How to sleep pain free through the night

Wait, what?

Sometimes I wake up and feel like someone has bitten my ear off. Turns out, I’ve only been sleeping on my ear. I don’t know how it happens, but somehow my ear folds upon itself and the cartilage bends to become painful enough to wake me. It’s one of the worst pains I’ve felt while sleeping. It’s almost as bad as waking up with your calf muscle behind your kneecap causing you to leap out of bed only to find you can’t bend your foot to straighten it out.

So how do you sleep pain-free through the night? Get your room as dark and cold as possible. I target my room temperature at 65 degrees and make sure no LED lights are illuminated. Blackout shades and curtains are a must for those pesky morning sun rays.  I also run some white noise. I use a Rainmate and squirt a few drops of essential oil in the tank to circulate a relaxing plume of lavender. I also pop a melatonin about 30 minutes before shuteye to get good REM sleep. With melatonin, be mindful of what you watch on TV before bed. One night, after watching Black Mirror, I dreamed that 3 of my friends killed themselves in three separate nightmares in a single night. Oh yeah, get a good mattress!

Do this and you will never be depressed.

I wish it were that simple. Every January I get super bummed out. We usually take a vacation before Christmas and it sets the dopamine production into high gear. Once boxing day hits it’s a full crash. You take down the holiday decorations and you get back to your normal work life.

I didn’t think that Seasonal affective Disorder was a real thing, but once you hear it described so many times it almost becomes psychosomatic. They say that exercise is the best anti-depressant. However, if you are walking or running and trip over a curb and shatter your femur then things can get really depressing and fast. You will more than likely be prescribed addictive pain medication. That will then lead to constipation. So now you can’t exercise or poop.

The title of the article is misleading. You can’t be depressed without knowing joy and vice-versa. But if you get stuck on either end of the spectrum then there is something wrong. So what do you do? Life has highs and lows, but sometimes you need help to get out of the lows. Sometimes it takes prescription medication to get you out of your depression, but don’t let it become a crutch. Antidepressants are like a cast for a broken arm. Take the meds and talk to a professional about your problems. At some point, you can take the “cast” off. Or you can simply snap out of it like everyone suggests.

Do you still weigh yourself?

IMG_2272Don’t ever weigh yourself on January 2nd. To quote Yoda, “Only pain you will find”. Weight is a terrible measurement of health. What I mean is, don’t let the scale dictate how you should feel about yourself.  You should go about how your clothes fit. If you want to get technical then go by body fat percentage. Buy yourself some fancy fat pinchers if you must know the details. Don’t go by BMI because you can be obese even if you are an elite athlete bodybuilding freak of nature.

I started a new way of eating a few years ago and I lost weight quickly at first but then the next year I lost no weight at all. Once you get comfortable with your clothes, you should shop for some new ones and donate the old ones. If you buy quality threads you can also sell them on eBay

New Year, New You? Again?

Will you succeed at your New Years’ resolutions? Probably not if you set your goals too high. I’ve started making small changes in everything I do. Small goals, small victories. Small goals take the stress out of accomplishing that goal. If you want to lose 100 pounds, try losing 10 first. If you want to fix your road rage problem, try only punching the keyboard a few times a day rather than several. You can’t just quit that behavior overnight. Changing your habits will lead to lasting results.

Of course, if you don’t set any goals it will be hard to let yourself down. Most people will give up around February, they may even make it until March. The micro resolution will provide much more satisfaction and get you where you need to be, slower, but steady.

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