I (Katie) know from hanging around twitter and facebook late at night, that I’m not the only one out there who has trouble getting a good night’s sleep. There’s plenty of activity going in the forums late at night, and if you are anything like me, that is when you do your best scrapping!
If you become a parent you quickly learn how much small children can rob you of sleep. Unfortunately, when they are teenagers they still keep you up at night (waiting on curfews). I’ve heard from my parents and my in-laws, and grandparents, that the older you get, the more elusive the prize of a full night of sleep becomes. Sleep is difficult for a lot of people at many different stages of life.
Sleep also makes a HUGE difference in how you feel and also in how you react to life’s daily stressors. The other day I had a grocery checker ringing up my groceries who did nothing but complain. I couldn’t help but wonder why she was such a grump. In the middle of her sad story, she talked about how she had been up til 2:30 in the morning watching tv so she was really mad when her boss called her at 7:00 a.m. to come into work. It was so clear to me that she should have gotten more sleep! I realized then that I need to remember that for myself. Why should everyone else around me have to suffer because I didn’t get enough rest?
Our fast paced media obsessed culture actually devalues the sleep cycle. Stores and restaurants have extended their hours of operation and of course the internet is open 24/7. With round the clock entertainment on television and an array of electronic devices, it’s hard to turn it all off and go to bed. Many of the articles I have read about getting a good night of sleep all mentioned that technology is changing our sleep habits. One of the most striking suggestions I found was to turn off all computers and televisions at least an hour before bed. The light and stimulation from these screens tell our brains to be awake so it is harder for us to shut down at the end of the day.
Routines seem to be another important component of healthy sleep patterns. Having a bedtime routine signals to your mind and body that the time has come to settle down and prepare for sleep. Many parents realize the importance of teaching children good bedtime routines, but they forget that they haven’t outgrown the need for a restful night’s sleep.
Take some time to evaluate your sleep habits. Do you have a good bedtime routine? Do you have a comfortable sleeping environment? Are you setting yourself up for success or failure when it comes to getting the rest you need? There are many ways to improve your sleep and there are usually many factors involved that range from medication side effects to bad habits. Don’t skimp on yourself when it comes to getting the rest you need. Do a little research to help you make the changes needed to get a good night of sleep. You deserve it!
Some great resources to check out:
- Get a good night’s sleep from RealSimple.com
- How to solve 9 sleep problems from RealSimple.com
- How to sleep better from WebMD
- Power down for better sleep from WebMD
- The healthy habits of good sleep from sleepeducation.com