Self-Care Tip #244 – Sleep when the day is over, and play another time. Be a friend to yourself.
Sometimes it is hard to let the day end. Michael told me that he was having trouble sleeping. I asked him to tell me more and heard him describe fun-filled hours of movies, computer, phone-calls and late-night snacks that were disturbing his sleep-initiation. Just listening to him, I felt a yearning catch spark in me to have the freedom to be spontaneous again. You might know what I mean.
The opportunities to be spontaneous have shrunken up as our choices have brought us expanding fillers for time, attention, money, energy, emotion, personal resources and magic. It is no wonder that letting the day end meets reluctance. Those last few hours that sleep called shot-gun for are ours with less fist than big brother used to stage. Sleep doesn’t put up much fight …at first. At first, it concedes to us. It lifts it’s chin casually until given turn. However, much like the loan shark, sleep will never go unpaid. It will take it’s due. Maybe just not tonight. Maybe you won’t hear about it until later. And there are no promises that it won’t take by force, from one part or another of our body, our brain, our beauty, our emotions – debts are not forgotten here.
Michael says, as if he were the victim here,
It takes most people about thirty minutes to fall asleep. But me! It takes me hours to.
We started talking about sleep hygiene and Michael just wasn’t interested. I asked him to simply read about it and just see what he thought he might be able to start with. One change maybe that he thought was tolerable.
These negotiations are sometimes best when the patient feels like they came up with the idea. Michael is going to read about this and hopefully become his own advocate. He will hopefully “sell” it to himself with the information both from facts but also from experience. It’s no accident that Costco sets up samples at ever turn of their superstore. Nor that we can never seem to leave without spending at least $100 in cash – not credit! Cash! (Argh.) Maybe Michael will sample and decide to sleep rather than play at night. He might have to “taste it” to believe and choose for himself.
Spontaneity will always lure us, dangle her jangly jewelry, give her side-ways glance and make us long for those midnight hours to open up in playful company. However, sleep is not as gracious as it seems. Don’t be fooled.
Question: Do you consider sleep hygiene important to self-care and why? How do you see it related to you being a friend to yourself? Please tell me your story.
- Self-Care Does NOT Always Mean Doing What You Want (friendtoyourself.com)
- Disturbed Sleep Equals Disturbed Weight (psychologytoday.com)
- Sleep issues contribute to cognitive problems in childhood cancer survivors (physorg.com)
- Rest Up, Slim Down? (psychologytoday.com)
- Judith J. Wurtman, PhD: Disturbed Sleep? How To Avoid Health Consequences (huffingtonpost.com)