Sleep 101

dreamstimefree_219000I’ve learned a lot about sleep through my research for the Dream Weaver series.  If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of the following tips:

  • Make your bedroom a place for sleep only (and that other thing adults like to do and erotic romance authors tend to write about).  Televisions, radios, and work keep the mind going.  The goal is to turn the brain off and let it relax.
  • Reading in bed is a special case.  Some people read to relax.  Others like me tend to get caught up in the story and will read into the wee hours to see how a story plays out.  You know which you are, so be aware of your habits.
  • Make sure everything is comfortable for you:  the mattress, your pillow, and the temperature .  A room that’s too warm will keep you awake.  Cooler temperatures tend to encourage sleep, but you don’t want your teeth to clatter!
  • Watch your intake of caffeine.  Try not to drink caffeinated beverages after dinner.  It’s a more powerful drug than you think.
  • Likewise, exercise earlier in the day.  Once the blood gets pumping and the body gets revved, it’s hard to slow it down to a complete stop.
  • Try to relax an hour or so before going to bed.  We all have a million things to do, but if you keep going full bore sleep will elude you.  Most people can’t turn a switch and go to sleep.  You must prepare the mind and the body.
  • Sometimes, the body is ready for sleep, but the mind isn’t.  If your mind is racing try different techniques to slow it down.  Concentrate on relaxing one part of the body at a time.  Focus on a peaceful scene and bring your thoughts back to this place when they start to wander.  This can be the hardest step in letting sleep take over.
  • Finally, if your sleep problems persist, see your doctor.  Sleep deprivation is rampant in our fast-paced, non-stop world.  It can make your reflexes slower and your thoughts hazy.  It can cause persistent headaches, make you gain weight, and many other bad things.  Get help when you need it!

First Day of Autumn

PHOTO2 - CopyToday is the first day of Autumn, also known as the Autumnal Equinox.  It’s the day of the year where neither the North or South Poles are angled towards the sun.  It’s typically thought of as the day when day and night are equally long, although spoilsports point out that this isn’t true due to the way the earth’s atmosphere bends light.  What is true is that Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year.  Temperatures are perfect, and leaves on the trees are changing color.  It’s time for football, hot chocolate, Halloween, sweatshirts, and books.  I love reading this time of the year, all bundled up on my three-seasons porch.  My view is one of the reasons why.  :-)

Happy Autumn to you!


Sleep Chart

zeo_night_detail(1)When I first came up with the idea for the Dream Weavers, I did a lot of research into sleep.  It’s something we all do every night, but it’s amazing how little researchers know about sleep and dreams.  One thing that has been proven is that we go through sleep cycles when we’re sleeping.  The subject was so interesting, I bought a Zeo sleep monitor.  I’ve never been a great sleeper, so I wanted to check out what was going on.   I monitored my sleep recently, and you can the different stages that I went through over the course of the night.

The image I was able to download on the left didn’t show everything.  Here are the full details:
Total sleep = 7:11(7 hours, 11 minutes)
REM sleep (dreaming stage) = 1:37
Light sleep = 4:39
Deep sleep = 0:55
Awake = 0:10
Woken = 1 time
Time to fall asleep = 0:15
Overall score = 79 (out of 100)

Unfortunately, Zeo has since gone out of business.  To my knowledge, there’s nothing else like it on the market.  The current fitness monitors that claim to measure sleep really only sense how much you move during your sleep.  Totally different.


I’ve done a lot of research into sleeping and dreaming while working on the Dream Weavers series.  I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, and this one definitely caught my eye.  The article in The Atlantic is already two years old, but, apparently, there’s a new parasomnia (sleep disorder) — sleeptexting.  Seen mainly in the younger generation, people are actually sending texts while they sleep.  And they’re not all gibberish.  People are sending out messages, although they don’t always make sense or go to the right people.  Can you imagine?

I only remember sleepwalking once when I was a teenager.  I woke up in the basement — and I never, ever went to the basement after dark.  Fortunately, it was a one-time incident.  Have you ever suffered from sleepwalking? Ever sleeptexted someone?

Kanban Crazy

writing Kanban board - CopyI was getting a bit overwhelmed with all the things I have on my writing plate, so I took the drastic measure of creating a Kanban board.  Kanban is a process management tool that helps keep tasks organized and moving.  I thought, why not?  I made three columns:  To Do, In Progress, and Done.  I then wrote everything I knew I need to do on sticky notes.  They start in the To Do column, with the sticky notes prioritized with the most urgent tasks placed at the top.

When I’m ready to do something new, I grab the top task off the pile and move it over to In Progress until it’s Done.  The problem is that more and more things keep getting added to my backlog of things To Do.  But it’s organized and I don’t feel like I’ll accidentally miss something.

I feel like I’m using my whole brain here, right AND left sides.  Geeky, but cool.

Excerpt from Dream Walker

KimberlyDean_DreamWalker_webTake a walk on the wild side!
Dream Walker – coming September 29th

He’d let her fall asleep.

It was the first clear thought that ran through Shea’s mind when she opened her eyes. That and the fact that Derek was still with her. His heat pressed against her back, and his arm draped heavily across her waist. They were lying side by side on her bed, her body tucked up close against his.

Yet even as she responded in pleasure, she tensed.

Darkness was falling. They’d spent the day making love, and now the sun was setting. Night was creeping in. She stared at the oil painting that hung on the wall until her nerves began to crawl. Even the littlest thing could set her Somnambulist off—and today had been anything but normal—yet she’d let herself be lulled into sleep.

What had she been thinking?

“There you are,” a deep voice rumbled. The hand against her stomach flexed, and she was pulled more tightly against the big male form behind her.

A muscled thigh slipped between her legs, and Shea arched as a soft kiss was placed on the side of her neck. The intimate embrace had her groaning. Obviously, she hadn’t been thinking. Her brain had been shorted out, disconnected, and thrown right into the bathwater.

How could she have let her guard down like that? The freedom had been fantastic, arousing and intoxicating as fine wine, but how could she have forgotten what had been happening to her? What had happened just this morning?

Had she… Oh, God. Had she done anything in her sleep? With Derek here?

“How long have I been out?” she asked in a rush.

“Not long.”

That rumbling voice was too disconcerting, too sexy. She had to look into his eyes. Tucking the sheet up high under her arms, she rolled over to face him. When she did, her breath caught in her chest. His short hair was mussed, and dark shadows lined his jaw. The bad boy look didn’t fit his character, but it was so incredibly hot she had to press her legs together.

Unable to help herself, she let her gaze drop. She took in the well-drawn lines of his body, his muscled chest and rippling abs, but the sheet sitting low on his hips wasn’t what made her look up again. It was the relaxed look on his face. She’d never seen him so calm, so relaxed, so at ease in the moment. It made her belly warm.

Relaxed had to be good, right? If she’d gotten up and danced zombie pirouettes around the bedroom, he wouldn’t be relaxed.

Or so obviously ready to make love to her again.


Available for pre-order:  Amazon Amazon UKNookGoogle PlayKoboiBooks

Dream Walker Blurb

KimberlyDean_DreamWalker_webResearch scientist Shea Caldwell has always had a thing for security consultant, Derek Oneiros. He’s smart, handsome, and built like a Greek god. As attracted as she is to him, though, she’s afraid to let him into her bed – because she’s dangerous when she sleeps.

Derek is known among his brothers as “The Machine,” yet his carefully cultivated control is put to the test whenever he’s around Shea. The woman is as beautiful as she is intelligent, but they’ve always kept things professional – until Derek learns why. Shea is sleepwalking again, but what she doesn’t know is that he may be the only one who can help her. For he is a Greek daemon, and he’s charged with protecting her dreams.

With Shea threatened, Derek makes things personal, and their nights together turn steamy and intimate. He’s ready to battle against the Somnambulist that’s been controlling his lover in her sleep, yet is the night creature really causing all the harm? When Shea’s groundbreaking research notes are stolen, it’s clear that other evil forces may be at work.

Pre-order at:  Amazon Amazon UKGoogle Play │ KoboiBooks