In babies, sleep is essential for brain development.
In teens, more sleep is required than for a child or an adult, for proper growth.
We all need sleep for good health.
Sleep is restorative. We all know this. What we might not know is that according to Belle Beth Cooper from Buffer and reposted on Power of Positivity, sleep is important for our happiness.
Valdone needs and generally gets 8 hours for a sound sleep. Until, of course, last year. Then, my sleep problems began. I was lucky if I slept for 3 hours per night. I had my days work free so I could catch-up on missed sleep by having an afternoon nap. Even so, I found it difficult to function on such little sleep. I was always tired. I was always wanting to sleep. Everything looked darker. I was not happy. Everything was such a chore - in the too hard basket.
Eliminating caffeine was my first step. When this did not yield more sleep, I tried sleep aids which only kept me drugged for the entirety of the next day. When my anxiety set in this year, my insomnia could not even be helped with daytime naps. No sleep would come to me, as sleep deprived as I was. My doctor prescribed an anti-depressant for the evening, one that would make me sleep. But this also did not have the desired effect. It zombified me throughout the next day when taken at bedtime.
Months later, my sleep patterns were not ideal. But nor were they as bad as they were. Most nights I slept for 5-6 hours but once I awakened in the middle of the night, sleep remained elusive. I can say, that some nights I actually slept for 7 - 8 hours. These nights came along every so often. As if my body took pity on me and allowed me a rare treat of extra sleep. But all in all, this sleep pattern was certainly much better than the 3-5 hours I was getting before Christmas. A small step.
Clock watching does not help but I do check the time to see how long I have slept. After which, I try to concentrate on my breath going in and out. I rest and doze but no real sleep comes.
Establishing a bedtime routine is foreign for me but I have even tried this. Even getting out of bed when I awaken and sitting in the dark until I become sleepy. I found that I never got sleepy and so I stopped getting out of my warm and cosy bed.
It could also be that I am no longer young. My menopausal years could also be affecting my sleep. I needed to take this fact into consideration. Goodbye sleep.
It has been particularly difficult to heal when I awake simply exhausted. I am far more anxious and irritable on little sleep. Eventually, I incorporated exercise classes and routines to activate my mind in hopes of improving my sleep patterns which I was beginning to think were due to boredom.
With all my new activities, my therapies of one kind or another, my inspirational and healing reading I must have traversed the magical six weeks when things started falling into place. My psychologist mentioned this six week passage one visit. True, when I looked back to when I started making these changes, it was indeed around about that time of six weeks.
Now I generally sleep 7 hours per night. And occasionally even 8 hours. It is amazing how reenergized I feel in the morning after such nights. There are still nights though when I awaken too early for me to want to start my day (around 5 a.m.) but now my body must have settled as I can sometimes fall back asleep again. Another small step.
So instead of obsessing too much about how much sleep I should (oops! no shoulds) I do or do not get, whether or not my day will be a "good" or "bad" day, I awake to gratitude and my positive affirmations and am less judgmental. Positive self-talk like: "I feel great!" coupled with a smile is my start to every day.
I certainly don't under estimate the power of sleep.
Published By: Valdone's Leaf