The Miracle of Sleep
Have you heard of this miracle cure called “sleep?” It’s not new, but it’s often overlooked.
For the first 36 years of my life, I didn’t think much of it. It just happened. I guess that means I was pretty good at it. Oh, how little we appreciate the ever-present treasures that exist automatically.
Once my daughter was born, sleep and I began to have complications in our relationship and our nightly trysts were painfully thwarted by a waking baby. Bleary-eyed and exhausted the glowing red numbers taunted me in the dark: 2:13, 2:28, 2:43, and on it went all. night. long.
That kind of waking has the power to make even the most calm and centered of us wild-eyed and poised to pounce on anyone who dares to make a sound.
That first year (and several beyond it) forever changed and forced me to restructure my snooze routine. Never did I think that resting would become my singular desperate desire.
And so began my reverence for sweet slumber. 11 years later, I still follow my self-created sleep system that accounts for everything from room temperature (~68°) to level of darkness (pitch black, please), and even sound blocking (yes to earplugs) all signal my body that it’s now time to let go of the day.
Do you get enough zzzzs every night?
Creating a supportive structure around sleep is one of my 8 Principles of Holistic Self-care. While all eight are important, I see sleep as one of the foundational practices. If you’re deprived of rest, your levels of life contentment, joy, and motivation will be stifled.
Do you know how many hours of sleep you need? I’m not talking about what you can get by on. I mean what you truly need. (Hint: Most of us require 7-9 hours per night.) Do you get them? If not, why not? And what will you do to shift that deficiency?
Sometimes we know what we need but there’s a little saboteur whispering in our ear derailing our best efforts. Recognizing the importance and interweaving impacts of healthy sleep can help make the commitment to get enough of it.
While scientists don’t have a definitive answer on exactly why we sleep, theories abound. And we do know that lack of sleep has negative effects on lifespan, moods, memory, brain function, learning ability, inflammation, naturally healthy weight, hormone production, depression, impatience, anxiety, and more. Getting some good shut eye is so essential to our well-being and survival that deprivation has been used as a torture technique. Yes, it’s THAT crucial.
So, what is it that keeps you from turning out the lights earlier and getting your necessary restoration and renewal each night? Let’s find out!
I have an invitation for you. On Wednesday, October 25th, at noon Pacific, I will be doing a brief session on Facebook Live, where you can ask me anything about sleep. I hope you’ll come over to my page and join me
Watch the video above, which is from a Facebook Live session I offered, where I talked about this commonly forgotten free miracle cure, including:
- How to figure out your sleep number
- Whether napping is a good idea or not
- Setting up your environment for optimal sleep
- And anything else you want to know—ask away in the comments below
Here’s to the sleep solution to living and feeling better!
With love and sweet dreams,