Sleep: Girlfriends, we’ve just got to have more!

October 16, 2011

OK be honest.  How many hours of sleep per night do you get?  How many women do you know who are exhausted?  I recently saw this clip on sleep by Arianna Huffington from TEDWomen.  No matter your politics, she’s got a powerful message.

Girlfriends, we need sleep.  We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that a few hours a night does it.  Getting too little sleep is nothing to crow about.  What’s really necessary is that we support each other in committing to getting our zzzs!  Maybe even tag a girlfriend to be your accountability partner.  Or, record your hours of sleep just like you would log your eating in a food diary so you don’t fool yourself.

In fact, research shows that beauty rest helps us look and feel better … and if we get the rest we need, we are less likely to gain weight and have metabolic problems and heart disease.

A few years ago, I committed to “7.5 to stay alive.”  I’ve got to say, I average seven hours a night, but backslide to six every now and again.  So why don’t I act in a way that supports what I know — my days will be easier and my outlook brighter if I recharge mind, body and soul?!

When you’re used to getting up before the sun, it’s sometimes hard to sleep in.  But thanks to my husband who does so with ease, I’ve learned to make myself not bound out of bed at sunrise on the weekends.  Sometimes I yearn for those “stolen” early morning hours, but I know my health will be better if I really rest.  Sleeping in can be a learned art.

Are you good at naps?  I’m like the child who doesn’t want to give in.  But a few Saturdays ago, I was so tired that I crawled in bed on Saturday at 4 pm.  I thought I’d just lay down for 15 minutes, but my husband covered me up and turned on the fan, and I slept for several hours.  Good move! I felt great the rest of the evening and even stayed awake during the movie we watched together.

Getting to bed early is a problem when there are so many distractions, family, digital devices, TV, email …  But isn’t adhering to a schedule whenever possible so important?  What throws me off is travel.  Don’t ask me why, but even though I’ve typically lost three hours of my day, when my guy isn’t around to nudge me to turn in, I stay up fiddling around on emails and projects that really could wait till morning!

A friend of mine who is great at sleeping on planes says to get to sleep more easily, close your eyes and take a series of five really deep, slow breaths.  She’s typically asleep at the count of five.

Have you found ways to entice sleep when you just can’t seem to turn off your mind?  Any suggestions you can share on how to get more shut-eye?  Do you find time for catnaps?  How do you block out the light that creeps in to wake us up before our time?  We’d love to hear your suggestions!

Good night ladies!


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