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It’s one of my earliest memories. I was three, my brother, Rob, five and it was nap time, the most dreaded part of the day. Rob and I, being the youngest of the brood of nine, were the only ones left that had to interrupt our glorious play to stop and take a nap. Ugh, I didn’t want to miss a thing!! So how does a mother of nine get her tiny house quiet enough for the two youngest to go to sleep while the other seven are running around? - - Her secret? A very dark room and the magic FAN! On HIGH. A blanket wrapped around each tiny head pretending to be Batman and Little Red Riding Hood. Desperate times call for desperate measures. My seasoned mother knew her children needed to sleep or they would pay the price, in fact the whole family suffers the consequences from a family member who hasn’t had enough sleep. To this day, nothing can lull me to sleep quite like the sound of an old, metal box fan. They sound much better than the flimsy, plastic ones. (I always have my eye out for one when I go to auctions and thrift stores.) When my husband and I were dating in college and I learned that he always went to sleep with a fan running, I knew we were kindred spirits.
So… who in your family, does not get enough sleep? Your kids? You? Starting today, how about you make seven to eight hours of sleep, a priority in your life? Wow! Think how good that would feel. Getting enough sleep will extend your lifespan, prevent weight gain, increase your immune system, ward of stress, help you to be more patient and make you a pleasant member of your family. To make it happen, you’ll need a plan and discipline to be successful. I encourage you to do ALL you can to sleep well, before going down the road of using sleep aids. Here are some ideas that have been helpful to me.
Set the scene. Keep your bedroom for sleeping only. No computers or TV. Make your room as dark as possible. Install pulldown blackout shades if needed. Keep your bedroom cool while sleeping. Invest in an awesome pillow. I like the Tony Little HoMedics Micropedic Sleep Pillow which runs about $40.00. Worth every penny! Get a decent set of bedsheets and different weighted blankets for the seasons. Buy a beautiful smelling candle and create a space that’s yours and is for sleeping! All this can be done for under a $100.00, the extra sleep will make everything better and it will improve your over all health, saving you thousands in avoided Dr visits.
Eat to Sleep: What we eat plays huge roll in either aiding our sleep or disrupting our sleep. Here is a good article from the blog “Pick The Brain” giving you a list of the best food suggestions to get a good night’s rest! Check it out and make the needed changes to your diet. Set good examples for your children and teach them how to eat right, to sleep better and live their best life.
Be Brave: If you are suffering from true insomnia it is possible that your nervous system has become upset because of underlying, unresolved issues - most often involving relationships. Through prayer ask God for help. Gather up your courage to seek professional advice from a counselor who can help you work through these difficulties. There is no shame in that and a noble thing to do. It is scary! But has the potential for great rewards, not just to your sleep but for bringing calm and peace to whole your life.
Making sleep a priority in our busy, bright, fast paced world is smart and good preventive living.
Making sleep a priority in our busy, bright, fast paced world is smart and good preventive living. Be brave and make the changes that you need to, to get a full night’s rest. And remember, you could always try . . . wrapping a blanket around your head and asking Grandma if you may have her old metal box fan. Ha!
“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa
I’ve alway liked this simple quote from Mother Teresa. It is great advice about love and about life too. As our society “progresses” and becomes more technical and informed it seems we’re all on a mission to continually take things up a notch. We work more, accumulate more, throw bigger parties and constantly upgrade our speed. We heap our plates at materialism’s buffet, leaving us so full (of stuff) we can barely breathe.
Having worked in the fitness industry for about thirty years now, I see the trend in fitness too. There seems to be this unspoken expectation from something or someone who makes us feel inadequate. What? You never made it through Insanity? Are you telling me you’ve never trained and ran a marathon? P90X isn’t your best friend?!! Gesh, what a wimp! This over-the-top(ness) is enough to make anyone feel too discouraged to give exercise a go!!
Taking some artistic license here, let’s look at Mother Teresa’s quote again and apply it to our fitness program. “Do not think that exercise, in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to exercise consistently. Be faithful in small things because it is in them, that your strength lies.”
Bam! We don’t need to go postal with our exercise routine in order for it to be genuine! Keeping things in perspective, with consistency, really WORKS and will add to our fitness and happiness levels. What does that look like? It looks like tag in the park, a bike ride on your favorite trail, a brisk walk around town or a yoga class each day. Nothing grandiose is needed. It is enough. You are enough.
Little things become big when we do them each day.