The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sleep Time

Today I want to talk about something that gets a lot of oversight in the world of health. A lot of people think that staying up in the hot summer nights, squeezing in an extra workout in the wee hours of the morning, is the trick to losing weight. But the truth is that our bodies require a lot more than just a increase of exercise and a decrease in food consumption to lose weight and stay healthy.

See, I've always had trouble sleeping. Ask my mother. When she put me down in the crib, I would protest for hours. Unfortunately, that habit translated to when I aged. Now, I know I need nine hours every night. That's the general formula. But when I'm in school, I'm up until midnight or later and waking up at five or earlier. I thought it was just because of my workload with school. When I'd crawl into bed, I'd toss and turn for a while and sleep would just overtake me. Then I'd wake up seemingly minutes later and the cycle would begin again. Now it's summer and I'm trying to fall asleep at around one or two every night. Problem is I can't sleep. My thoughts start racing and suddenly I'm tossing and turning just like during the school year. All my problems come flooding back and I can't think straight. My mind just keeps going a mile a minute. Then suddenly I'm looking up at the clock and it says four.

I never used to think much of my sleeping habits. I knew they weren't great, but I figured they could be worse. But I read something recently that made me rethink it. Turns out, you can be classified as an insomniac if you can't fall asleep for over a half an hour. Well, that's every night for me. So now I'm thinking it's really time to make a change.

I've always noticed that the higher my stress rate goes, the less I sleep. I'm sure you're all thinking, "Well duh. We all knew that." But it's lowering the stress that's the problem and the thing that almost no one has the answer to. I think everyone, if you're going through similar circumstance as I am, needs some "me" time. Make some time in the day, even if it's just for a few minutes, to do something you enjoy and that relaxes you. For me, it's swimming. The feeling of the water against m soothes me to a lull and relaxes me to the point that I don't need to think of anything but the water and the sun beating down on me. Find what does the same for you. Another thing that can be very helpful is to write a list of the things that are on you're mind. If you write them down, you are mentally confronting them. Since you are acknowledging them, they can't sneak up on you in the middle of the night and cripple your sleep.

However, if you have done all you can think of and you still can't sleep, go see help from your doctor.

I hope this helps you and your sleep. Tonight, try and use these couple of tricks and tips and hopefully you will be catching up on your Zzzz.

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