It’s National Sleep Awareness Month and this week — March 14-20th — is Sleep Awareness Week. This may, or may not, come as a shock to you, but everyone needs sleep. I know, crazy, right? Sleep is one of the most important sources of recovery for our minds and bodies. I’m neither a scientist nor am I a medical professional so I won’t start throwing too many facts and figures at you. According to the Sleep Foundation, “adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep and children need even more.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I got a solid seven to eight hours of sleep. But by not sleeping enough hours my body doesn’t get the full recharge it needs. We stress the need for a fully charged phone or pair of blue-tooth headphones so why don’t we make sure to do the same for our bodies? A lack of sleep can seriously impair our ability to concentrate, our mood, motor skills, and energy levels.
I struggle with insomnia, and I have since early childhood. Falling and staying asleep are two of the more difficult things that I have done in my life. When I was really young, maybe three or four years old, my mom had to install a baby gate in my bedroom doorway because when I couldn’t sleep, I would wander the house in the middle of the night. Not that that stopped me because I quickly learned that I could use my garbage pail as a stepping stool over the gate. haha!
Throughout high school and college, I was that kid falling asleep as the teacher spoke and only waking up to hear the sound of the bell or the squeal of the chairs along the tile floor, signaling that class was done. My insomnia has its good and bad periods, and during this last year, I have identified five tools that help me fall asleep and get my body and mind the quality rest that it needs.
One of my biggest struggles at night is falling asleep. I am one of those people who love falling asleep with the television running or with my cell phone right next to my bed, but all of our devices give off blue-light which can severely affect our body, especially our brains, ability to switch off for the night and rest. For years, I did that, and even now I still forget and try to fall asleep to the sounds of a movie of tv show. But it doesn’t work, really. Those are the nights that I end up waking up and falling asleep repeatedly and I feel drained the following morning, which makes it hard to get through the day.
As quarantine dragged on, my pre-bedtime habits worsened and I would end up sleeping only four or five hours a night. But, I’ve had to make changes to my routine in order to get more sleep and feel more refreshed the following day! Throughout the week, I am going to share some of those with you here and I can’t wait to answer any questions you might have for me.