Self-Care: Sleep

Do you get enough sleep? 

I think many of us would answer NO to that question. Getting enough sleep is an important part of self-care. Studies show that adults should get 7-9 hours a night. Thriveworks.com says that getting an adequate amount of sleep can help to…

  • Ensure safety behind the wheel. Have you ever driven sleepy? Considering 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep, you probably have. “Drowsy driving not only puts you at risk, but others on the road,” says Fish. “Nearly 20% of auto accidents take place because of a drowsy driver. Simply put, a full night of sleep saves lives.”
  • Promote mental wellness. And finally, getting a good night’s rest helps to cultivate mental wellness. “Being sleep deprived doesn’t give your brain the necessary time to reset for the next day. This causes not only moodiness, but making sound decisions,” Fish explains. Furthermore, poor sleep habits can lead to negative thinking, irritability, and even mental illness like depression and anxiety.

For more tips, read the full article HERE

More benefits of more sleep..

  1. Sleep can boost your immune system
  2. Sleep can strengthen your heart
  3. Sleep can improve your mood

And more HERE

Tips for getting more sleep:

  1. Increase bright light exposure during the day
  2. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
  3. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day

And more tips HERE

To help me see how much sleep I’m actually getting in a night (or during a nap), and the quality of that sleep, I track it on my Fitbit app. I still have an older Fitbit tracker (a Blaze with a hand-me-down band from my Bonus Dad) but it still does the job! So I can see how many times I wake up in the night, how long I’m awake, and how much time I am in Deep, Light, and REM sleep. I’m a big Deep and REM sleeper. With the Fitbit app, you can also set sleep alarms to tell you when it’s time to wind down and get to bed. And the best part of it is that as long as I keep my tracker charged, it tracks my sleep automatically so no need to input bedtimes or wake times. It has helped me to see patterns in sleep issues, such as when my resting pulse rate rises I have more trouble sleeping, and can then problem solve why that might be happening. 

I know there are other sleep trackers out there. Do you use one? 

My mom has difficulty staying asleep at night, so she’s spent a lot of time trying different things to help go back to sleep. Something that works very well for her is sound. She tried many different sounds: 

  • TV programs/movies playing all night (she found this good for falling asleep because it caused her to focus only on the story of a movie she’d seen a billion times)
  • those sleep videos on YouTube that have different frequencies, such as THIS ONE
  • random YouTube music videos (not good if the video is short, you have your YouTube set to AUTO, and it selects techno club music at 3am)
  • Sound machine (this worked for quite a while, and is still used occasionally)
  • She sleeps best to the sounds of rain and thunderstorms. Not a gentle rain, but a torrential downpour with booms of thunder. Like THIS ONE

When my kid was very little, I ran a home daycare out of our apartment on Ramstein Air Base in Germany. For naptime, I played a CD with light instrumentals and bird sounds. It worked very well, so well that, years later when my kid was a teen, I put that same CD in to listen to and was asked to “please turn that off, it makes me very sleepy”. 

Have you ever tried sound to help relax and sleep? If so, what sounds do you prefer?