I have always championed the concept that “sleep is for the weak”. I happily gallivanted through my twenties and thirties, living on a mere 4-5 hours a night if I was lucky. My mum tells me I was a pretty crap sleeper from the get go. I virtually skipped the afternoon nap as a toddler and seemed to run around like an Eveready battery the rest of the time. I argue that it had something to do with being fed ‘cafe latte’ as a child known to Italians as ‘milky coffee’. My mamma thought how bad could it be? This was of course before the information highway told us otherwise.
Now that I’m older *cough cough* lack of sleep really does take a toll. Truth be told I’m still a shocking sleeper. Be it because of a lifelong habit or perhaps I just don’t know how to get to sleep properly.
Of course today, we have even more distractions pre-bedtime that stand in the way of a restful slumber. What's more, running a business (or whatever you may be doing that is creating stress in your life) has occupied the last remaining segment of my sane brain and sleeplessness is now closer to madness than ever.
As luck has it, I read Arianna Huffington’s Thrive for a book club recently and I was made to take a long hard look at those bag under my eyes. What I have discovered is that my lifelong battle to get a good night’s sleep should have involved looking at how I spend my waking days.
It is one of those missing pieces of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining wellness and looking after yourself. Some of us just don’t get enough, whether it’s intentional or otherwise and it’s just not healthy!
So how do we improve our sleeping patterns? Here are 5 easy ways to start:
1. Create a nighttime ritual - Perhaps take a bath, slip on those cosy pjs and have a book you can read a chapter of to get those sleepy eyes happening.
2. Get all the electronics out of your room - Yep, that’s right, no phones!
3. Go to bed earlier - don’t be ashamed to admit hitting the sack at 9pm during the week.
4. Get some good nutrition during the day - eating well will help balance your hormones which avoids the energy spikes throughout the day. Taking a good quality magnesium supplement for bedtime is also a good idea.
5. Do some exercise - even if it’s just using the stairs instead of the elevator. This leads to have a more restful sleep.
Research now shows that a good night’s sleep can contribute to:
- Improving weight loss
- Lowering stress
- Bettering productivity
- Improving memory
- Gaining energy levels
So now I have come to understand that sleep is not for the weak, but for the smart and sane. It’s time to embrace giving your body the rest it needs and a chance to recharge. I for one think that this information couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.
Love and rest,