Are you getting enough? (Sleep, that is.)
If you asked me what the holy grail of wellness is, my answer would be an emphatic impassioned “SLEEP!” (If they were in earshot, my kids would roll their eyes – they’re used to me ranting about the importance of sleep.)
The domino effect of sleep deprivation is NASTY.
Patience – gone.
Desire to be active or work out – out the door.
Bad food choices – barging through the door! (Give me French fries and bagels now.)
And that’s just the tip of the sleepy iceberg.
I was lucky enough to catch some time with Stephanie Hartselle, MD, assistant professor at Brown University and a psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders. Her wealth of knowledge just confirmed the importance of sleep for Healthy-Body Happy-Mind.
Enter your name and email below to download your free sleep inventory now and while you’re waiting, check out Dr. Hartselle’s important pearls of wisdom below so you do everything possible to get your forty winks.
Make Your Sleep Sweet
1. Put down the phone or device!
It used to be “no TV” in the bedroom. Now it’s your phone or personal device that needs to be banned from the bedside. Do you reach for your phone or device when insomnia hits? Maybe you’re reaching for your phone to pass the time or entertain yourself before your eyelids shut.…gulp, I’m guilty of this. Dr. Hartselle says STOP. The blue light in your phones and devices signals the brain to be alert and there’s no getting around it.
2. Do not sacrifice sleep.
A beloved relative of mine likes to say “You can sleep in your grave.” I say that without sleep you’ll be in your grave sooner than later and Dr. Hartselle agrees. Sleep is not a commodity that can be consumed only when needed. Sleep is a critical part of self-care. Humans need five to seven REM cycles for sufficient restoration. Each cycle is 90-120 minutes which works out to seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Five or six just doesn’t cut it.
Women may have a few extra challenges to getting to the magical number of shut eye.
If “Mom” is one of your roles, you may have the sleep woes associated with pregnancy, baby and toddler middle-of-the-night needs, and then the worry of teenagers being out late. Heavy periods and menopause present another set of sleep challenges.
3. What to do when sleep eludes you
Consider keeping a sleep journal to become mindful of what is or isn’t working. If you’re still struggling, Dr. Hartsell recommends starting with your primary care physician and the exploration holistic treatments, such as melatonin, inositol and light box therapy. She also offers a resource list.
For more unique information on making Healthy-Body Happy-Mind easier, pick up a copy of The Flourishing Home which devotes an entire chapter to creating the best-possible sleep environment.
And that’s not all…
Grab your free inventory for healthy sleep habits so you can wake up rested, rejuvenated and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound….that may be a little dramatic, but truly, a great night’s sleep can work mini miracles.
The takeaway? Always make a good night’s sleep a priority. If you need it, I’d be happy to send you a recording of my ranting to “get to bed!”