If you’ve been following along, you know it’s been one of my goals for a while now to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Sadly, I have not been too successful at this. In the month of October, I got 7 or more hours of sleep only 11 times…and most of those were on weekends, which leaves me a tired kid during the week.
I really need to get my sleep under control. The last couple of weeks have been especially rough. My Fitbit shows many periods of restlessness and times awake each night. It is starting to take its toll on me. I’m tired all the time. I’m tired in the gym, lack energy during the day, and just not feeling like I’m coping very well. I barely held it together in a WOD last week, when i was on the verge of tears over wall balls! I know I hate them, but they shouldn’t make me cry. That’s a sign that things aren’t good.
I’ve been reading and hearing about the importance of sleep in just about every blog and podcast I follow. I saw this great video by Everyday Paleo‘s Sara Fragoso and Doc Parsley. They talk about the relationship between poor sleep and stress and it really hit home. They talk about the stressors that we face every day and how they impact our sleep. They also talk about how all repair in the body happen when we sleep, and if we aren’t getting enough sleep, things don’t repair properly, which leads to more stress on the body, which leads to poor sleep, and the cycle continues. They suggest a few techniques to help break this cycle:
- be aware of your stress
- deal with it during the day to sleep better at night
- let your body “come down” to allow for better sleep (meditating before bed helps)
- practice deep breathing techniques
Basically do whatever you can to deal with the stress, so you can have a better sleep and let your body repair itself, so you are better able to deal with the stresses that come up the next day.
Here’s the video…it’s well worth the 5 minutes.
I’ve got a few things I’m going to try to do to help improve my sleep:
- Go to bed on time! I tried the sleep alarm to tell me to go to bed, but it just didn’t work Every night it would go off at 10:45 and I would just turn it off and continue to do whatever I was doing – usually finishing up whatever tv show we were watching. Realistically we watch so little live tv, I could just finish whatever we are watching at another time. I am going to change the alarm to 11 and really try to go up to bed when it goes off, and give myself 30 minutes to get ready for bed, foam roll, and read, and then lights out by 11:30 at the latest. I know this should all start earlier, but I want to start with something realistic and then start moving the bedtime process earlier little by little.
- Listen to Meditation Minis twice a week. I discovered a podcast with little 10 minute meditations. It’s called Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton I’m going to try to add this to my half hour bedtime routine a couple of times a week just before/after I turn out the light. I’m hoping that by getting relaxed and in touch with my breathing it will make me “ready” for good sleep.
- VALUE MY SLEEP. I just need to accept the fact that I need more sleep and make it happen!
Hopefully these 3 things will be easy to implement and stick with, and will all help me get better sleep, which will in turn make me happier, healthier, and as Steph Gaudreau says, “Harder to Kill”!
Do you have any techniques to deal with stress.
How much sleep do you get every night?