How much sleep do you get each night? How much do you wish you could get? How much do you think you need?
I have been listening to Thrive by Arianna Huffington on audio book. I could have used this book about three years ago. But as it is, I found it after I already found my way out of an overwhelmed existence. There is only one word that comes to mind as I listen to Arianna’s insights into the downfalls of the chronic stress so many people find themselves buried under: validating.
I thought it was just me. I thought I was the only one who felt they had too much to do and not enough time to do it all. Not even if I stopped sleeping altogether (which I seriously entertained as a temporary option).
Somehow, over a period of time, with a big thanks to meditation, I developed a more balanced approach to my life. I started to realize that I was not the only one who could do all the things I felt obligated to. And that I could let some things go and make my world a much better place in the process.
I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far there has been a substantial focus on the importance of mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and sleep.
I have a pretty good grip on my yoga and meditation practice. Unfortunately, I have viewed sleep as a more optional component of a healthy lifestyle.
I don’t feel this way anymore. I have been thinking more and more about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep over the past few months. Thrive has been one of those little nudges that I needed to start focusing more on the possibility of adding more sleep to my life.
I used to try to scrape by on five hours a night, sometimes less. Definitely hardly ever more than six.
Over the past few months, I have been making a stronger effort to get seven hours of sleep a night. There was a night in there where I only got six hours. I could totally tell. I felt not so great the whole next day, and could finally see how significant a good night’s sleep is to my optimal well-being.
There is a suggestion in the book to set a bedtime alarm in your room. As in, forcing yourself to go to your bedroom to turn it off so you are at least on the way to bed at the right time. I haven’t gone that far, but it was an effective example of the importance of honoring a bedtime, rather than allowing bedtime to be arbitrary or negotiable.
Currently, my goal is to get seven hours a night, with at least one night a week of eight hours (which will probably be a weekend night).
There was a time when I couldn’t imagine getting a consistent seven hours of sleep each night. Now, it is becoming my reality. And I can start to see that seven and a half or even eight hours of sleep a night may not be that far out of reach.
Do you wish you could sleep more? Do you think you could? Please share your thoughts!