Nobody would ever argue that sleep is not important, but not all of us truly understand why. The extent to which sleep affects everything we do and everything we are is quite astonishing. I have a very energetic preschooler, and every other parent in the country knows that when they are awake, there is no chance you are asleep. This means we are all very prone to sleep deprivation or interruptions in our sleep. Add to that the start of nightmares and coughs and colds to wake all of us in the middle of the night, and we might just become ticking time bombs!
It’s not just our darling little ones that wake us in the night. Stress and uncomfortable beds are other common causes of poor quality sleep. For most of us, we need nearly eight hours every night. The proportion of deep or sound sleep varies from person to person, but you should aim for at least half that time to be this high-quality type of sleep. Aim to head to bed at the same time every night. Stick to a good bedtime routine, and keep the room dark and cool. Make sure you are exercising in the day, eating a good diet, and living as healthily as you can.
Other ways to ensure good quality sleep when you can get it is to invest in a good quality bed. They usually last for ten years, so they are well worth the money. What price for good sleep? Anything you can pay according to some specialists (and those who suffer insomnia!). Latex is the latest revolution in sleep technology, and the new latex foam mattresses on the market are indeed very comfortable. If your bed is leaving you achy, it is definitely time to invest in something new.
Without the highest quality sleep, your body cannot heal or repair itself. Your mind won’t be able to file away all your memories effectively, leaving you forgetful and confused. Worst of all, your hormones will be all over the place. You’ll feel hungry when you’ve already eaten, and emotional when you have no reason to be. Your reaction times will be impaired, leaving you to be a danger in the driver’s seat. Your immune system will be weakened leaving you stuck with that pesky cold for weeks. All that can come from losing just two hours of sleep.
I will have to admit, it can be tricky as a Mommy to get enough sleep. We always seem to be on high alert for every little noise. I guess it will be that way until they have grown up and moved out. But we’re not much good to them if we are sleep deprived. With sleep, you need to be ‘selfish’. Your little one needs to understand that Mommy needs sleep too, especially when they want to play games in the middle of the night.
Whatever you can do to ensure you get a good night of sleep each night, do it. It is so important in every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s buying a good bed or heading to bed an hour earlier each night, getting the good quality sleep is essential to your health and sanity.