Why Sleep is Important

I have struggled with sleep issues for the past 4-5 years and only in these last few weeks, since around the beginning of the year, have I been getting regular, consistent sleep. However, I did have a bad night with just 4 hours of sleep last night and because of this, I can more easily identify how sleep deprivation affects my thinking and my judgment. (In fact, I should wait 24 hours before posting this just in case it makes absolutely no sense!).

Since I am now getting used to 7-8 hours of sleep each night, I understand why good sleep is so important, when contrasted with a night of about 4 hours.

Here’s what I have noticed:

  1. More likely to be grouchy. In fact, I might even snap in a burst of anger if the noise level goes to high, or the bickering continues on and on.
  2. Work in slow motion. I notice that my brain is slow and so is my body.
  3. Poor food choices. For some strange reason, it is so much easier to grab the box of cereal, than it is to make eggs or oatmeal. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich looks way more appealing at lunch than a salad.
  4. No desire to exercise. None. Not one sliver.
  5. Thoughtless. I don’t take the time to carefully measure my words before they come spilling out of my mouth.

Those are my top 5 reasons as of 1:00pm. I’m sure I will come across several more before the end of the day.

Here’s what I have been doing to improve my odds of getting a good night’s rest:

1. I have stopped watching TV in the evening. It’s mostly a time-waster anyway. I still like to watch an occasional movie with my family, but earlier in the day is better. I won’t rule it out entirely, but I do try to make sure that the flick will be over by 10pm or I don’t get sucked in.

2. I take GABA and melatonin before bedtime.

3. I read for about 15-30 minutes before I turn off the lights.

4. I am trying to be asleep by 10:30pm at the latest. This gives me 7-8 hours before I need to be up again.

5. I feel better if I rise a little earlier and go to bed a little earlier. My natural tendency is to stay up late and sleep in. I’m a night owl by default. I am working against this and it seems to be helping my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

6. I try not to drink too much after 8:00pm.

I hope these tips are helpful for you.

Question: What are your habits, routines or helpful tips to help ensure a good night’s sleep for you?

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 5:52 pm and is filed under Health, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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