Let’s talk about SLEEP… because I haven’t been getting any! (oh and Weigh-In)

Welcome to another wonderful Weigh-In Wednesday!  I know I promised you a picture-full Sunday post, and I also skipped out on my Monday post, but I have a good excuse.  My poor husband has been so sick with the flu since Saturday and its made me one very busy, and tired woman.  He is finally starting to feel better, and doesn’t require as much of my attention and care, so things should go back to normal soon, and the bags under my eyes can’t wait!  Which brings me to my topic for today: SLEEP!

As parents, we spend alot of time talking about our children’s sleep habits.  We pay attention to how much they sleep, when they sleep, how they sleep, where they sleep, even why they sleep.  We pull out our hair trying to figure out bedtime routines.  We understand the importance of a good night’s sleep for our child’s growth and development.  But what about US?  When you hit 18 does sleep suddenly become unimportant?  Why, as adults, do we allow our busy lives and over-worked brains to interfere with something so important?  Part of my journey towards good health is to sleep, everynight, for a full 8 hours, and honestly, its probably the hardest part of this journey.  It involves being organized, prepared and determined… all just to SLEEP.  But mostly, it just requires me to care enough for myself to turn everything off and go to bed, no matter what is left on my to-do list, or how the day went.  Tomorrow is a new day, to start fresh, I keep telling myself.

Sleep is required to maintain a healthy immune and nervous system.  Sleep deprivation can actually be very dangerous.  The loss of just a few hours of sleep can cause your internal body temperature to drop, your heart rate to increase, a decrease in your immune system functions, memory, concentration, and physical impairments.  A continued lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, anxiety, depression, lethargy and fatigue.  You will be sick more often and even simple colds, flus and infections will last longer and keep coming back because your immune system is just not functioning properly.  Chronic sleep deprivation can even lead to death in extreme cases.

So what can we do to get more sleep:  Well the first thing you can do is accept the importance of getting a good night’s rest!  Pick a resonable bedtime, that will allow for about 8 hours of sleep per night.  Some people require a little less, some a little more, but generally its about 8 hours.  Start your bedtime routine about an hour before that time, brush your teeth, shower, make your lunch for the next day… whatever you need to do before bed.  About half an hour before bedtime, turn off the tv and let your brain start to wind down, read a book or write in your journal, or just sit in silence and relax.  If there is anything bugging you from the day, deal with it now so that it won’t keep you up when you are trying to fall asleep.  Your bedroom should be a tv-free zone, it should be dark, quiet, and cool.  Try to stick to a routine everynight so that your brain and body become accustomed to it.

Here are a few tips to help with the bedtime routine:

  • Don’t watch tv shows that bother you, right before bed (if you are afraid of ghosts don’t watch Ghost Hunters :P)
  • turn down the heat.  Overheating is a common reason for people to wake up during the night (even if they don’t realise it), so wear warm pjs and cuddle up under the blankets, it will save you money on your heating bill to!
  • use a humidifier in the winter to help you breathe
  • make a list of all the little things you need to do everynight that might wake you up, like locking the doors, plugging in your cell phone ect ect… all the things you always remember at the last minute… and do them during your night time routine before bed
  • If you are tossing and turning for more than 30 mins, get out of bed.  Go to the bathroom or take a walk around your house and then come back and try again.  Staying in bed will only make you more frustrated and wound up.
  • Stop hitting the snooze button (I know I’m guilty of this too).  Set your alarm at a reasonable time each morning and wake up at the same time each day.  If you are hitting the snooze button every morning then maybe you need to go to bed a little earlier or wake up a little later.
  • Wake up and the same time every morning, even on weekends.  I know, weekends are meant for sleeping-in but you shouldn’t make it a habit.  Try to maintain the same sleep patterns throughout the whole week so that your body stays on track.

I’m sure there are probably loads more tips and advice for effective sleep but those are a few that I use to help me get my full 8 hours a night.  It doesn’t always work, life can get in the way, but I am starting to get into the habit of maintaining my sleep schedule.  I pvr tv shows that I want to watch but can’t, I leave dishes in the sink (GASP) if I can’t get to them before bedtime (or my wonderful, FABULOUS husband takes care of them when he gets home from work!), I shower at night so that I don’t have to worry about it in the am and that gives me an extra 20minutes sleep, and if something is bothering me I deal with it before bed (make a phone call, or resolve to deal with it tomorrow if I can’t do anything tonight, and put it out of my mind!).  Its tough work, but so worth it!!!  GET YOUR SLEEP, you, and everyone else, will be thankful in the end.

And now for my weigh-in: 267lbs!  slowly but surely, I’m getting there 🙂

Take care, everyone 🙂

I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo

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