Last night I had the strangest dreams. They were dramatic and filled with conflict, gossip and hurt feelings. I couldn’t make out the “circumstances” or the “who”, but I think I know the “why”.
This is a judgment-free space so I will confess a guilty pleasure: When my husband is away, I sometimes binge watch Grey’s Anatomy. Or Vanderpump Rules. There I said it! I find it relaxing. But is it really?
Watching the cast go at each other on the Vanderpump Rules Reunion was both enthralling and horrifying. The plastic surgery! The make up! The crying! The boobs! The outfits! The admissions! Oh my!
Having just come off a fabulous weekend catching up with friends I hadn’t seen all winter, mixed with my choice of TV before bedtime led to a lapse from my regular sleep routine. The result? A restless and unsatisfying night’s rest.
In my corporate wellness work with the fabulous Balance Integration organization, sleep is the #1 concern among both employers and employees. Sleep deprivation leads to poor health, performance, decision making, and happiness. If that doesn’t concern you, studies show lack of sleep may cause Alzheimer’s and lead to dementia.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 45 percent of Americans experience poor or insufficient sleep.
Something as simple as getting better quality sleep will immediately improve your health and life. Let me say that again: Better quality sleep will immediately improve your health and life.
Stop sabotaging your sleep!
What you do right before bedtime impacts how well you sleep, so to improve sleep it is important to analyze your sleep routine (i.e. the preparation habits associated with going to bed).
So much has been written about sleep routines and I’m not here to tell you the same old same ole.
Instead, I will highlight a few key tips to consider, and encourage you to experiment and learn what works for YOU.
If that means:
- getting analytical, then log sleep habits and make objective observations and shift your approach.
- playing with the temperature and/or lighting in your bedroom, go for it
- eliminating stimulants such as caffeine or sugar after noon, give it a try.
- disconnecting from work – literally and figuratively – then figure out ways to do so.
- If your mind is churning, write it down.
- leave emails for the morning.
- consistently responding to emails after hours dissolves boundaries and indicates a lack of time management skills. Just don’t do it!
- practicing gratitude, then acknowledge three things you are grateful for at the end of each day.
- rethinking timing of meal consumption, eat earlier (within 3-hours prior to bed can lead to disrupted sleep).
- making a sleep plan, be consistent about when you retire and awake.
- putting the phone in another room, find a place for it. This is a particularly hard one for me as:
- we live in a very small apt so my bedroom also serves as our living room.
- my husband goes to sleep earlier than I and it’s convenient to scan my device in the dark instead of turn on a reading light.
- it’s so tempting to read on your phone or tablet, but the blue light it emits screws with your melatonin levels (the hormone that prepares your body for sleep), so I’m going to give this one a shot!
What will you try? Remember to be playful, and experiment with just one thing and see what happens!
In addition to removing the phone from the bedroom, no more conflict-related TV before bed for me. Even if I am dying to know how anyone let Brittany out of the dressing room with that ridiculously plunging neckline, and whether Schaena will tell Katie, Stassi and Kristin to go take a hike!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™