The 411 on Sleep, from A to zzzzz

Oh 3 am, I’m seriously unhappy to see you again. It’s dark, cold, and there are hours until I have to get up, but here I am staring at the ceiling again and wondering exactly how I’m going to get back to sleep.

On the plus side? I’m learning a lot about old Hollywood, because that seems to be the Google of choice when I realize I’m not going back to sleep anytime soon. My husband can’t figure out why I’ve suddenly started buying biographies and giving him the 411 on everything that happens on Turner Classic Movies. I’m also partial to deep-sea underwater adventures on Outdoor Life, but only around 4 am.

For the past 6 months I’ve been waking up at almost the exact same time every single night. Once awake, I lay there tossing and turning for hours or go watch TV until I finally get back to sleep around 5 am. Of course my kids aren’t aware I have insomnia in the middle of the night, because they’re at my bedside an hour or hour and a half later ready to go. And so, dragging myself out of bed, I start another day feeling like something the cat dragged in and left on my doorstep.

Sometimes I can’t sleep due to worries cycling through my head. Other times it has been due to cramps in my legs from a daily run or a backache from not stretching before working out.  I’ll wake up and just not be able to get back to sleep.

Once or twice a month I could handle the lack of sleep, but constantly? I’m going a little crazy here. But what’s even crazier is that I’ve sort of just accepted the fact that this is going on and I didn’t give much thought to trying to fix it.

That’s why when I was told about I had to go and check it out and get the 411 on sleep. The first thing I learnt that surprised me was how Canadians sleep for an average of 8 hours a night. Even if I went to bed at 11 pm, with my mid-nightly wake up, I’m still averaging about 6 hours at the most. That’s really not enough.

Both with the suggestions on the site and on my own, I’ve tried a few different things to extend my sleep.

411 on Sleep

Turning on a fan at night – I’ve always loved white noise when I’m sleeping, and I’ve turned my bathroom fan on to mask noise for the kids when they’d sleep in my room, but I hadn’t tried an actual fan while sleeping in awhile. After plugging it in, I definitely noticed that it cooled off the room to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed, and although I still woke up, I was able to fall asleep again faster because I didn’t get up and walk around.

More light during the day – I live in Vancouver, where it’s really gloomy in the winter. I’ve had to become really creative about getting more light, and one of the ways I’ve done so is with a ‘blue light.’ On the days I use it, I have more energy and can skip the nap that tends to wreck havoc with my nighttime sleeping.

Tylenol_nighttimeTake something for the pain – I usually run 3 or 4 times a week, and sometimes I find it makes me achy at bedtime. Although I can usually fall asleep, I tend to wake up with leg pain or a Charlie horse and by that point it would take at least another ½ hour before any painkiller I’d take would kick in. I had never tried Tylenol Nighttime before, but did so just the other night when I had a feeling I’d wake up in pain. Not only did it help me get to sleep faster, I found I only woke up at 3 am and stayed awake for maybe 10 minutes. Not only that, but I didn’t have leg cramps!

There’s an app for that – When it comes to lack of sleep, I’m a big believer in apps to lull you back off to dreamland. The site recommends a few different apps and gadgets to help you like old fashioned ear plugs, Pzizz, a sleep app that plays Zen sounds and music, and the Sound Oasis pillow that has speakers built in so you don’t need to wear headphones while trying to get back to sleep. I also like White Noise, a simple app that plays fan, airliner, or water sounds.


my-insomniaIf you’re one of those people who find yourself scrolling through Facebook at 4 am instead of sleeping, or, like me, find yourself in front of a TV learning an awful lot about deep sea wreck diving while the entire house is slumbering away, there is help out there. I’ve found the tips on really open my eyes to a few things, and now I know what to try and what to avoid when it comes to my nighttime sleep.

And the most important thing I took away from the site is that if I’m in pain, the best thing to take before bed is Tylenol Nighttime. It really works for the pain that wakes me up, and it’s so nice to just curl back up and drift off after waking instead of wondering where the remote is.


There’s never been a better time to try Tylenol Nighttime either. They’ve got a $4 coupon offer on right now that will help you save money and get back to sleep faster. Click here to check it out.

Save money and save your sanity by getting some sleep – it’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.

Check out and share your favourite tips for getting back to sleep.


This post was generously sponsored by Tylenol Nighttime, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit



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