Saturday, May 22, 2010

Candy Break! Wonka Kazoozles

I'm not going to lie to you—I. Love. Candy. Almost as much as Nadine Thornhill.

And even more than candy, I love any packaging that has the words "new" or "improved" on it.

Combine those two things and you know I'm going to eat it*.

I picked these up at the incredibly sketchy corner store near my boyfriend's house—he had never been in there before, but it was actually kind of neat! Lots of ethnic hair products, for some reason.

Anyway, I saw candy I had never seen before. So of course I bought some. They only had the Cherry Punch flavour, but apparently they also come in Pink Lemonade, which I definitely would like to try.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the overwhelming chemical smell that wafted out of the package. It smelled like artificial cherries, which is no surprise, with undertones of Hawaiian Punch . I took a big bite and felt like I had been punched in the mouth. All I could taste was Hawaiian Punch. Which is great, if you were a fan, but I was most decidedly not, as a kid or now.

I definitely like the texture though, it reminds me a little bit of Cow Tails. I would love to try the Pink Lemonade flavour. Candyblog has a full review here.

*Favourite Simpsons quote ever: "A canoe made out of country ham? You know I'm gonna eat it!"


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

How to sleep.

Every spring and fall I stop sleeping.

I mean, obviously I do get some sleep or else I wouldn’t be able to function, but I go from my near-princess-like levels of nine to 10 hours a night down to a scant three or four, and that’s if I’m lucky. And those three or four are interrupted at near-hourly intervals.

It partially has something to do with the change in season, it partially has to do with my medication (and all the related fun nausea and mood swings that come out of that), and it partially has to do with stress. Regardless of where it comes from, it sucks and it’s pretty much the worst.

This year, I decided to fight back. I started taking Gravol before bed, hoping its effects would knock me out. No such luck. Then I graduated to SleepEze-D, which knocked me out, yes, but left me feeling exhausted the next day, not to mention kind of stupid and off-kilter. I suspect as well that it may have had some sort of interference with my brain drugs.

Finally, at both my mother and partner’s insistence, I tried melatonin.

Melatonin is a revelation. Your body produces it naturally to help with your circadian rhythms (read more about how it works here), but for those of us who have trouble sleeping it is luckily also available at the pharmacy.

I chose the melatonin in strip form, which actually comes sealed in a light-proof pouch similar to photographic paper. At night, I turn out the lights, fumble in the drawer for the strips (which are in a container not unlike minty breath strips), and pop one. The Jamieson ones say they are “chocolate mint”, but I think that might be code for “minty chemicals”.

I take one of those, and ten minutes later I am lulled off to la-la land, and I sleep through the night.

Another thing that helped was when I stopped using my bedroom for non-bedroom activities. I used to watch movies, work on my computer, read, sew and craft from bed. Since I cut all those out, I now associate my bed with sleeping, so when I get into it my body is ready.

I asked for some input from friends across the internet on how they deal with not getting enough sleep. Susan Murphy of Jester Creative (@suzemuse), in addition to recommending melatonin, says she reads when she falls asleep. When I asked her what she reads (because I have a problem with getting too engaged in books and then not being able to put them down), she says she reads blog posts. This may not be for everyone, as the light from a computer screen may be stimulating, but I think when I next have trouble sleeping I will be trying this out! I can see how because they are short little bites they make it easier to put down.

Sheila (@beaty_boop) recommends warm milk or tea with some honey in it. Additionally, she says when she can’t sleep she’ll try some brief, intense exercise before her warm beverage (push-ups to exhaustion, for example). Personally, this isn’t something that works so well for me, the raising of my heart rate makes it harder for me to drift off.

Sheila also recommends establishing regular sleeping and waking patterns over the course of the week to fool/train your body, depending on how you look at it.

My friend Geneviève tells me that she no longer has trouble sleeping–if anything, she has trouble not sleeping. She started going to the gym regularly last November, and every day that she does she passes out at 9:00PM and wakes up the next day feeling absolutely terrific.

So there you have it. Some ways to get some sleep. Have any thoughts of your own? Leave them in the comments!