Let’s talk Sleep! I recently finished the book, “Why we Sleep” by Matthew Walker and I am more sleep obsessed than ever. I’m also hella nervous because 50% of people have trouble with sleep after having a concussion. After learning so much about how important it is, I’m desperate to make sure I’m doing everything I can to get a good night’s sleep! I’m also kind of pissed off….
The writer has spent over two decades researching sleep, and initially he thought that sleep was a pillar of health, diet and exercise being the other pillars, but he’s discovered that sleep is the foundation for health. It’s the MOST important thing EVER! So why am I pissed? Well, I feel that ‘society’ we’ll call it, has made us feel guilty and lazy for wanting sleep. We’ve heard the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” expression when it comes to hustling and getting after what you want. Working late into the night and first thing in the morning. Literally, burning the candle at all ends to make ends meet. Well we actually might be dead before we even see the results of all of the hard work we’re doing IFFFFF we don’t get enough sleep.
I want you to be a proud sleeper! I want us to value sleep because sleep helps protect us against basically EVERYTHING! Heart disease, common cold/flu, diabetes, cancer…..to name a few. The goal is to get 7-8 hours a night. I know this can be difficult for some, but it will make you healthier, stronger, more mentally clear, a better boss, a better human. Proper sleep literally helps you learn, memorize things (like language) quicker and easier. Some people are morning people, some are night owls, and then there are some that are between. Knowing your natural sleep rhythm and being able to work with that schedule can be very beneficial to you as well. I feel that the 9-5 hours for most jobs or even growing up going to school throught these hours does not help the night owls nor the in between-ers (like me) to be awake in our natural hours. The ones that we’re most creative in. With these earlier hours, our rhythm gets out of sorts, we have to try to get to bed early, we can’t and then we have to wake up early to get to work, we’re losing sleep, losing health, losing our ability to perform..
“Those getting 5-6 hours of sleep versus 7-8 hours a night are 200% more likely to get heart disease.”
Stop Preventing Sleep
Staying awake, alcohol, caffeine, blue light (phone, lap top, tv, screens), bright or loud environments, warm sleep environments, naps after 3pm all prevent the onset of sleep. In the book, he recommends setting alarm for your bed time as well as one for waking up, having it the same time every day is essential. Avoid alcohol, but if you don’t keep it to a minimum and actually having it earlier in the day is better when it comes to sleep. I’ve recently switched to decaf coffee with my post-concussion recovery to prevent symptoms, so I know it’s possible. Decaf still has one third of the caffeine that regular coffee does so be mindful of that. Caffeine’s half-life, or the amount of time it’s still working in your system at only 50% is 5 hours. So, if you have caffeine later in the day it will prevent your sleep up to 10 hours after your last sip. Blue light glasses have been a saving grace for me as I am seemingly always on my computer, phone or sneaking some real housewives. I’ve also tried to keep lights dim at night and noise to a minimum to encourage my sleep. I keep the same bed time routine as well to encourage a good night’s sleep. I’ve also tried this magnesium potion that turns to ionic magnesium when mixed with warm water I found at a drug store, and it’s really made a difference with my post concussion sleep issues.
“After 19 hours of being awake, your concentration levels are equal to that of a legally impaired person.”
Basically, it’s saving your life to be getting your sleep, so be a proud sleeper! I hope you’ll value sleep like I do, and be firm in what you need to do to get your z’s. It will help you create better relationships, better businesses and a better life for yourself. You deserve that.
Have any sleep tips or want to talk sleep? Send me a message.