You ever sit in front of your computer at work and get incredibly drowsy where you literally have to fight to keep your eyes open? Well, that’s me right now. For about the last few days. To be fair, I am just coming back from being sick so my body is like, “Hey, let’s go to bed!” This isn’t my first rodeo through for pretty bad fatigue. When I first was diagnosed with all the funness in my body I was told my body wasn’t producing what it needed for me to get a rested night’s sleep. No sleep equals me crashing and burning often in front of my computer. It’s probably why I began to stand – it kept me up. Now, now I’m just tired. Or bored. Or something. But, whatever it is, I can’t seem to get my brain to wake up.
Then, I got to wondering, while I’m sleeping pretty much throughout the night, am I really getting the sleep my body needs?
According to the Mayo Clinic an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep in order to be refreshed in the morning. Children need 9-14 hours of sleep depending on the age. And during the night you have these sleep cycles that can – like the stages of grief – hit you all over the place. Some people – like my mom – can live off of 4 or 5 hours of sleep every night. At least she used to. I used to be able to too. But, really, how many hours of sleep do you really need for yourself? And if you aren’t refreshed in the morning what can you do?
Lack of an actual good nights rest can contribute to a lot of issues in your life. Like weight gain. Hello opu it’s nice to see you. High blood pressure and heart disease can come from sleep deprivation. So, because I’m super tired and I need motivation to make it through the next two hours of work and then on to Rainbows I figure I find me a way to sleep.
If I can do these things I can sleep better…
1. Stick to a sleep schedule – I really don’t have a problem here since I fall asleep before 9a. Yup, so old. Sticking to a sleep schedule means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to crash so you only burn.
2. Create a bedtime ritual – Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. I’ve come to listening to worship music or reading a book. I’ve also ensured that my phone is tucked away in it’s phone cubby (no I really don’t have one) so I don’t get caught on the fascinating things on Pinterest or FaceBook. Electronics interfere with your sleep. Finding relaxing activities will help promote better sleep. Why would you not be down with that?
3. Pay attention to what you eat and drink – Don’t go to bed either hungry or stuffed. Your full belly might keep you up. Sometimes for me if I don’t allow enough hours between dinner and sleep I have massive heart burn. That is a bloody sucky night of rest. Limit how much you drink before bed, so you don’t have to take potty breaks at night. I still have to learn that.
Watch out on the nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, too. They wreak havoc on your quality of sleep. It so isn’t worth your zzz’s.
4. Get comfortable – Your room should be set up for you to sleep. Keep it cool, dark and quiet. Believe me when I see you need a mattress and pillow that suites you and can contribute to better sleep. A bed too hard on your back will keep you up. A pillow that doesn’t fit around your head just so will make you toss and turn. If you share a bed, make sure there is enough room.
5. Limit daytime naps – Power naps are cool. You can have a power nap for like 10-30 minutes and it gives you more energy for the remaining day. But those long naps that take you into two hours? While they feel amazing it will mess with your night’s sleep.
6. Include physical activity in your daily routine – While exercise will promote better sleep this is just really a good general rule for a better and healthier life. I need to incorporate it into my life.
7. Manage stress – Hate lying down in bed then suddenly think of everything you DIDN’T do that day? Stress. Gotta love it. Find ways to manage your stress. On my calendar I have a reminder that says I deserve a break. I take a walk around the building to breathe fresh air. Sit and people watch. Anything to help ease my brain.
8. Know when to contact your doctor. Insomnia sucks balls. Pardon the verbiage but it does. Everyone gets a sleepless night here and there but if it’s all the time get help. There could be an underlying cause as to why you can’t sleep. Don’t be a martyr.
What are you doing that is causing your good night’s rest to be deflated, holed and disheveled? You need to figure it out so you can go get you some rest! xoxo
P.S. Because I’m getting super lazy in properly citing my sources but still want to cite them. Also, because I’m an overachiever and want you to actually read these articles because I thought they were interesting. You do you, boo.
Mayo Clinic, hours of sleep
American Sleep Association, what is sleep
NY Times, how to sleep
WebMD, sleep loss
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