surface is oh-so-important! My sleep improved the rest of the way with our new intelliBED. It provides gives a healing, comfortable, supportive, and non-toxic sleep. I’m an early riser, yet now I have trouble (the good kind) getting out of bed in the morning because it’s soooo comfy and wonderful.

Check out your intelliBED here; using my special link and coupon code Wardee you can save 10%, plus they offer in-home 60-day risk-free trials with free shipping. If you’re in pain, it’s worth taking a look!

Other Things

I know other things are important for good sleep. What I’ve shared here is just my story (which probably isn’t over).

Nutritious food, exercise, less stress, no stress, a good bed (ours is natural latex and wool deliciousness), spiritual growth, and emotional stability…. all of these are so important.

Sometimes we’ll use this Serenity essential oil blend to aid sleeping. It really works! (Please note: that website is incompatible with Firefox on Mac. Also, if you order please use my referral code 91353 to tell them I sent you.)

So now you know all my deep, dark secrets. It’s time to share yours. 😉

Do you sleep well? What helps you sleep? What do you recommend for those having trouble sleeping?

Graphic courtesy of Wordle.net.


Update 5/16/15: everything I mentioned here improved my sleep tremendously. However, late in 2014, I noticed that even though I was sleeping better overall, I was tossing and turning quite a bit. I’d wake up with sore muscles and aches and pains.

Then we got a new bed — the right sleep surface is oh-so-important! My sleep improved the rest of the way with our new intelliBED. It provides gives a healing, comfortable, supportive, and non-toxic sleep. I’m an early riser, yet now I have trouble (the good kind) getting out of bed in the morning because it’s soooo comfy and wonderful.

Check out your intelliBED here; using my special link and coupon code Wardee you can save 10%, plus they offer in-home 60-day risk-free trials with free shipping. If you’re in pain, it’s worth taking a look!


This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    Neat story! I’m so glad to hear you’re getting your sleep now. I am fortunately one of those blessed people that sleep that “dead” sleep, like a log and hearing nothing. Probably why the whole sleep thing when I first became a mom (and the fact that she was a preemie and was up more often) really threw me.

    I do like my “white noise” though. Hubby trained me early on by running a box fan in our room. He needed it for air circulation, and my mind got used to the “noise” of it. Now if I lay down before turning it on, it’s so still, so quiet I can’t fall asleep. Have to have the white noise. lol.

    Happy New Year!!!

    • says

      Denise — Oh, so you’re one of THOSE people. (who I envy.)

      Seriously though we used to run fans in the kids’ rooms when they were little to block out other background noise. It worked great so we could continue normal things and they napped well. :)

  2. says

    Thank you for this! I know I do clench my teeth and really had no idea what to do about it. I will try the other two things also. And you probably already do, but I know that for me, getting regular exercise helps me sleep Much Better. Bless you for sharing this!

    • says

      Yolanda — It’s possible dental insurance will cover the night guard (if you have dental insurance). We did at the time and I was thankful for that. Or, I hear there are over the counter night guards you can wear, too. They don’t fit so well but perhaps that’s the way to go for price.

      Yes! Exercise! I have exercised regularly for a year now and it’s probably been a factor in my sleeping better. Though I’ve exercised other times in my life and not slept like this. 😉

      I hope you experience better sleep soon!

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I think it must be something with child rearing and life in general. I started having lots of problems sleeping in my 30’s. I’ve used a mouthguard for years now too. I use an extra pillow to place over my head and block out light and sound. I started that in college. I use Valerian to help me rest and I manage to sleep pretty well most nights now. Glad you’re sleeping better and willing to share your experience to help others!!

    • says

      Nancy — Yes, I think you could be right about getting older. It’s those extra responsibilities and cares that make life not so care-free anymore. 😉

      How do you use Valerian?

  4. says

    Hi. I will say, I had to make a lot of the same changes you are making. I did end up with compacted ear wax and candida issues in my ear as a result of using ear plugs long term. Just an FYI.

  5. Lourdes says

    I have to tell you that I never slept 8 hours until I retired. I live in Vegas, worked 30 years in a Casino on the Graveyard shift going to work at 4 am. meaning that I should had gone to bed around 6 pm to have 8 hours of sleep, but that never happen when you have kids in the house, so my bed time was around 8 pm, and I was always tired falling sleep anywhere. But then I retire and I could sleep all night what a blessing!! But now 10 years later sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back to sleep, but I discovered that if I take Melatonin I sleep a restful sleep without waking up, with the benefits that it is a great antioxidant and beneficial for a lot of things, so for those that don’t produce enough Melatonin because of age, should try it, it is wonderful.

  6. says

    My husband has always been a poor sleeper; he wakes with every bit of light and sound. His mama used to drive him around when he was a baby to get him to go to sleep. I think because I grew up sleeping next to my twin sister in the crib, sound, movement, and light didn’t seem to bother me. I sleep like a baby almost all the time! It is unusual that I have difficulty going to sleep. My husband can sleep 10+ hours per night, even with a completely dark and quiet room with a large fan going, and with earplugs, and still wake up exhausted. Our next step is to have him do a sleep study, because he snores loudly most of the night. Funny, though, I never hear him snore unless I happen to wake up in the night, or I go to sleep after he is already asleep and snoring. :)

      • says

        I agree, Christine! That’s why we think he should do a sleep study next. His father passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 49, and my husband is physically built just like his dad – and is almost 45. It’s possible that his dad’s combination of heavy smoking along with heavy snoring (possible sleep apnea) really contributed toward his early death. We’d like to get sleep apnea ruled out…although if my husband does have sleep apnea and needs a CPAP machine, I don’t know if he could ever get used to one. We’ll see!

        • Christine B. says

          My father-in-law had sleep apnea a long time before it was diagnosed. He ended up with congested heart failure, among other things. Prolonged lack of oxygen to the brain during sleep can cause so many problems! Getting used to a mask is a small price to pay for staying alive and healthy! Best wishes to you and your husband. I truly hope everything goes well for you both.

        • says

          When my hubby got used to his CPAP they told him to take 1/2 to 1 sleeping pill…helps with the newness of it all…after a few nights it didn;t bother either of us…now when he is gone … it is tooo quiet

  7. Andrea says

    I keep trying earplugs and they keep driving me mad. My breathing and heartbeat are so LOUD when I wear them that I can’t fall asleep.

    I do sleep better when I’ve done my T-TAPP & have taken to doing the primary back sequence twice at the beginning of my going to bed routine. That means I’m exercising about an hour before I turn in.

    • Lindsey says

      Andrea, I can’t wear ear plugs for the very same reason. I can’t stand any kind of rhythmic noise when I sleep, so hearing my own breathing or heart beat, a clock ticking, a cricket chirping….all of it keeps me wide awake. Even many noise machine noises keep me awake because I can always find a rhythm in the sound. My husband created a sound for me and installed it on my phone, so I turn that on at night and it helps. I used to sleep with a fan on, but as the fan started to get old, I could hear various sounds in the humming of the fan. I have hyper-sensitive hearing, and it drives me nuts. In fact, it’s been diagnosed by an occupational therapist–I’m easily overstimulated by noise and sensory avoiding when it comes to my auditory sense. Any advice on making this better is always appreciated!

    • says

      I totally felt this way the first few times. Now somehow my own sounds are soothing to me. Weird, I know. Not saying it would be that way for you. 😉

  8. Jennifer says

    I am at the stage in my life where I think I am finally in menopause. When my hormones started going wacky, I did not sleep well. I believe my hormones are evening out now, which helps, and I also found I was deficient in magnesium and take a supplement and use magnesium oil. That has helped as well.

    I just thought I would mention this: many years ago I saw a video on manual lymph drainage. I’m sorry I can’t find it or the name of the person who did the video. She had worked with dentists in some capacity so she saw a lot of crooked teeth. After doing manual lymph drainage she also saw a lot of crooked teeth straighten out! I’m sure that getting the lymph flowing helps with congestion and detoxification. With the body working better, sleep should be better as well. She was an older Christian woman and it brought her to tears when she told about the young people whose teeth were so crooked and were straightened by just doing the manual lymph drainage. Our God is an awesome God and I believe he has created our bodies to be able to heal.

    I hope this might be helpful to someone. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • says

      Jennifer — How interesting! I’d like to hear more about this! If you remember her name or anything about it (no matter when) please do let me know. contact at gnowfglins dot com

    • says

      I’ve often said that warm baths and sleep must be foretastes of heaven! Many nights I have hoped that heaven will contain some measure of the peace the dark of night holds. I love them both, and I’ve always been a pretty good sleeper until recently. We have a wonderfully soothing fan in our bedroom. If there are any rustling papers, they are like nails on chalkboard for my nerves, but once addressed I’m usually good to go.

      Contrarily, I can take a nap quite well in the full fdaylight of our family room, even with my family watching television. I guess it’s just being around them, it acts like a security blanket. ;D

      I’ve used progesterone transdermally since just before I turned 40 and found myself struggling with the very uncharacteristic pre-menopausal symptom of anxiety. I also enjoy Yogi brand of Bedtime tea for those nights when I need a little extra help because I find the valerian is a wonderful sleep aid without the hangover effect Benadryll will give you. I’m 49 now, however, and have stepped fully into my season of hot flashes and night sweats. (I’m looking forward to your post on that, Wardeh! Although it will be past my time.) The worst part is the way they disrupt sleep.

      I’ve ordered Black Cohosh with my most recent co-op order and I’m looking forward to seeing how it might help. If I don’t find relief there, this will be my next pathway: Enzymatic Therapy Woman’s Choice AM/PM Menopause. I found it via a website referral and it appears to be quite helpful.

      Thanks for keeping things real, Wardeh!

      God’s peace,

      • CBPP says

        A holistic pharmacist/nutritionist told me Hot Flashes are triggered by a drop in blood sugar. That is why many hot flashes happen during sleeping time. As I paid attention to their occurrence in relation to what I had eaten before bedtime, I confirmed this over and over! Keep your blood sugar level by avoiding sugar spikes with high sugar content, eat vinegar based foods at the same time as high carb foods to reduce the spike, eat several small meals vs. a few big meals, if you are going to eat a dessert eat a smaller portion with your meal not a dessert by itself, and especially eat a protein food before you go to bed. For the times when I do not follow the above and I do wake up with a hot flash, I keep a small container of raisins in my nightstand. You just need 2 or 3 and put them under your tongue and suck on them to help raise your blood sugar back to normal. You can then go back to sleep much easier and faster.

  9. says

    I have used ear plugs since college even through raising four children. For some reason, I could always hear the children through my ear plugs! We also sleep with a fan for white noise which helps a lot. Where did you get your natural latex bed?

      • Michelle says

        Oooh! The bed looks lovely. I’ll have to keep a bed like this in mind next time we are in the market for one, which will probably be for the kids. My husband and I have a wonderful memory foam bed. Thankfully we purchased it just before the 2007 flame-retardant requirements went into place. Now that I’ve become more of a hippy than ever, I’d prefer a more natural option. I think we have about 15 more years to go on the bed we have though. :-) Did you have to buy a special base for the mattress? We have adjustable bases for our mattresses. It looks like this mattress would go on it just like our present mattress does.

  10. Marly says

    HI Wardeh and Everyone,
    Here is what I do when I can’t sleep. First of all, let me say, I DO NOT allow my mind to start any kind of
    thought process once my head hits the pillow. That is my number one rule. It took a while to train myself
    in this because my best thinking and creating comes when I get in bed. It was hard, but I finally achieved it.

    Next, if I know I will be having a hard time going to sleep I rub the following doTerra essential oils mixture
    on the back of my neck, around my belly button, around the big toes of both my feet and then on the bottoms
    of my feet. Don’t ask why this works because I don’t know. My DoTerra dealer told me to, and it works.

    Mix: 10 drops each of doTerra Lavender, Citrus Bliss and Fractionated Coconut Oil. Try this and see if it
    works for you.
    I wish you all peaceful sleep

  11. says

    A couple of years ago, I discovered that any amount of light would keep me w i d e awake all night. I started sleeping with a mask, and now I find it’s absolutely essential. The black-out curtains weren’t enough for me, I needed it pitch black. If I have my mask, I can normally sleep well. I’ve considered earplugs before, but my kids are still young enough that I’m not quite comfortable going that route yet.

    The other thing I’ve discovered is that blue-spectrum light keeps you from producing melatonin at night. I’m using a computer program that gradually removes the blue light in the evenings from my computer screen, and I do find that I’m falling asleep faster and easier while using it. The program is free and it’s called f.lux. I avoid other screens, like the TV, at night due to it, too.

  12. Michelle says

    Wardeh, you are so pretty! :)

    I have fibromyalgia so sleep is an issue for me. I am now making a Snooze Tincture with a blend from the Bulk Herb Store (http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Snooze-Tincture). I make both the glycerin-based and vodka-based tinctures and mix them for myself; my husband prefers and my children receive, as needed, the glycerin-only based tincture. I have to say that I’m sleeping pretty well, better than I have in years. On those nights I’m still awake when the vibration on my bed ends (It will stay on for 20 minutes), I’ll also take a melatonin. I find I don’t need to do that very often though.

    I have always refused prescribed sleep aids. I used to take Benadryl for sleep. Sometimes, especially back when I was working outside the home, I took a lot of Benadryl. I started getting some really wierd symptoms; it was my dear man who figured out they were side effects of long-term use of Benadryl. Here we had embraced natural living in so many areas of our lives, and I had never considered a natural sleep aid. The day my husband showed me his findings on the side effects of Benadryl is the day I stopped taking it. All of those wierd symptoms went away. Thank you, Lord! I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night seeing creatures on the walls. My man sure didn’t like me waking him up and ordering him to dispatch them! Ok, that’s my dark secret. :) If anyone else is taking Benadryl to help with sleep, I encourage them to do more research. Here’s a place to start: http://www.livestrong.com/article/28609-side-effects-longterm-benadryl-use/. I’d been told by a doctor that there were no side effects related to long-term use, and had never bothered to do any research on this myself.

    I’m glad you’re sleeping better, Wardeh! Good sleep is so very important. Thanks for a great post.

    • says

      Michelle — Thank you. :)

      Thanks for sharing the Benadryl article. I’m sure you were so thankful to get to the bottom of those alarming side effects. Thanks for sharing the herb link, too!

  13. Leah G says

    I’m a tooth clenching cosleeping Momma. EVERYTHING wakes me. From the noises of our farm to the sounds of nature and the kids. I fell like I dont fall asleep till the sun is rising and then I cant sleep. its too bright and noisy. Cant wait till the kids are old enough to sleep on their own.

  14. Christine B. says

    I sleep like the dead once asleep but getting to sleep / quieting my mind is another story. Lately, I have been counting my breaths..3 in deep and 5 exhale. Once my mind is occupied with the counting I seem to fall fast asleep.

  15. Charity says

    Do you have any suggestions for a natural mattress? I noticed you said yours was natural latex and wool. That is the next item in which we would like to invest. =)

  16. Kirsten says

    Great post Wardeh! I think lots of folks suffer from lack of sleep and it’s such an important topic…thanks for tackling it. My husband has ADD, and greatly benefits from taking 400mg of L-theanine (an amino acid found in tea) an hour or so before bed on the recommendation of his Naturopath.

  17. Polly says

    I’m fortunate to live in a quiet back section away from streetlights, but when the neighbours are noisy or have external lights on it keeps me wide awake. My mother has always been able to sleep through anything (the exception being a cry or call from one of us kids, which would always bring her wide awake), so it’s good to know I’m not alone and other people have issues with noise and light too.

    I find that my main barrier to sleep is temperature, particularly being too cold. I usually try to have my shower or bath right before bed, to make sure I’m toasty warm, and I wear bedsocks for much of the year – it’s summer here (New Zealand), and I wore bedsocks the other night because my feet were cold. I have poor circulation in my hands and feet, and if my feet are cold I can lie awake for an hour or more before they warm up: I can’t sleep until they’re warm. More rarely, being too hot will keep me awake – and because I’m more used to being too cold it can take me ages to work out what the problem is!

  18. Heather says

    Your journey to more restful sleep seems a lot like mine! I’ve known for a long time that light makes it hard for me to sleep, so we’ve tried to keep the bedroom dark for as long as I can remember. As a kid my room was usually in the basement, which helped a lot. :) I figured out ear plugs about two years ago when my son had surgery. Trying to sleep in his hospital room night after night while he recovered had me running to get ear plugs! I later tried some different kinds until I found the perfect type for me. Thankfully my husband is willing to listen for the kids since they are still younger. In the past few months my body stopped carrying stress in my upper back and started carrying it in my neck and jaw. I got a basic mouth guard with good reviews from Amazon. Not my favorite thing to wear, especially since I still manage to climb into bed without it and have to go get it, but it does help a lot. My mantra during the day is “lips together, teeth apart” which also helps me not clinch my jaw so much. Good sleep makes such a big difference!

  19. Carol says

    Have you heard that grinding/clenching your teeth can be a side effect of parasites? I think that pin worms are the most prevalent in humans.
    My adrenal glands are off and I sometimes take L-tryptophan to calm down.
    In our dental office our night guards do not go to the back of the molars, just to the premolars which help with the gagging.
    Thanks for posting all the helpful suggestions.

  20. Susan says

    Hi Wardeh, I am 49 and have fibromyalgia. I was crazy busy most of my life, around 10 years ago, is when the fibro symptoms started appearing, and fatigue, I would fall asleep on a 10minute drive!!! Well, I too never really slept right, as I got older, the more intense the interruptions would be, a clock ticking, light, etc. I had also grinded my teeth and did not know it, my husband then told me I did. So, when I did sleep, my body was still in motion. The rheumatologist suggested that the sleep problem was probably the basis of the fibromyalgia. Not sure, but, I cannot remember sleeping a full stretch of time, back into my teens. I still have trouble times, but, try to make sure I do sleep. Use ear plugs, eye mask, pillow over my head, I have a great mattress, but, my mind won’t shut down. I have tried meditations, relaxation audios, hypnosis and medications. Nothing works when its bad and the day after I am so much more sore!!! So, hopefully you have caught the pattern before any damage has set in. Not easy to just drop stress and problems.

    • CBPP says

      The portion of the brain that causes repetitive thoughts (“I can’t shut my mind down”) is an overactive Anterior Cingulate (ACG). The amino acid GABA is what is needed to calm it down. Read Dr. Daniel Amen’s Magnificent Mind at Any Age for wonderful help. He will tell you about each section of the brain and what to take in the way of drugs or supplements. For the overactive ACG, you can take capsules of the amino acid GABA, but an excellent product that combines GABA with valerian root for relaxation is NOW Foods True Calm. Very good to take 30 minutes before bedtime. ( Note: True Calm has been known to lower your blood pressure within 20 minutes when taken on an empty stomach so use caution if you have LOW blood pressure. ) The amino acid L-Theanine is also calming and L-Tryptophan can help make you sleepy (Turkey & chicken, milk & cheese, seed & nuts are high in tryptophan so they are good protein sources before bedtime to keep blood sugar level and prevent hot flashes).

      I have also found when I start to think too much when I lay down, if I will start to sing in my mind I will fall right to sleep. I have to think about the words of the song rather than the lists or worries. I also think it is a matter of stopping the left brain activity by activating the right brain for music. For me, I sing a hymn and that also reminds me of God’s presence in that moment of life.

  21. Tess says

    I’m a quiet noise sleeper, too… Need the air to circulate, as well… But I have learned to turn it all over to the Lord… Don’t know how I learned, but I recall, about age 8, asking Him to wipe it clean (like the old chalkboards in school. Have been doing it ever since when things are running through my mind when I lie down. I too can sleep through thunder & lightening… The Scripture referenced is one I use to share with people who say they can’t sleep! God bless!!! (I didn’t mean to step on toes, above… couldn’t find the POSTing spot!!)

  22. says

    I totally understand this! My doctor who happens to be a good friend of mine, said I needed to me checked for sleep apnea after alot of trial and error with medicines, diet, and me still being exhausted! I did end up having sleep apnea, and I’m on the road to figuring out how to live with it. I agree-getting sleep figured out is a huge deal!

  23. Jessica says

    This post really reassured me that I am not completely crazy! I am a sensistive sleeper – always have been. I started sleeping with earplugs when I was in college and never looked back. I also sleep with an eye mask and with room darkening blinds and make sure that there are absolutely no little lights blinking in my room (no cells, charging anything, clocks, etc.) And I sleep with a tooth guard because I also grind my teeth! My husband laughs at all of my sleep gear, but it really has saved me. I would be a wreck without it. So glad I’m not alone!

  24. Nicole says

    I have worn ear plugs my entire fifteen year marriage (because my husband snores so loudly). I also wear a sleep mask. Along with black out shades, I think I sleep okay. My only concern is that I think that I am developing a building up earwax as I have been having trouble with my hearing. I have to use closed captioned to understand what people are saying on the television. I replace the earplugs often but am concerned about buildup. Any suggestions? A friend recommends candling but I am too nervous with eardrums and fire.

  25. Toni Dunlap says

    I’ve just recently been to a wellness clinic for a hair analysis and shows up I am a little low on calcium and magnesium. The lady at the clinic kept saying that “calcium gets you to sleep and magnesium keeps you asleep.” Currently, I am researching magnesium but, I haven’t yet settled any supplements. (there are so many kinds out there) I also wonder if there are not issues with deficiencies in relation to sleep apnea. I also just read from a post on Healthy Home Economist that Tart Cherry Juice has natural melatonin in and helped the author sleep better.

  26. says

    I’ve worn earplugs (Dr. Macks silicone ear plugs) since my 28-year-old son was an infant. I wear an eye mask every night because my husband works odd hours. I used to wear a night guard, but I don’t clench any more. I still don’t sleep more than 4 hours at a time, unless I take some Sleeptime tea at night. And even then 5 or 6 is about the best I can get.

  27. Tami Berman says

    I found that having a regular yoga practice which includes meditation at the beginning and the end has been wonderful in allowing me to empty my mind and let go. Researchers are learning that yoga and meditation is helpful with alleviating PTSD and many prisons have started to incorporate it into their “therapy” sessions. It really is wonderful discipline. Good luck.

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