When I first started embarking my own online business, I even heard people say, “Sleep is for sissies!”, “Why sleep when you can get more done?” or “People around the world, someone is awake!” I used to think I can do a whole lot of things because I had 24 hrs a day to accomplish them.
But I’ve come to terms with this. I really don’t care what others say, everyone needs sleep! I DO!!
We all know, that we have 24 hrs a day, that is a well known fact. But in reality, we have to knock off about 30% of that to be used for “sleep”. You can look at it as “waste of time” OR look at it as a time of detoxification and rejuvenation.
How do YOU look at this?
It’s actually so underrated and unappreciated, isn’t it?
As moms in general, we just have so much to do… sleep seems so unrealistic. Everyone demands something from us, moms. We may have babies who keep us up at night, we have loads of laundry, loads of dishes, vacuuming and cleaning the house, volunteering at church and school, the list goes on and on to keep our family going AND to top that, we, mamapreneurs, have our own business. In fact, as I write this blog post, my washer beeped to let me know it was time to move the laundry from washer to dryer…. And what did I do? I got up and did just that.
I totally get it! Good night’s sleep seems so impossible to maintain, sometimes gone altogether!
However, sleep is one of the most important, if not, the most important areas of our lives, we simply cannot go without. We all need good quality night’s sleep!
Let me entertain you with my own 10 signs of sleep deprivation that come from my own experience.
10 signs of sleep deprivation:
- “Oh, what time was I supposed to show up?” – Forget things easily.
- Can’t focus nor concentrate.
- Memorize what? Forget it!
- Can’t think straight!
- “Oops, not again!” – Become awfully clumsy, dropping things, bumping into doors, walls, people, you get the idea…
- “zzzz…hey, you’re snoring…” whispers my spouse…Oh Yes, I can easily fall asleep at church or in class or wherever I need to sit still and be quiet.
- “BOYS! YOU NEED TO PICK THESE THINGS UP! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU!” “um, mom, you don’t need to yell…”said the boy. – Become irritable and easily snap at people, especially at family members
- Simply feel like crap
- Compromised immune system, feel physically sick – headaches, stomaches, blurred vision, heart palpitation, neck/back aches, etc.
- Oops, I think I’m gaining weight!
Any of those sound familiar?
Then you might be in the same boat….
I’ve noticed over and over in my own life, whenever I’m deprived of sleep, I’m emotionally irritated, short-tempered, stressed, almost depressed, physically tired, drop things easily and forget things easily too… the list of negative effects goes on and on, more than what I listed above.
When I was in college (that was many many years ago…), I did a whole lot of things, like every college kids do (right?); I went to school full-time, worked part-time, went to an aerobics class several times a week, had a boyfriend, had lots of friends to hang out with, in addition to studying for classes. I ended up having blood in my urine – it didn’t hospitalize me or anything serious but had to take some medicine, and just slow down.
My father was a surgeon, he used to tell me how interns or residents were super tired, sleep deprived yet they had to keep going and they did with sheer determination. He seemed to be proud that he (and other doctors) survived those trials and still functioned well. I’ve heard that nowadays, mandatory time off is granted for doctors, pilots, and truck drivers. So that’s a good thing. Can you imagine if you were treated in an emergency room by a bunch of sleep-deprived, residents? or You are driving at night and a sleepless truck driver cuts you off to the side causing a wreck?
Just imagine, there are pilots, doctors, truck drivers, etc who may be super tired and sleep deprived and doing their job that way. I’ve always wondered how well they could perform in that sleep-deprived state.
In the article “The effects of sleep deprivation on the body”, it mentions “According to Harvard Medical School, studies show that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life.”
Just having more sleep could add 15% more to your life! Imagine that.
Personally, I need 7-8 hours of sleep. Sometimes I feel this is a luxury I may not even be able to afford. Yet I do know when I have good night’s sleep, I’m more relaxed and simply happier, not to mention the power of sleep as a physical and mental enhancer and its impact on our health, brain, weight management, and other areas of life.
Some time ago, Marie Forleo, one of the super women I follow, had an interview with Ariana Huffington about this very topic based on her book, “Sleep Revolution”. You can watch her interview here.
Watching this confirmed things I knew about effects and importance of sleep.
When you think about it, God created us this way, sleep is not an option- it is a must. God created us to be able to sleep for a chunk of time, 8-9 hours a night and wake up detoxified and refreshed, not just keep sleeping. Isn’t it amazing that our brain wakes us up after so many hours, we don’t just keep sleeping, right? And also, our body tells us “Hey, you need to rest and sleep!” by giving all these signs!
If you or anyone you know thinks “sleep is for sissies” or “waste of time” OR simply just can’t seem to get it, you might want to refer them to this article, watch Marie’s interview with Arianna Huffington, who authored “Sleep Revolution”, or just google more about “sleep”, there are a lot more resources regarding this topic.
Here are some suggestions Arianna Huffington made in the interview that can help promote more sleep so you can have a better quality of life. (And I added my two cents too)
1. Have a ritual:
Put away your phone, iPad, tablet, etc, and start 30 min before your bedtime. Ariana’s favorite she says is “ritual of water” – take a hot bath with Epsom salt, relax and purify from the day. I like this idea, though not always feasible for me, a LOT. She mentions that the sleep is a time of detoxification of the brain, clearing of all toxins accumulated during the day. We as moms, do this with our babies, right? We give them a bath, put them in PJs, read them a story, say a prayer and turn off the light, I used to sing certain songs to calm them. We, adults, can do the same – have a ritual of getting relaxed telling our body to get ready for a good night’s sleep. Recently we hear a lot about clean eating, by becoming gluten-free, soy-free, dairy free….but this! this may not be trendy and sexy to talk about, but how important is your brain? I’d say SUPER important for our lives.
2. Close your day with gratitude:
I’ve started using “Five Minute Journal”, which actually has a place to write “What am I grateful for” in the am and “3 amazing things that happened today” in the pm daily. I usually write something that happened that day that I felt blessed or amazed at, small or big. In my prayers before bed, when I just focus on giving thanks to the Lord and focus on the blessings of the day, I’ve noticed that it gives me much better sleep than when I focus on my worries and things I wish I had. Worries keep us up at night, which we want to avoid. Be grateful regardless what happens during the day. Good lesson regardless of wanting more sleep or not.
3. Have a sleep kit:
Arianna says she has her favorite kit with pink silky eye mask, noise canceling headphones, lavender spray, relaxing tea, and sleep dedicated iPod. She says she has a couple of sleep meditation you can download on her website Ariannahuffington.com if you’re interested. I actually started listening to sleep dedicated recording myself recently. I got it from searching on Youtube and it’s not Arianna’s but it seems to really help. (Now I’m going to download Arianna’s!)
4. Natural Remedies: Teas
Like Arianna, I love teas! There are many sleep-enhancing, relaxing and calming teas out there. I’d recommend getting high-quality loose-leaf ones. Chamomile tea is great for calming and sleep enhancing. There are a lot of great relaxing teas out there. Worth giving them a try!
5. Natural Remedies: Aromatherapy
Like Arianna, I also recommend aromatherapy, use a diffuser or simply take a whiff out of your hands. My boys’ favorite is doTERRA’s Serenity blend. Whenever they are too hyper to sleep, they actually ask for it. I put some on my hands and gently massage their back. Within minutes, they fall asleep, it’s like magic. My favorite is Vetiver essential oil or Peace blend. I sometimes use diffuser right by my bedside, but usually, I just put them in my hands and smell them and touch my pillow and bedding with the hands that have residue of the oils. It works really well for me. There are many others who help you fall asleep – like Lavender, Clary Sage, Wild Orange, Roman Chamomile, are my recommendations.
What do YOU think about sleep? What’s your strategy do you have on having more and better sleep?
You know, we are called to do wonderful things in this life. We’re here to live a full, purposeful life, to create, serve and contribute to the society. How do you think changing this little habit called “sleep” make you a better, well-rested, productive mamapreneur?
I hope this article inspires you to make a small change in your habits and get some more sleep!
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