Good Sleep

Naruto Sleeping

Image by lyk3_0n3_tym3 via Flickr

When our day feels out of control, perhaps our night doesn’t have to be.

During sleep, our body replenishes hormones and chemical messengers that it needs so badly to cope with the many physical and emotional stressors throughout our day.  If we don’t sleep well, we can’t cope as well.  It is during sleep that our memory consolidates and we can see where that might affect us.  Poor sleep means poor day time memory, concentration and focus.

Focus on the part of sleep that we can influence.  This is called sleep hygiene.  Possibly we can choose what time to go to bed, what time to wake up, what is in our bedroom and what we do before bed.

Any parent knows that there are times when these things are not in our control but they also know that without a good nights rest, parenting during the day is much harder.  Pick any one of those things to start with, such as getting to bed at the same time every night, at a time that allows us to sleep a good 7+ hours for the night.  Chart our sleep in a sleep journal for a week to get a better sense of our own sleep train and the areas we can take control over.

Taking care of others means taking care of ourself.  “You can’t give what you don’t have.”  And without sleep, we have a lot less to give to ourself and others.

Self Care Tip – get good sleep.  Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  What does it offer you to know that the night doesn’t have to be another place of chaos in your life?  How has that improved your ability to be your own friend.

26 thoughts on “Good Sleep

  1. Stress,and anxiety interfere with our sleep. I have always been an incurable insomniac but since I had my triple by-pass a few years ago I sleep much better. I would attribute that to improved oxygenation. One would think anxiety would keep us awake but it exhausts us physiologically and mentally so that the chronic fatigue makes our bodies need sleep. In this circumstance the sleep is not as restful or restorative. Exercise and working to resolve issues should ease our frustrations as well. I have been dismissive of sleep apnea but I now see that improved oxygenation with related protocols will enhance the ability to sleep and the quality of that sleep. Often the increased need for sleep comes with depression too. Our bodies may crave the sleep as an escape to help with coping by reducing awake hours.

  2. Yes, when I sleep well I live well. In the old days of having to do shift work as a registered nurse in the hospital, I really struggled with my coping. Everything was harder and my moods were harder to control, too. Then when I got a regular day job working as a home health nurse my life became a lot easier.

    It helped that I wasn’t a single mother anymore and that my boys were over being rebellious teens, too.

  3. Sleep – something over which we have more control than we may think – and should prioritise much more for the sakes of our mental, spiritual and physical health. Keep reminding us.

  4. Good sleeps eludes me every night. I don’t remember the last time I was able to sleep 8 hrs in a row without waking up 2 or 3 times during the night. I can blame this malady to many things: lack of exercise, medications, decrease activities during the day, stress, etc.
    I have come to accept that’s the way it is going to be me, so I just try to take what I can.

  5. I rarely sleep more than four hours at a stretch then can’t get back to sleep. And I cannot for the life of me get myself to bed. It’s like… my brain was dumbed down by an anti-hypertension drug for the past two years and before that by 19 yrs addiction to valium and now I never really want to let go of thinking. I know I need sleep but I’m so out of the habit of sleeping! I wish I could break this cycle. One day I shall. I hope.

  6. Since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – well, long before that, I guess – I haven’t slept well or for much longer than three hours at a time. Antidepressants and other meds didn’t help. I finally started using Lunesta last winter and, although I did wake up a couple of times at night, I slept well enough that I felt good during the day for the first time in almost twenty years!! That was in California on what we call our winter vacation. Then we came home and the stress of being pulled in so many directions here aggrivated the Fibromyalgia which caused several other medical problems and now, for the last almost month, even Lunesta doesn’t get me to sleep or keep me sleeping. It’s scary and it’s frustrating and I could write a book on sleep deprivation and what it does to your body, your emotions, your mood, etc. Sleep is SO important!!! I really hoped Lunesta was the answer, but maybe being in California is the key. We’ll find out soon when we take a shorter fall vacation there. I and my body can’t wait!!!

  7. It’s almost 1 am, again, and I am unable to sleep…worried about my support system here (the bridge group I was so enjoying crumble, my granddaughter being diagnosed with a learning disability years after I knew she was having problems, the pain that will not go away, the money we shouldn’t be spending to go to California in September…and terrified because sleep won’t come, even with Lunesta and doubling up on Klonopin. I’m so tired, so scared, and it is SO hard to now not have this blog as support, either. I understand. I can’t complain. I just miss this so much. It was such a help just in calming fears and worries every day. I’m having a terrible time trying to adjust.

    You don’t need to post this, Sana. I just needed to write it because I am a bit frantic and have felt very, very alone in the middle of the night for the last at least four weeks. I hope that you are okay. My other worry is why you gave this up so suddenly, but that is none of my business. God bless you in whatever you are doing.

    • hey nancy-girl. i’m so sorry to hear about these struggles. no worries on my behalf. i went ahead and posted because i know others r most likely wondering some of this same stuff and feeling some of these same things u r. i can see why u think i’m pulling back “just like that” but truth is, i’m still here. i’m posting new material 1-2x/wk and reworking old material in-between. if u want to help me to stay involved on a daily basis, i’d actually l-o-v-e – and anyone else out there who might want to as well. just let me know and we can collaborate. i seriously am better when connected. keep on.

      • I would LOVE to work with you on this. Although I was an art major in college, my grades in English (especially writing) were much higher than, mostly, in art history, and I had enough classes by the time I graduated that I could declare English as a second major. I actually taught creative writing (along with art and music) when I was teaching at a Catholic school. So I’m ready and available. I will also be in California from mid-Sept. to mid-October so if you want to put heads together, I’d be happy to do that, too. Or was this kind of help what you were thinking of??

        Thanks for understanding. Thanks for your response. I do SO miss the daily connection, as I’m sure others do. I will do anything to help us all stay connected.

  8. I used to not sleep well, but lately I’ve been less nervous and have been sleeping much better. Plus, I stop working on anything about an hour or two before bed and drink milk before bed. I pretty much fall asleep quickly and stay asleep most of the night now. I’m still tired a lot for some reason, but at least sleep isn’t a hassle anymore.

  9. Pingback: Of Cemeteries and Samurai « Kate Shrewsday

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