These days I yawn a lot more than I used to. Not because retirement bores me, but because I’m at that point in my physical maturity—that sounds better than “decrepit duffer”—when I get up way too many times a night to visit the bathroom.
My yawning comes from what some sleep scientists call “sleep deprivation,” in my case a long night’s sleep broken up into four or five segments. My sleep hygiene score might be high—I practice most of the suggestions sleep scientists recommend—but I still yawn during the day.
Thankfully, I have been blessed recently by the insights of some *alert readers who also happen to know a lot about sleep science! Alongside their familiar suggestions—thankfully derived from extensive research—these good folks have included some perhaps-new findings. I want to pass on these facts to those of you who, like me, wish you weren’t so tired when you wake up each morning. Among the discoveries are these:
• Don’t sleep with pets. In addition to detracting from healthy sleep, your pets may harbor unhelpful critters—fleas, ticks, mites—in their fur!
• The layout/design of your bedroom influences the quality of sleep you experience. For example, cluttered surroundings adversely affect sleep hygiene.
• Small signs of sleep deprivation: Microbursts of deep-REM sleep during the day. For example, while driving.
• Avoid eating too much too late in the evening.
• Shut down blue light well before bedtime. (Yes, that includes TV, computers and cellphones!)
• Sleep posture can effect the quality of your sleep.
• Too much sleep can also detract from sleep hygiene.
To help you reduce your daylight yawning, I’ve included some helpful links below. They do a good job presenting the facts and the solutions regarding sleep deprivation. You might use these resources as part of your own ministry to help folks increase the quality of their sleep. (Something valuable for an older adults group?)
As for me, I’ll keep working to increase my sleep health, and will always be glad for any and every opportunity to sleep well—a blessing in old age!
SLEEP DEPRIVATION LINKS
https://sleepstandards.com/sleep-tips/ I like the easily understood infographics that Chris Nguyen includes at this site. Also important: A multitude of embedded links that connect readers to the scientific research behind the information.
https://www.stress.org/sleep-deprivation-symptoms-effects-treatments-prevention-infographic. Another solid resource from Sleep Standards folks. Good graphics, especially an engaging video about the effects of sleep deprivation.
https://www.edmontonrealestate.ca/improve-sleep-at-home.php I was fascinated to see how a real estate agent took to heart his role in helping its clients sleep better! His own ministry, well-engaged!
*Thanks to Chris Nguyen, principal at Sleep Standards, an Australian enterprise blogging about the finer points of sleep hygiene. (www.sleepstandards.com) and to Justin Havre, an Edmonton, Canada real estate professional pursuing his clients’ well-being.