It’s amazing how many people read that word and sighed. They wish they had more. They wish it was of better quality. They wish and wish and wish but do little to change it. When your brain doesn’t get enough sleep, it becomes mottled and drained and the creativity is gone. Sleep affects the entire body and can cause devastating consequences if not corrected. Your memory, mood, focus, decision making skills, logic, reasoning, and more can suffer. Ladies! Lack of sleep can mess with your hormones as well. You are more likely to get sick and gain weight when you don’t get consistent sleep.
Sleep…I have trouble with sleep but mine is due to health issues. My and the doctor’s goal is 5 hours a night, and for me, that’s good. I can tell if I fall short of the 5 and so can anyone who has the displeasure of being around me at the time. Today, I am short of the 5 and all I want to do is eat. All I need is a nap and I would be fine, but who has time for that? Anyway, let’s get down to business. Dust off your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane, pour a fresh cuppa, and grab a healthy snack. When you are ready, join me on page 96 and try not to fall asleep.
The amount of sleep we all need can vary. As I mentioned, 5 hours is my goal. As long as I reach that number, I can function quite well. The Hubs? Oh, my baby needs 9+ hours. 9! That would feel like a coma to me. I have only slept that long when I was sedated due to surgery. Geesh.
The goal is not time, it is cycles. As long as you reach the five phases of sleep you will wake refreshed.
1. You are awake but your body is relaxed- alpha waves
2. Light sleep- theta waves
3. Deep sleep- delta waves
4. REM sleep- this is where dreaming occurs- theta and alpha waves
5. Light sleep – theta waves. This is where you can be gently woken by outside stimuli….
Look, we find time for everything else we want, why don’t we a lot more time to sleep? You know you need it. You know you want it. Then make the changes to get it. My stepdad used to stay up late ‘to watch the news.’ I reminded him when I woke him up in his chair in the living room that we watched the 6:00 news already. You can’t even use the ‘I want to watch my favorite show’ anymore. We can stream EVERYTHING. Just go to bed.
Organize your time for optimal sleep. The ideal is to wake up naturally. But you have to build to that. Set your alarm as you would but shift your sleep schedule. Go to bed earlier and see if you can wake on your own. Keep trying and moving your sleep time until you find the right schedule. Visualize the time you want to be up. See it in your mind. Set your internal clock and allow yourself to drift off.
Helpful hints to a good night’s sleep:
• Go to bed around the same time each night.
• NO light. Set your phone aside, turn off the tv.
• Turn off any sound.
• Do not exercise within a few hours of sleep.
• Have a glass of milk or dairy or a light carbohydrate snack before bed.
• Avoid caffeine or artificial sweeteners a few hours before bed.
• Minimal alcohol before sleep.