Friday, 23 January 2015

sleeping: why more sleep is a brilliant idea, AND week 4 of the gratitude challenge

Back at the end of December I was inspired by this from Dr Samantha Rodman, detailing ten useful resolutions to make. I resolved to try them out, and to do it one at a time, starting with the first one: sleep.

I haven't got any pictures of me sleeping
(which I'm willing to share), so here's the
little girl showing us how it's done (in her
own bed).
I couldn't wait, so I started straight away, promising to go to bed as close to 10pm as I could. This is serving as my fourth week of the gratitude challenge because I'm really grateful to Dr Rodman for suggesting this (and to my friend for sharing it on Facebook).

More sleep seems to be my Marvellous Medicine.

It wasn't easy to break my bad bedtime habits. Dr Rodman advises leaving electronic devices out of the bedroom, and doing that is a really good idea. I have set an alarm on my 'phone for 10pm and then start to finish up what I'm doing. The plan is then to read for a little while, and it works. Almost.

But enough of the how... Why is more sleep so great?  This is why:

1. I'm trying to eat better this year, and I'm doing great. A lot of this is down to my not staying up late for my worst eating period of the day. I've actually stopped having evening snacks almost altogether, whereas before I had something (unhealthy) every day. Result!

2. I was worried that going to bed earlier would cut into the time I had to myself each day - it can be difficult to fit my writing in around my family's needs, and I cherish time to myself, but it hasn't. For lots of reasons which I'll get into below, and it feels good.

3. Getting more sleep has given me my brain back. I feel like I know what I'm doing again!

4. I've got better concentration (which is helping me get things done a lot better).

5. I've got more stamina.

6. I am more assertive. More capable of putting forward my needs...

7...and more aware that my needs are important too.

8. I feel I'm more resilient. I don't get knocked for six as easily, and when I do, I'm less likely to beat myself up about it and more likely to cut myself some slack.

9. I am doing more stuff because I want to do it, rather than feeling I have to (although I'm doing much of the same stuff).

10. And my complexion doesn't seem to have improved at all (despite hoping it would), but because my mood is so improved, I don't mind a bit.

Seriously, if you're not getting enough sleep do whatever you can to up it. I know it feels like you'll miss out on time, but you'll be so much more useful that it will make up for it. 

*Update* new research suggests that the idea we need 8 hours sleep a night is actually wrong! Most of us are best off if we get around 7 hours a night - so that extra bit of reading is actually good for you!