the importance of a good night’s sleep

The good folks at the Casper Mattress Company sent me an e-mail asking me what type of sleeper I am, and having had discussions recently with friends about our inability to get a good night’s sleep got me thinking it might make for an interesting blog post.

Casper Mattress Sleepers

The graphics are fun and well done. There’s no question. I’m a “Cat Napper” as our cat Jimmy does indeed sleep on my head! What type of sleeper are you?

Do you have trouble sleeping? Is it because of your bed? Because of your time of life? (It’s well known that seniors have trouble sleeping through the night, and that women going through menopause also have difficulty getting a restful sleep.) Stress and diet can also affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Jimmy sleeping

I admire cats for their ability to sleep. Here’s a great shot of Jimmy sleeping on the incredibly comfortable beds at Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort. Definitely a “Bed Hogger!” And you can tell he sure was enamoured with the goose feather duvets.

But cats seem to be able to sleep any time, any where, don’t they? We should be so lucky!

I know that ambient light also affects my sleep. I cover the light on our digital clock, as that prevents me from sleeping. My husband has severely reduced night vision, so we keep a night light on in the kitchen for him. It helps him, but the light that filters into our bedroom from that prevents me from going into a deep sleep.

We’re told that on the average, we sleep away 26 years of our lives! That’s an incredible amount of time to be catching Z’s!

Do you have a secret to helping you get a deep and restful sleep? Please share! We all learn so much from one another on this blog and I thank you for that.

And remember. If you subscribe to the blog in the column to the right, you’ll never miss a post! Thanks, and may your next sleep be a restful one! 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

56 Responses

  1. Linda
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh dear, what a hot topic. I fear anyone with the slightest sleep issue who shares a bed with another person/pet is doomed for escalated sleep issues.
    When I was married I suffered from pretty severe sleep deprivation, partly from my partner’s noctural habits and snoring and partly from my own warring body chemistry at that time of my life.
    I have far less trouble sleeping now, thankfully. Generally I listen to audible books (with a timer) or something like Charlie Rose (also with a timer). Most of the time, I’ll turn over some time during the night and smile at the realization that I never even heard the media turn off. Occasionally, though, I can’t seem to drop off. I’ll keep adding another 15 minutes, until sometimes, I’ve been at it for over an hour and still haven’t fallen asleep. I’m trying to figure out if these occasional bouts of restlessness are due to the nature of the book or to something I ate or drank too much off before bed.
    In any case, I’m blessed that at this time in my life, I am rarely driven by a schedule so I can at least relax about lost sleep. It is entirely different from earlier when I was working and had to be at the top of my game all day, every day. That’s when the lack of sleep anxiety would kick in to make restlessness an even more stressful situation.
    Linda recently posted…Go ahead, ban my books!My Profile

    • Hi Linda and thanks so much for your comment. I love the phrase “warring body chemistry!” That is so true about what so many of us experience as we go thru the “change of life.” And yes, I find that because I don’t sleep well, I really do hear/feel each time my husband and the cat move around or get up, and I suppose that, as you say, “escalates sleep issues” I may already have.

      There is no doubt that what you consume (whether that be in the form of food or information) will definitely affect your sleep. We should definitely work at keeping our post-dinner ‘consumption’ light and positive. Cheers! 🙂
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

    • You raise some great points. It’s something that’s really overlooked, if your partner isn’t a good sleeper, they’ll affect your sleep so you both have to work on sleeping better.

  2. Linda Strange says:

    I’m one of the fortunate who sleep well all the time. If I look at the clock and it’s past 11, my eyes get very heavy; so I take my meds and brush my teeth earlier so there’s little activity needed before I slide into bed.
    Perhaps twice per year I’ll have a night when I don’t sleep at all. I enjoy our bed, so I try to spend as much time on those nights just resting in the bed, (unless there’s something bothering me)until the paper arrives and I can put on the coffee.
    We’ve had this “You’ll find us” memory-foam mattress for I think 7 years and each still comment on how much we like it. The disadvantage is, it’s too heavy to move . To my body, head and neck support is even more important to relaxation. I make no compromise on what I need, wherever I am sleeping.
    Our bedroom is a long way from the hood light in the kitchen which provides some illumination in the hallway. I keep a flashlight on the night table next to my bed for emergencies. If it’s always in the same spot it can be found by those of us with poor night vision. I have a couple of eye masks courtesy of a couple of airlines but don’t require it. Perhaps I should give it to you?
    LL

    • Hi Linda & thx for your comment. Lucky you for having no sleep difficulties!

      I do have those airline face masks, and that’s what I used to cover the digital clock. Yes, Reg, too, uses a flashlight on his nightstand for when he gets up at night. But he really does need the little bit of light the night light provides just to get up and get moving. No worries. I take a sleep aid if I’m really in need of help.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  3. Betty Jackson
    Twitter:
    says:

    Sleep! How, When ,Were and Why?
    I am a very mature female and I need all the awake time I can get to finish all the projects I have lined up. I am an Artist and a Quilter. When I am able to get my eyes closed and my brain turned off I actually do drop off. It is always a big surprise to wake up and find I accidentally sleep through the night.
    I admit it is a great feeling. Sleeping is a great pass time when it happens. I hear it is very necessary. Here is to at least one good night sleep a week.

  4. A.K. Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh I’m def. A cat napper too. Our latest addition to the family wants to come under the covers too which is prefaced by a good deal of sheet scratching. But I def. Have trouble sleeping for a myriad of reasons and consider it a true luxury now. When I can though I can sleep for 10 hours, probably as I’m constantly in sleep debt. As you say Doreen really fun graphics:-)
    A.K. Andrew recently posted…How Many of These 12 Essential #Writing Tips Do You Use?My Profile

    • Thx for your comment, A.K. Yes, I remember the days when I’d fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, and would stay asleep until it was time to get up — when I would just jump up with enthusiasm to face the day! Now … it takes me quite awhile to fall asleep, and it’s rarely a deep sleep. Just enough to get me by. Such is life.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  5. Sabrina Q.
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great image! I am a pretty good sleeper. But I have certain things I need to do before I go to bed. First, I need to get to bed at 9:30 pm. Then I can usually sleep for 8 hours. If I go to bed any later, oh boy, it can go down to 6 hours of sleep easily. I also need to watch how much chocolate or caffeine I eat or I will be up at 3am. Yuck!
    Sabrina Q. recently posted…Morning Ritual TipsMy Profile

    • Hi Sabrina and welcome to the blog! Thx for your comment. It’s great that you know your body, and know what it needs. I think too many of us ignore the signs, and think we can manipulate our body’s requirements in order to meet our needs or desires. There is very little caffeine in chocolate, so I doubt that would keep you up–unless you ate a large quantity of it! 🙂
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  6. Mostly I love the pictures of Jimmy! What a doll! I recently bought a super-duper new mattress and cannot believe what a difference it has made in my sleep. The adjustable feature is fantastic! I can raise my head for my sinus issues, and raise my legs for my back issues. It’s my first new bed in 20 years!! And I also justified the bucks by telling myself that it will likely be my last bed!!!
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…More Rules… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  7. Donna Janke says:

    My sleep patterns have become erratic as I’ve gotten older and I’m up later than I used to be or sometimes up in the middle of the night. But when I do sleep, I sleep like a log. We got a new mattress last year that makes a big difference in the quality of sleep.

  8. Shelley says:

    The iSleeper!! That’s me! (I can’t believe I’m admitting that). But really, the second most popular question I get asked about country living is “do you sleep better?” Yes, absolutely. I love the dark and the quiet. A comfortable bed helps. And must love a cat that doesn’t interrupt my sleep too often! I sleep beautifully out here in the cabin, but seldom long enough. Sometimes I deliberately go to bed extra early, for a treat. Oh look, it’s that time…Sleep well, dream big!

    • I know what you mean, Shelley. I, too, love to go to bed a bit early sometimes, just to stretch out and relax! I always find the aches and pains diminish when I lay down, as we’ve got a really comfortable bed. And yes, the quiet country life sure helps. I sure have trouble sleeping when I’m in a noisy city. Wonder how I’ll make out on Friday night when I’m in Toronto!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  9. Ken Dowell
    Twitter:
    says:

    I don’t quite fit any of those categories. I have a dog who will venture into my bedroom at the first sign of daylight but if I’m asleep or pretend I am, he’ll leave (and of course come back five minutes later). I usually don’t have trouble sleeping but if I’m stressed out ab out something I will wake up early.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Worlds Collide, a Review of Dead WakeMy Profile

  10. Susan Cooper
    Twitter:
    says:

    Let’s see… Helping me get a good night’s sleep going to bed and rising at the same time everyday, no caffeine in the afternoon, no TV in bedroom, chamomile tea, and reading a few chapters of a good book before bed. That helps me. I’m no good without a great night of sleep.

  11. Rachel
    Twitter:
    says:

    One of the benefits of menopause for me has been that I need less sleep than I used to. At first I thought it was insomnia, but I was basing that on my sleep habits when I was younger. Now I don’t stress about it: I just get some reading done!
    Rachel recently posted…New York City: Free or CheapMy Profile

    • Hi Rachel: You’re using the same formula as Betty! She just sleeps as much as her body tells her it NEEDS. Every once in awhile she has to succumb and force herself to sleep more and regenerate, but usually,is able to get by on very little. I pretty much need my 8 hours per night of rest, whether I’m into deep sleep, or just resting comfortably. Thx for stopping by.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  12. Lenie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Doreen – great topic. The fact that we have a harder time sleeping as we get older is so true. I look back on the days when I went to bed, fell asleep, didn’t move until the alarm went off. Now it’s a different matter altogether – can’t fall asleep without a sleep-aid, which I hate taking but have no choice – and only sleep for four or five hours. Although this past Saturday I worked with lavender for three hours and did sleep like a baby – maybe that’s the answer but you only have so much lavender, right? And yes, I do have a cup of cocoa made with dutch cocoa in the evenings.
    Lenie recently posted…Spyware – Free with Download.My Profile

  13. travelFREAK says:

    Thank you for sharing this useful infographic! It’s funny!
    travelFREAK recently posted…Paragliding and Rock Climbing in Medellin, ColombiaMy Profile

  14. Great graphic only I’d have to substitute a dog who does her very best to hog as much of the bed as possible. I live in a quiet rural area so normally I don’t have a problem with my sleep being interrupted. The exception is if I’m working on a project because I can get pretty obsessed at time and it’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night and work for a couple of hours. But that doesn’t happen often.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Is Resistance to Change Creating Your Future?My Profile

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Marquita. Yikes! I thought our cat takes up enough room on the bed. I can’t imagine a dog taking up all that space (unless you’re sleeping alone.) If so, I bet the company is most welcome, as I always say when you have a pet, you’re never alone! Thx again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the subject of sleep.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of trustMy Profile

  15. Erica says:

    I liked your article and what funny timing. I wrote about sleep a week ago. Great minds must think alike. I always slept perfectly until a year ago when a supplement through my body completely out of wack. I had to learn how to sleep again, and now I appreciate my good nights of sleep more than I ever could have before!
    Erica recently posted…Why I avoid Vitamin Water, Alkaline Water and other fad health drinksMy Profile

  16. Beth Niebuhr says:

    I rarely have a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I wake up, try to go back to sleep, get up to change the subject, go back in a couple of hours and if I’m lucky, now and then I spend the rest of the night asleep. Annoying.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Taking Advantage of MistakesMy Profile

  17. Tim says:

    Sleep has always come easy to me and I can accomplish it almost anywhere. I have been known to fall asleep in the dentist chair, at the doctors, on a bus, train, plane, truck, scooter, and even a camel. If that had rhymed it would have been almost Dr Seuss like.
    Tim recently posted…A Double Decker LifeMy Profile

  18. I missed my sleeping pattern in the infographic..I’m “dead to the word” when I sleep. I timed it and I fall asleep within three minutes of hitting the pillow and I’m good for 8 hours. For me, the secret was not missing my, “window for sleeping”. I go to bed when I’m tired usually around 10:00 if I stay up until 11 or 12, forget it it takes me forever to get my Zzzz’s
    Pamela Chollet recently posted…The Anxiety Antidote by Haartfelt: Controlling Anxiety for GoodMy Profile

  19. Laughing! The more that I can laugh in a day, the better I sleep at night. Okay, the room has to be dark, the lights all off, the bed warm, the air cold…all sorts of criteria to pull off a good night’s sleep. And yes, I am sure a bed hog!
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…In Any Relationship, Isn’t it Important to Keep Secrets?My Profile

  20. Kire Sdyor
    Twitter:
    says:

    I follow the adage that “a soldier sleeps when he can”. Last night I napped during the NCAA Hockey East Championship game. The only downside is I was there!
    Kire Sdyor recently posted…Fashion NightmareMy Profile

    • Welcome to the blog, Kire, and Thx for the comment! Yes, another friend said the same thing. Some days, she might be really tired at 8 pm, and her body is telling her to rest. So she listens to the suggestion, and has a 12-hour sleep night, waking up feeling like a whole new person. I guess we’ve got to take the sleep how and where we can get it!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…the importance of a good night’s sleepMy Profile

  21. I’m a cat napper too! I usually have one cat sleeping with me. Another one sleeps with my husband and the third prefers the couch for the most part. And then sometimes they switch around. They like to keep us guessing 🙂 I wish I had a secret for a good night’s sleep but I’m too guilty of doing all the wrong things: going to bed late, reading my Kindle in bed, drinking wine before bed, listening to the radio while in bed. The sense that I haven’t done as much as I want in a day will nag me to push my limits. At the same time, I love my bed and wish I could spend more time in it. Go figure 🙂
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  22. Doreen — I don’t see myself in your graphic. I’m definitely a night owl. Too much so. It seems I go to bed later and later but then suffer at the other end when I need to get up early for some reason. I’m trying to wean myself of this habit. I totally agree about the importance of a good night’s sleep. You think more clearly and certainly feel better.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Have You Refreshed Your Social Media Accounts Lately?My Profile

    • Hi Jeannette and thx so much for your comment. I never make an appointment for prior to 10 am, and if it involves travel to the city (or further), never before 11 am, as I am definitely not a morning person. I think that as long as we know and respect our bio-rhythym, we’re doing OK.

  23. Lisa mertin says:

    Thank you for sharing that very important information with me and others., I hope this works would help a lot of people.

  24. I guess I’m neither. I wonder what you call someone who just falls asleep at night. Not quite the Night Creature but something closer to the boring bland average, someone who falls asleep on their comfy mattress with their phone in the hand.

  25. Jane says:

    Great Infographic. I think the pet found the bed very comfortable taking a quick nap. Thanks for the share.

  26. Betty Martin says:

    Hi Admin
    It’s nice and funny infographic.
    I have learned some important topic.
    Here I know that my pet how to feel comfortable in the bed .
    thanks for great article .

  27. Sleep is somewhat nice to me, I do sleep on a regular time daily around 10 and wake up 6 am, no problem with that but when late night meetings come, then that’s the hard part, my body wants to sleep but my mind just works on and on and on…

  28. whole day you just worked but if you get a better sleep in night. It hills all the stress of the day. But a bad sleep can be the reason of many problems. So Mattress matters in our life for a better sleep.

  29. John Lester says:

    I don’t quite fit any of those categories. I have a dog who will venture into my bedroom at the first sign of daylight but if I’m asleep or pretend I am, he’ll leave (and of course come back five minutes later). I usually don’t have trouble sleeping but if I’m stressed out ab out something I will wake up early.

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