Sleep? Who needs sleep? We ALL do!
Sleep…you would think it would come naturally for all of us. You would think that just like an infant when our bodies need rest, we should be able to just fall into a state of REM. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.
A number of things can cause these interferences in our sleep pattern: Stress, children, alcohol, injury, your comfort level, the list goes on and on. Is it from watching TV? Is it from swiping my finger across Facebook before going to bed? Is it too many things swirling through my head at night when things finally slow down? Or maybe it’s medications, caffeine, upset stomach. All of the above can cause disruptions.
I guess the answer is yes, all of these things cause sleep deprivation. The balance is so hard to find! If we get too much sleep, then it makes it almost worse. So how do we go about finding a routine and a balance to make sure that we ARE finding that happy medium?
The main question we need to consider is WHY do we need sleep. We all get tired and we all know our bodies need to recover and regenerate on a mental and physical level. There are times I have found myself actually functioning better on less hours of sleep then more. So, what is the right equation?
On average, most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. That means GOOD quality sleep. Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep, middle school and preschool children need 9 to 12 hours of sleep. Babies and toddlers need anywhere from 11-16 hours of sleep!
Let’s go over the list of reasons WHY sleep is not only important, but necessary:
- Get sick less often
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Lowers your risk for health and heart problems
- Better mood
- Think more clearly
The list of why sleep is important can go on and on. So, how do we learn to adapt and make it a priority. We spend tons of money and time on trying to lose weight, trying to decrease stress, trying to change things, so it’s best to start with figuring out our sleep routine to help make all these other issues possibly melt away.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Find a bedtime you can meet EVERY night and make it a routine
2. Avoid eating and drinking alcohol late. Do not talk on the phone or play on your phone or watch TV while in bed or just prior to.
3. Make sure you are getting enough physical activity during the day.
4. Make your sleep situation in a comfortable in a relaxing, dark and quiet area.
Long gone for me are the days of bragging about how I was able to stay up all hours and still accomplish things! No more are we “stronger” by allowing ourselves little to no recovery time. It is time to take care of ourselves, mind and body! And SLEEP should be #1.