WEEK SEVEN: Quality Sleep
Are you one of those that waits until the children are asleep to start working on all the things you have to get done? Do you use the evening hours to get caught up with your tasks? Are you getting eight hours of sleep a night, or are you using these hours to get things done?
I recently learned that our body goes into stress when we don’t get eight hours of sleep. I have always maintained that each of us has our own minimum number of hours of sleep we require. I am now learning this is not true. I have also maintained up until now that we each have our own body rhythms, and for me I thought I was a night person, going into the second part of my workday after I feed my family and getting an additional 2 hours of work done after 8 pm. I now learn this is not healthy or sustainable.
Shawn Stevenson used nutrition, exercise and sleep to battle a degenerative bone disease. In his book, Sleep Smarter, he says that sleep is the lynchpin to improving "virtually every function of your mind and body.”
He also says, “When you don’t sleep well, you get slower, less creative, and more stressed, and you underperform.”
In Sleep Smarter, he addresses the science behind the following statements. Prepare you body for sleep:
1) Get more sunlight during the day
2) Curb caffeine at least six hours before bedtime
3) Limit alcohol, it interferes with REM sleep
4) Limit screen time at least 90 minutes before bed
5) Go to sleep before 10 pm for maximum rejuvenating power
6) Make your body cool before bed with a cold shower
Prepare your bedroom:
7) Make your bedroom cool with fans or air conditioning
8) Cover all electronic lights in your bedroom or use eye cover
9) Turn off all notifications on phones and computers
INTENTION: Set an intention to go to bed before 10 pm. Choose one other thing to do to increase the quality of your sleep. Write in your Self-Care Notebook what you choose to do to support better sleep and tomorrow write how you feel after getting better sleep.
EXERCISE: Write in your Gratitude Notebook before bed what you already do to sleep well.
Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. Click on the image for our Amazon link.
SUMMARY of self-care routine. Please include writing in your Self-Care Notebook in the morning and your Gratitude Notebook in the evening:
· When you get up in the morning, check-in with your body and ask, “What do you need from me today?” Listen, write in your Self-Care Notebook, and follow the guidance you receive.
· Notice 5 positive things happening in your day. Write about them tonight before going to bed.
· If there is resistance to following through on focusing on you, write about it in your Self-Care Notebook and practice not beating yourself up about it.
· Drink 1/3 of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
· Scan for what you are doing to express self-love in your day.
· Pay attention to the foods you eat and how they make you feel.
· Add an aspect of quality sleep to your routine.
EXERCISE: This is how resourced your Inner Well might be, if you have started more self-care. Draw a picture of your Inner Well at the bottom of the page on your Self-Care notebook. How full is your inner well now compared to the first day?