I’ve always had a tough time with sleep. My insomnia was so bad in college, that I remember one day realizing that I had been up for nearly three days straight! Once I had Ayva, forget about it! I woke up in the middle of the night to make sure she was still breathing, or to put her covers back on her, or to gaze in her face lovingly as new moms do. Over the last few years, I’ve learned how to manage my insomnia triggers. Although I’m still not getting more than 6 hours of sleep per night, I’m absolutely sleeping more than I used to.
There’s a lot of street cred to be had for folks who don’t sleep a lot. My fellow work-at-home Moms and I joke all of the time about surviving on caffeine and dream. The reality is, lack of sleep is nothing to brag about. Not getting enough sleep due to insomnia or sleep-related respiratory disturbances can cause all sorts of health issues. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or focus and concentration issues that lead to accidents and lack of productivity are serious things to be concerned about if you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Okay, I’m not going to nag you about it (much!), but I do want to share some of the things that work for me. Now, keep in mind that I’m 1. Not a doctor, and 2. Still learning how to get more restful sleep myself. I have, however, been able to go from days without getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time, to 6 hours and sometimes more.
Getting More Restful Sleep
Do caffeine early. Or not at all.
I’d never tell someone to give up their beloved coffee, but you do know caffeine keeps you awake, right? I’m ultra sensitive to caffeine, so I try to have my cuppa by 9 AM. I absolutely don’t have any caffeine after noon. It might seem a bit excessive, but just a tiny bit of caffeine might be enough to keep you from getting a restful night of sleep.
Working at home, I realize that I started to get super lazy and restless. Restlessness leads to sleeplessness. If your body is in a semi-rest state all day, what’s the motivation to shut down at the end of the day? Every couple of days, Ayva and I will take a nice walk in the morning before lunch. As we’re climbing the hills in our neighborhood, I’m getting a workout that will give me energy to use for the rest of the day, and help me sleep better at night.
Eat good food.
Whenever I get lax with my diet, and start eating a lot of sugary treats or carbs, my sleep is choppy and uncomfortable. Sleeping on a belly that is bloated and full is actually really hard to do! I know what you’re thinking, “But after I eat at Thanksgiving, all I want to do is sleep!” That may be true, but you aren’t sleeping in a bed and not waking up until the next morning! Eating a modest portion of leafy greens, protein and whole grains a few hours before you go to bed will help you to get more restful sleep.
World Sleep Day 2014
So, I have good news for you folks. March 14th is World Sleep Day! Can you believe there’s actually a DAY for SLEEP! Here’s more about World Sleep Day, and Philips Healthcare’s involvement:
An annual event intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, World Sleep Day is organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM). WASM aims to advance sleep health worldwide by promoting and encouraging education and research around the World, particularly in areas where the practice of sleep medicine is less developed. This year’s World Sleep Day – held on March 14, 2014 – highlights “Restful Sleep, Easy Breathing, Healthy Body,” through the promotion of healthy sleep for people of all ages
Philips Healthcare and the Sleep Powers Initiative
Philips Healthcare has launched the Sleep Powers Initiative for 2014 to help raise awareness on the importance of sleep. In fact, Philips feels so strongly about promoting sleep and healthy sleep habits, that they’ve pledged to screen one million people for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) over a period of five years! To dedicate their commitment to the cause of healthy sleep, Philips created the Sleep Quiz to score a person’s quality of sleep based on their answers to simple sleeping habits and health questions.
You can prepare for World Sleep Day by taking the Sleep Quiz launched by Philips at the bottom of the post to find out what kind of sleeper you are. I’m still a Below Normal Sleeper, but I’m working on it! You should also take this assessment to find out if you’re at risk for (OSA). OSA affects an estimated 100 million people, many of whom are undiagnosed. Of course, please follow up with your healthcare provider.
As an incentive for taking the quiz, I’m going to giveaway a $50 Visa Gift Card to one Mama Knows It All reader! Easy Rafflecopter entry for all U.S. residents. The contest ends on 3/15 at 12 am. Good luck!
Take the Sleep Quiz
For more information about World Health Day, please visit: www.philips.com/worldsleepday You can follow the World Sleep Day 2014 conversation on social media, too!