11 October, 2006

Fitfull Sleep


Wow...sleeping was interesting last night. I spent the first half of the night trying to plan my wedding in my sleep. Well, seeing as it was sleep and dreaming, it was rather unproductive and I woke halfway through the night to frustration.

What is this? Is this a symptom of our crazed society? Is this my body and mind telling me that I don't have enough time during the day that I need to seek more time in my sleep? Well, I won't give in to that.

The above article highlights only a few of the necessary benefits of a full night's sleep. Here are a couple more interesting facts.

- Women who get enough sleep in complete darkness have more predictable menstrual patterns. In fact, with enough dark sleep, many women's cycles will pattern themselves with the lunar pattern.

- Studies have shown that today's individual gets significantly less sleep than those individuals 100 years ago, but there is no evidence that shows we need less.

God gaves us bodies that require rest and require it at pretty regular intervals. Now, he also gave us the ability to chose our sleep patterns and adjust when necessary. Just because we have the opportunity to choose, doesn't mean that it is good for us to choose less.

If you have a hard time sleeping, try a few of these tips.

- Pick a regular bedtime and stick to it even if you aren't tired.

- Create a bedtime routine or activity for yourself. After a period of adjustment this will trigger your mind to the idea of sleep. Consider a cup of tea, a chapter of a book, or a decade of the Rosary.

- When you find yourself tossing and turning, don't. Sit up, take a few deep breaths, stretch your muscles and lay back down. If you are still restless, get up and sit at the kitchen table with a cup of tea until you find yourself relaxed again. Tossing and turning tends to add to frustration and sleeplessness.

- Keep a notepad by the bed. Often times our anxieties come from a fear of forgetting something. Wake up, write it down and release your mind back to sleep.

I'm not going to tell you how much sleep your body needs. Only you can know that. Mine has two sleep levels: 5 hours and 8+ hours. Anything less than 5, or more than 5 or less than 8, makes me tired. You'll have to discover that level for yourself. Then try to stick with that length of sleep as much as possible. You'll be much happier for it.

All this talk of sleep has actually woken me up! Consider these suggestions for combating the tyranny that has become our days (and nights...).

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