By Amber LEstrange Artist: Jovana Rikalo
In Los Angeles, “sleep” has become a buzz word.
-It seems that the latest health and wellness advocates are ready to start a sleep revolution and everyone is invited to the slumber party. Sleep is all the rave right now for a good reason. Latest research shows that sleep effects our health on ALL levels of being (physical, emotional and mental). It is the foundation of our health and wellness and is directly related to our quality of life. Sleep is the key to all things that bring us happiness and for parents, a lack of sleep may be one of the biggest hurdles they face.
I personally experienced the dire importance of sleep after my first child was born. We co-slept, (well no-one slept except the baby), and days upon days rolled by with very little shut-eye. A few hours each night and here and there during the days, became the norm. After a few months of this, I caught myself in the mirror and could hardly recognize myself. Not only did I look like I had aged 5 years, I also noticed that the girl with spunk and glow had disappeared ,and a walking-dead zombie had taken her place..
As if that wasn’t enough to shake me into making sleep a priority, I also was emotionally and mentally a wreck. I had 24/7 brain fog, was on the verge of delirium and had turned into an emotional basket case. This is NOT a recommended state of being if one is interested in keeping a marriage, friendships, jobs, your health, or anything, really, intact.
It suddenly dawned on me that something needed to change when I found my head spinning, throwing punches at my husband and threatening to hold our baby ransom.
My husband and I finally implemented a sleep training regime for our one year old. It was not the easiest pursuit but well worth the results of deep, soul soothing, much missed sleep.
I am embarrassed to say I let things fall apart to this point before I started making a plan to get my sleep back on track. During these crazy times, I learnt a very valuable lesson: mamas MUST make self-care a priority and learn to ask for HELP. And if they don’t…. the happiness of the entire family can be at stake.
Are you a victim of your sleepless self? Here are a few indications that could suggest you need to make slumber a priority:
In this fast paced world many modern cultures tend to put emphasis on “doing". They encourage a "Go go go, work hard, play hard!" attitude, as if this was the key to success and fulfillment.
We must learn to value and respect the effect good sleep has on every facet of our life and recognize that we will be functioning as our optimal selves only when we are well rested.
Here are just a few benefits sleep can give you:
Next step is setting yourself up for success.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your snooze time, take the ones that apply to you.
How much sleep is the right amount of sleep? Keeping in mind that we are all bio-individuals, each person will need a different amount of sleep for their unique constitution to operate optimally. Experiment with listening to your body and work on finding the right amount for you, it may be anywhere from 6-10 hours a night!
Of course, having babies or children make getting sleep sometimes impossible, but I like to think there is a solution to every problem. And I know that when we have decided something is an important priority in our lives, we manage to figure it out. I challenge you to adopt some of these tips and take note of how your sleep (and life) improves.
If you want a bullet proof sleep plan try Shawn Stevenson's book "Sleep Smater", I LOVED IT.
Do you get adequate sleep each night? What are your challenges? How do you manage to sleep, despite having little ones? PLEASE let us know in the comments