By Tiffani Stewart , Paraprofessional, Boone’s Trail Branch
St. Charles City-County Library District
You’ve tried the tips from last month’s article but you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Have you been to your St. Charles City-County Library District branch yet? Remember, library staff can recommend great books, online resources, magazine and journal articles, and even direct you to one of our health-based programs to learn practical tips.
Too scared? Don’t worry. We’re very friendly. Too tired? Well, maybe that’s to be expected. Here are a few sleep myths that you can banish right now.
• You can’t “catch up” on sleep. Actually, extra rest after sleep deprivation has been shown to improve your health. Experts warn that weekend sleep-in sessions should not be a substitute for regular bedtime during the week, but if your rest has not been consistent for a few nights, you should make some extra sleep time your top priority.
• You can train yourself to live on less sleep. I’ll never forget my cranky Aunt Jessi (name changed for the author’s protection), who often bragged that she only needed about four hours of sleep each night. She consistently fell asleep during movies, conversations, and at her desk at work. If you are shortchanging yourself on sleep night after night, your brain function is suffering. You just don’t realize it because you are exhausted! When your family and friends start to describe you as “cranky”, maybe you’ll realize that most adults, including you, need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
• It’s fine to hit the snooze button every morning. Any sleep that you sneak in between snooze buttons will be light and fragmented—not restful and restorative. You are better off setting your alarm for the latest possible time you can awaken, then get right out of bed and start your day. Besides, it’s hard to do nine-minute math in your head when you’re half awake.
• You’ll be a wreck tomorrow if you don’t get to sleep! This is always my worst insomnia-related thought…and it’s a doozy. If you are worrying about not sleeping, you’re not in a state of restful relaxation that will allow you to drift off. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Just resting in bed is similar to sleep in terms of your body’s function. Concentrate on remaining calm and relaxed. Maybe you will accidentally fall asleep.
• Never sleep with your pets. Does your dog sleep quietly near you all night, or does he kick, snore, and wander your bedroom? If your pets are distractions to a good night’s sleep, banish them to another room. But if they bring you comfort and a sense of security, it’s o.k. for them to stay. According to a recent report from the Mayo Clinic, you can cuddle with your furry friends and still sleep well. So don’t keep yourself up feeling guilty…unless you really need to relocate your pets. They will still love you.
• A sleeping pill is a quick fix. If you are suffering from chronic sleep troubles, and you have not found success in changing your behaviors, you may be tempted to buy an over-the-counter quick fix. Instead, take the time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. The American College of Physicians suggests that those suffering from regular sleep issues should try a course of behavioral therapy before taking drugs. Sleeping pills can come with side effects. If your doctor prescribes them, rest easy, but don’t attempt to self-medicate without the guidance of a health-care professional.
Dealing with insomnia can be frustrating, but there is nothing like a good night’s sleep. Don’t give up. Try some of the resources that your local library provides. (Used in this article? Family Circle, “8 Ways to Sleep Better”, Sept, 2016; Goodnight Mind: Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night’s Sleep by Colleen Carney, 2013; and the Health and Wellness Resource Center in the eLibrary tab of www.youranswerplace.org) If all else fails, see your doctor for help. Once you are rested and ready, join us for one of the programs offered in April at the Boone’s Trail or South County branches:
• Cardinals Baseball Day (all branches), Tues, Apr 4th, 3:00-8:00 p.m. Welcome Cardinals baseball back to St. Louis, as we begin another season of action-packed MLB play! Celebrate with us by wearing your Cards gear and stopping by the library for some game-day popcorn.
• Book Talk Tuesdays (South County), Tues, Apr 4th, 2:00 p.m. Book Talk is a short introduction to titles, both new and old, that you would like to share. Informal and fun, and a great way to find out which books pique your interest.
• Color Your World Adult Coloring Club (Boone’s Trail) Wed, Apr 5th, 10am or Thurs, Apr 27th, 6 p.m. There are now morning AND evening coloring times for adults at Boone’s Trail! Relax and indulge your creative side with beautiful coloring pages. All materials provided.
• Easter Egg Wreath* (Boone’s Trail) Thurs, Apr 6th, 3:00 p.m. Create an easy festive wreath using plastic Easter eggs and a few embellishments. All materials are provided. Get your front door ready for the Easter Bunny!
• Fiction Fans Book Discussion Group* (Boone’s Trail), Mon, Apr 10th at 6:00 p.m. Join us this month to discuss The Miniaturist by Jessi Burton. This book tells the story of a new wife who receives a special wedding present—a miniature of the couple’s house. This gift draws Jessi into a new relationship and opens her eyes to a long-hidden secret. What’s the secret? Pick this book up at the library today!
• Fabulous Freeze-Ahead Crockpot Meals (South County), Mon, Apr 10th, all day drop-in. Come in from your busy day and smell supper. Learn how to assemble 20 tasty meals that will go directly from freezer to crock pot.
• New Melle Nonfiction Book Discussion Group* (Boone’s Trail), Wed, Apr 19th, 10:00 a.m. The New Melle Nonfiction Book Club will read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot this month. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Learn about her legacy and her family’s ongoing struggle. Join us!
• Movie Talk: Brooklyn* (Boone’s Trail) Mon, Apr 24th, 6:00 p.m. If you have always wanted to attend a Book Club, but you don’t like to read, this group may be for you! Watch Brooklyn at home—it’s available to check out from the library—then join us for a great discussion and a tasty treat. We’ll discuss this charming story based on the best-selling novel, about a young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) who travels to New York City and is torn between two countries and two men
• Knit-a-Long (South County), Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. Join the Augusta Knitting Club every week to knit, crochet, and socialize.
• Coffee at the Library (South County), Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. Enjoy coffee and a sweet treat with friends, then browse the newest books, movies, and CDs
• Easter Bunny Stories and Craft (Boone’s Trail), Thurs, Apr 6th, 11 a.m. and Tues, Apr 11th, 6:30 p.m. Are you ready for the Easter bunny? Maybe he’ll visit your house this month, but until then, come to the library for stories and a bunny project.
• Spring Fun Make It-Take It (South County), Mon, Apr 10th, 4:00 p.m. Stop by for a spring craft.
• Tale Waggers* (Boone’s Trail), Tues, Apr 18th, 6:30 p.m. Read to a very good listener! The dogs are furry, fun, and love to listen to your read-aloud stories.
• Wild Wind Stories and Craft (Boone’s Trail), Thurs, Apr 20th, 11:00 a.m. or Tues, Apr 25th, 6:30 p.m. Did you know that there are stories about wind? There are! And they are exciting! Join us for books and a wild and windy craft.
• Teen/Tween Egg Hunt* (Boone’s Trail), Sat, Apr 8th, 10:30 a.m. Have fun searching for eggs filled with treats. Bring a friend & see who collects the most eggs. Weather permitting, this event will be held outside.
* Register at www.youranswerplace.org or call Boone’s Trail at 636-398-6200 or South County at 636-228-4855.
Boone’s Trail and South County branches are open Mon and Tues from 12:00 noon-8:00 p.m., Thurs from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., and Sat from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. Boone’s Trail is also open Wed from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.