Habit: Getting Enough Sleep
Oh, you may think that I’m stating the obvious right here, but I’m not. Most people aren’t getting enough solid rest and it shows.
I used to buy into this lie. The lie that says sleep is a waste of time. “I can sleep when I’m dead” I’ve heard before.
I used to place so much judgement on myself for “wasting time” going to bed early or sleeping in. I used to place judgement on my husband who would regularly neglect other things in life to make time for 9-10 hours of sleep.
My norm was to go to bed around midnight and then set an alarm for 6am and hit the snooze button or oversleep or force myself out of bed groggy and exhausted. Every. Single. Day.
Several years ago I had a mentor give me a challenge. She said take two weeks and do whatever it takes to rearrange your life so you have time to sleep in every single day. Sleep until your body wakes up naturally and see how many hours of sleep you actually need. Guys, it was so hard. I didn’t even have children at the time and it was a huge challenge.
I had to force myself to quit working and hustling with things unfinished. I was used to pushing myself until I crashed. I had to shut off the 5am gym alarm clock (that most days I snoozed so many times I never made it to the gym). I had to tell myself it wasn’t lazy to sleep in.
Nine hours. That’s what my body needed. I was devastated. I so desperately wanted to be one of those people who are like “oh yeah, I only get like five hours and I feel awesome every day.”
Then I started noticing the changes. I felt better. I had more energy. I could think clearer. My mind felt less cluttered. I was more effective with the time I did have. I started losing weight without changing anything else because my body had time to properly reset.
After about a month of 9 hours of sleep my body started waking up on its own after 7.5 hours. I think I had pushed it so long it had some catching up to do. To this day, 7.5 hours is my magic sauce.
If I get 7 or less I can make it one day and be okay but two days of lack of rest and I get very counter productive, groggy, moody, and I have lots of brain fog.
Nope, it’s not always easy to prioritize rest. I leave projects unfinished all the time. I go to bed with dishes in the sink regularly. I’m a nursing mom so since I know my sleep will get interrupted I have to give myself some extra time. Ironically, I’m writing this post on 4 hours of sleep because my son is teething and last night was awful and stressful, but you can guarantee tonight I’ll be hitting the pillow earlier than normal to make sure my body can reset.
Couple this habit with 100 ounces of water a day (ish, depending on your weight) and watch how your body will change for the better.
When we take care of our bodies, it’s amazing how well they will take care of us. We only get one guys. The best way to love everyone around us is to care for ourselves.
How many hours of sleep do you need a night? How many do you regularly get?