2008.10.01 What's keeping you awake at night?

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I could barely keep my eyes open trying to read through the results of the new sleep survey from SleepBetter.org. It wasn’t fatigue that made it a challenge, just a lot of small print.

The survey points to three reasons for poor sleep: finances, family and health. That doesn’t explain my situation. At 3:33 a.m. I was thinking about the mercury separating in my thermometer outside.

According to the survey, 47 percent of Americans cite financial concerns as anxieties that keep them awake at night. About 45 percent worry about health and lack of health insurance.

I should point out here that the survey was an on-line survey of 2,000 people. That means you have to be an internet user to have talked about your sleep problems and you had to be one of those people who would actually take the time to participate in a survey on-line about sleep.

There’s probably a good chance that it was 1 a.m. when many people took the survey because they just couldn’t force themselves to go off-line and get into bed. Little wonder they have sleep troubles.

Overall, the survey concludes that 75 percent of Americans don’t think they’re getting enough sleep and only a third rate their sleep as good or excellent.

Dr. Breus, SleepBetter’s board certified psychologist, talks about the vicious cycle: poor sleep leads to a poor work performance which leads to financial concerns (about getting canned, apparently) which leads back to more poor sleep.

There’s a hint of a solution in the final finding from the survey: 50 percent of Americans have not yet found the perfect pillow or mattress. Probably 25 percent of the world’s population doesn’t own what SleepBetter would distinguish as a mattress. I wonder how those people are sleeping.

Another solution is to take the website’s Zzzz Score test and learn from the advice offered by the doctor.

There are questions about your lack of exercise, the temperature of your feet, who you’re sleeping with, your sleeping position and the age of your pillow and mattress.

My Zzzz Score suggests using window blinds, which I have for years. My mention of cold feet triggered an alarm for Dr. Breus. This could indicate a serious medical condition and he recommends I talk to my doctor about it immediately and also get advice from my doctor about ways to increase comfort during sleep. Maybe I can get a prescription for a pair of thin socks.

Dr. Breus thinks I should consider buying a new mattress. If I like my old mattress and still find it comfortable, the doctor suggests that I could support the bedding industry in a lesser way by buying a mattress topper. Actually, we have an old mattress in need of replacing, but I’m not going to give Dr. Breus the satisfaction of knowing that.

I decided to mess with the doctor and his Zzzz Score. I signed in under a different name with some different answers. I’m told that sleeping with a pet might lead to allergies and body aches. One of us should sleep on the floor.

Even though my pillow is new, I might want to consider something specifically designed for my personal sleep style. And just because my mattress is new, he gave me something to worry about during those moments of insomnia: Some mattresses wear out in five years. I should probably buy a mattress topper or pad.

I very seldom have trouble getting to sleep. It’s the 3:33 thing when I wake up and my mind kicks into gear. I don’t consider it worrying; just thinking about things. The doctor says maybe I should make a list of my life’s current events before I go to sleep.

He says I should make my bedroom with its new mattress topper into a sanctuary and perhaps bring in the freshness of the outdoors. My wife already thinks it’s a sanctuary for spiders.

He says I should pamper myself with a massage and meditation before I use my new firm pillow. And after I see a doctor about the temperature of my feet, perhaps I should consult with a sleep specialist.

At least now I have something to worry about at 3:33 a.m.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017