Did you know that over 60 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders- things like insomnia, narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Is that you? And did you know what that can do to you?
Not getting your required sleep can increase your chances of experiencing chronic anxiety and depression, or having it worsen for you. Forget much, that can be the result of your brain just being exhausted. Sleep makes our memories worse and just forgetful in general. You have an increased risk of hypertension - high blood pressure- and heart disease risk goes up, all because of lack of sleep. And when you are tired, you are more apt to turn to comfort foods, taking in unhealthy foods to keep you going, because they taste good and because you forgot to get the healthy stuff at the grocery store. And that can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes. And have you ever found yourself nodding off while driving. Yup, lack of sleep makes us a lot more likely to get into an accident on the road. Yikes, who knew that sleep was so important?
So, what can we do? First things first, you need to make your needs a priority in your life. You need sleep, so don't not get it just because someone else wants you to make them a priority. (I'm working on getting my toddler to go to bed earlier so I can get to sleep earlier). Sometimes that is as much as it takes, moving up your bedtime. Not a lot, just a little. Also, regarding bed-time, do you know the blue light emitted from our phones and televisions impedes our bodies abilities to produce melatonin- the happy sleepy chemical our body puts out to say night night. So try to turn off the phone and the TV before your bed time- by at least an hour. Exercise to keep your body healthy and to make it tired, but don't exercise too close to your bed-time, you need time to cool off and calm down, probably a couple of hours at least. It will make your sleep so much more effective if you do exercise. And making up for all your lost sleep of the week during the weekend won't really help you all week. It is better to get a sleep schedule and stick to it, going to bed at the same time, getting up at the same time, ensuring you get enough sleep every night than trying to bank sleep on the weekend. It doesn't work.
And, might as well make the plug here, go get a massage! You might take a nap on the table while your therapist is working. Probably means you need a little more shut-eye anyway. Massage helps to reduce the body's stress hormone cortisol and helps promote the happy hormone seratonin, If your body is naturally calmer and happier with less built in stress, you may find yourself sleeping better. And massage feels good. If you have those chronic aches and pains, maybe a massage can relieve them and then you will sleep better.
Moral of the story, I need a massage and to kick my toddler out of my bed. One of these will happen before the other, I'm sure.