Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way right off the bat. No, I don’t get enough sleep. And I’ll bet I’m not alone. What about you? Do YOU get enough sleep?
They say admitting your problem is the first step, right?
I’m tired of being tired and am determined to do something about it. I’ve been researching sleep and what I’ve discovered has astounded me. It probably shouldn’t have come as such a shock considering my background as a registered nurse. On the other hand, medical professionals are often terrible at taking care of themselves. During my time as a hospice nurse back in the mid-90s, my “breakfast” consisted of a diet pill, THREE Advil tablets (because the diet pills gave me headaches) and a 32 ounce Diet Coke with vanilla syrup. Impressive, huh?
The onset of life-threatening asthma and allergies, along with the meds required to keep me alive, meant an end to the diet pills and Advil. I finally broke the Diet Coke habit a few years ago. My diet is a LOT better these days and overall, I am healthier.
But sleep issues continue to plague me. As a kid I was neither a night owl nor a “lark”. I would say I was pretty average in my sleep patterns, although I’ve always been a very, very light sleeper.
Then I worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift at the hospital and that was the beginning of my night owl tendencies. By the time I got home and was able to wind down after a shift, it would be well after midnight before I fell asleep. I was then up early to get the kids ready and drive them to school. I learned to take 20 minute power naps shortly before going to work.
When I moved from the 3-11 shift at the hospital to full time hours as a hospice nurse that should have improved my sleep habits. But a combination of diet pills and an extremely stressful job just made everything worse. I haven’t slept well since.
So, enough of my personal story.
I’m sharing this because I know I’m not the only one struggling with sleep issues. Let’s take a look at sleep and why it’s important.
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And that’s just a teeny, tiny sampling of the information that’s out there. But what do we do with this knowledge? If, like me, you tend to be sleep-deprived, the first thing you have to do is make the decision to begin addressing the problem. In my case, the causes are multi-faceted but the first thing I have to do is change my mindset.
- I never feel like I have enough time in the day for all I want to do.
- I enjoy the late evening hours.
- I hate missing out on things.
If any of that resonates with you then I think you will appreciate these videos:
Now, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I have NO intentions of making 5 a.m. my wakeup time. Our lifestyle just absolutely wouldn’t work with 9 p.m. bedtimes. But if I could be asleep by around 11 p.m. and awake, feeling rested, by 7 a.m. my life would be drastically changed for the better. David and I often joke that if we were well-rested we’d be dangerous. Who knows what crazy schemes we’d come up with…and implement…if we weren’t so tired all the time? I’m willing to chance it, though.
What about you? Do feel like you get enough sleep? If so, do you have any tips to share?