When others ask you, "How are you?" do you ever respond "tired..."?
You're not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, "The importance of chronic sleep insufficiency is under-recognized as a public health problem, despite being associated with numerous physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and mortality (1,2). Approximately 29% of U.S. adults report sleeping less than 7 hours per night (3) and 50--70 million have chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders (1)." **
Many people's solution is to take a sleeping aid - but one researcher says that the risk from taking sleeping pills 30 times or more a month is not much less than the risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. *** In fact, it's better to get less sleep than to try and get more with a sleep aid. (Naturally the pharmaceutical companies don't want you to know this as they stand to gain $5 billion off of sleep aid products such as Ambien and Lunesta.)
How might you love yourself and your family by getting a good nights' rest? Here are some ideas:
- Do you have a TV or computer in your bedroom - get rid of it. Researchers say to avoid everything in bed except for sleep and sex - and perhaps a little light reading.
- Consider praying a "compline" prayer before bedtime. Here are some from the celtic Northumbria community.
- Don't drink caffeine within 6 hours of your bedtime.
- Don't drink too much water either...you know what that does! (But do drink lots of water earlier in the day!)
- Set a time when you will go to bed and get up - did you know that if you did this one thing in life, most everything else would fall into place in living unhurried?
- Do not exercise within 3 hours of going to bed.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime - though it will knock you out at first, a few hours later, it will wake you up.
- Spend time outdoors - getting a full dose of the outdoors will put your body in line with the natural rhythms of awake hours/day and sleep hours/night.
- Lose weight. Yup, that's right, our extra pounds can affect our breathing rhythms and our sleep habits - and some studies even suggest that our lack of sleep affects our leptin levels (that which suppresses our appetites).
Hopefully the next time someone asks you how you are, you'll be able to say, "I feel energized." or "I'm rested." What would it take for that to be a reality for you?
Unhurry Up! Join the Unhurried Revolution!