Sheridan Taylor Logo

Following My Own Roadmap, Pt 7

Sheridan Taylor

In which our hero talks about sleep solutions he missed on the first go-round.

A hot bath or shower before bed is helpful. It lowers our body temperature, and that signals our brain to get ready for sleep. A cool room temperature and warm blankets maximize sleep quality. If they’re too hot, stick a foot or hand out. That’s how we lose excess heat while we sleep. Also, around the eye sockets, which is why I can’t wear a sleep mask. I pump out crazy BTUs while I sleep.

When the sun goes down, it’s best not to use overhead lights. Light sources at eye level, like lamps, are better in the evening. They mimic sunset, telling our brain to get ready for sleep. Overhead light replicates the sun at height. Sleep is controlled by temperature and light. Makes sense. Our prehistoric ancestors didn’t have clocks. Our nervous systems haven’t changed since then.

You may want to raise the foot of the bed, or just your feet a few inches. I was struggling with acid reflux for months so I couldn’t, and back pain won’t let me stay immobile in my sleep, anyway, so I can’t put a pillow under my feet.

I know some of you use cannabis for anxiety or pain. Wish I could. Be aware that cannabis, like alcohol, has been proven to negatively impact quality of sleep. It may help you get to sleep by reducing pain or anxiety, but you won’t get a restful sleep. It’s unfair. Marijuana reduces pain or anxiety enough to fall asleep, but reduces quality of sleep, so we don’t get rest, making the pain and anxiety worse in the long run. I’m not saying don’t use cannabis. But the more you work on the other shit, the better you’ll sleep and the less pain and anxiety you’ll struggle with.

If you’re using alcohol to sleep or cope, just stop. Please. There are absolutely no health benefits to alcohol. Specific to sleep, alcohol is a REM sleep suppressant. It’s literally impossible for you to reach deep rest if you consume too much booze.

These supplements have been proven to help with sleep. There hasn’t been a lot of studies on how they all work together, mostly anecdotal evidence, but apparently you can stack 145 mg of Magnesium Threonate, 50 mg Apigenin and 100 – 400 mg Theanine nightly, then add 100 mg Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), 2 g L-Lysine, and 900 mg Myo-Inositol as needed or semi-regularly. GABA calms the body and slows the brain. Magnesium Threonate can mess up the gut and I had ulcers. I haven’t tried Theanine because the dose gap is so wide, and it can cause vivid dreams, like mefloquine does. Even pleasant dreams that vivid can wake me up in anxiety. Seems counter-productive.

If you’re going to use any of these, research before taking any. Talk to someone who wears lab coats and has letters like “MD” or “PhD” after their name. Start with minimal doses.

More to follow, over.