When I worked full-time, commuted at least two hours each workday, had children, took care of the house, prepared meals, paid bills, and tried to have time to connect with others, something had to go, and it was sleep. I needed more hours of sleep but adhered to a 5-6-hour sleep pattern for years. I got things done, tried to be on top of everything, and felt tired often, and my body would sometimes scream back at me in an unhealthy way.
Can you relate to that experience?
What are the benefits of solid sleep patterns
- Improves your brain performance.
- Supports your overall health levels
- They say strong sleep patterns can help keep a healthy weight.
- Reduces stress
- Increases one’s mood
- Better communication with others.
What’s the problem with lack of sleep?
- Significant sleep deficiency is linked to a risk of diseases and mental health issues. It could potentially lower your immune system’s effectiveness.
- Reduces your ability to make good decisions.
- Can contribute to weight gain
- May not always be clear about how to solve problems
- Tend to react more instead of appropriate responses – be more irritable.
Amount of sleep you need
- Research indicates that adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep.
- To figure out how much you need to sleep, track how many hours you get each night and how you feel when you wake up.
- I use the weekends to figure this out. I didn’t set the alarm and track when I went to bed and woke up. You have to do this over a few weekends because 1-2 days may not tell the whole story about how much you need.
- If you decide to change your sleep hour patterns, schedule going to bed earlier slowly so your body can get used to the change.
What to do before you go to sleep
Each person is different in their preparation for going to sleep, though there are some general rules around how to maximize your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- Have a set routine when you go to sleep and when you get up. Have a pattern that tells your body you are getting ready to sleep. Some people take a shower, read a book, or have a self-care routine before they go to bed.
- A consistent bed routine helps your body to regulate your energy. Of course, allowing your body time to sleep is essential.
- Avoid alcohol and coffee hours before you go to sleep.
- A walk after dinner can help you relax and sleep better.
- Avoid technology 30-60 minutes before bedtime. That includes phones, tablets, electronic readers, or any technology before sleep.
- A good mattress can support you when you go to sleep. An old mattress may need to be replaced, and test out one that you feel comfortable lying on.
Do you get enough sleep? Do you feel you can carve out the time? What blocks our ability to get a good night’s sleep? If you have an issue, research how to resolve it.
Women’s Group Topics
Women wear many hats, and sleep may not be their primary focus. We know when we sleep well, life is easier to handle. Discuss with each other what your sleep patterns are and how you can make it better.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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