Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rise & Grind? Sleep when you're dead? No thanks.


Every morning my FaceBook feed and Twitter timelines are chockful of uberhappy morning folks determined to hype me up with affirmations, energy and a kickstart to my day. If I had a dollar for every "rise & grind" or "you can sleep when you're dead" quote, I'd be retired to my tropical island. And I get it, I understand the theory behind it. Let's get up, be productive and make it do what it do. I agree... to a point.

With all of the ambitions and demands on our day-to-day hustle struggles and family/friend duties, sleep seems to be the one thing we are more than willing to sacrifice. When people think of "total wellness" most focus on diet and exercise not realizing that lack of sleep is just as detrimental to our health.

Sleep is like a reset button for your mind, body and soul. It's an opportunity to restore mood, regenerate energy, reduce stress, think without outside interruption and rest our bodies. The average person requires 6 - 8 hours a night to function at top performance. 

Stress is a killer. Long periods of prolonged stress have been attributed to all manner of fatal diseases not to mention mental fatigue. Sleep is one way to reduce that anxiety. I know, it's easier said than done. There are definitely nights when I cannot turn my brain off and sleep is elusive. So I've done some research which I'm happy to share with you now. Here are some tips to getting that good night's sleep:

1. Have a scheduled bedtime. I know it sound either really juvenile or really senior citizen but studies show that having a set window to shut it down for the night programs your body to rest regularly. 

2. Chill out one hour before bedtime. They say you should turn off all music, TV, computers, etc one hour prior to nodding off. I can't do it. I generally fall asleep with the TV on and then turn it off sometime in the middle of the night.

3. Make up lost time. If you only get four hours of sleep on night, you should try and make those hours up over the next two nights. Think of sleep as a deposit in the bank. If you're continually overdrawn, you never catch up.

4. Exercise. 20 - 45 minutes of aerobic activity during the day positively affect your ability to get a good snooze on. You choose what kind of aerobic activity works best for you. 

5. Cut the caffeine and energy drinks. If you are a caffeine or energy drink junkie, save them for the early part of the day. Cut the sweets. Desserts = sugar. Sugar = hyperactivity. Hyperactivity = no bueno for bed. 

6. Eat early. You should have your last meal at least 90 minutes prior to bed time. Diving into bed after the taco platter is bad for sleep, digestion and hips. If you have a snack close to bed, it should be high protein with fruit. Cheese, a slice of turkey with grapes is the recommended snack.

7. No arguing before bedtime. Experts say if you have beef, sleep on it. The next morning if you're still ticked off - talk about it then. For one, you have time to think about it. Secondly, arguments prior to sleep (unless you resolve them) just disturb your restfulness. [I haven't mastered this one either]

8. Do something stress-releasing before you sleep. A lot of people prefer to read a few chapters of a book, others prefer le cocoa, prayer, some take a hot bath, drink hot herbal tea or warm milk. Whichever you prefer, studies show that people who actively reduce stress prior to bed have more productive (REM) sleep and wake up more rested.

9. If none of that works - nap. Even a nap as short as 20 minutes is considered more refreshing and invigorating than a energy drink. If you have a chance to close your office door (slip out to your car) at midday and catch a few winks, your mind and body with thank you for it.

So... I'll sleep now if you don't mind. Who gets eight hours a night? Who's on that Rise & Grind theory? Who (like me) is afflicted with regular bouts of insomnia? What's your favorite sleep remedy? Let's talk sleep habits, BougieLand. The floor is yours...

41 comments:

Sol_dier said...

Used to suffer from chronic insomnia, now it only appears maybe twice a month
I average 6 - 7 hrs a night.  I take a nap early saturday afternoon to make up for fri & saturday night outings. 
Got tired of living like a zombie so decided to do whatever it takes to get at least 6 hrs sleep a night.
gave up coffee, exercised more, got rid of the TV and made my bedroom a strictly sleep + cocoa zone.
Gave myself a weeknight bedtime regardless of my level of sleepiness or not. 

taut_7 said...

yeah i never understood those people who don't value sleep. i sleep 6-7 hours a night. i mean if i'm working towards a specific goal that might not allow sleep then fine but to continually not sleep? naw i'm good. even when my schedule had me at the gym at 5am i was in bed by 11pm. i need sleep to function. 

these are good tips. doing something stress relieving before sleep is a great. i usually read and pray. i also don't consume caffeine and i've cut sodas out of my diet. another thing is working out in the morning. it may suck at first but once your body gets used to it you'll feel more energized throughout the day. 

Lady4Real said...

I'm feeling a theme here the past two days and I love it. Keep us healthy Chele!!!

I never had sleep issues until my ex-husband. My Daddy raised us with set bedtimes which instilled in me a sense of bedtime which I clung to for most of my life. Friday and Saturday are always stay up late nights and sleep in mornings, Sunday is back to bedtime as usual. I have to get at least 6 hours or I am worthless. My hubs tucks me in at night and I sleep like a baby until morning.

With my ex I was getting maybe four hours of sleep between arguing, taking him to the hospital, working a crazy schedule in retail and just plain ole stress and depression. That tore my system up, I was sick often, tired all the time and struggling with depression like it was a 500 lb man, needless to say I was gettin' my tail whipped. After going through all of this I promised myself that I would make my life as stress free as possible, get good sleep and value my sanity.

Good food, good sleep, being active and keeping a positive frame of mind does wonders for the mind, body and soul.

MsJamie14 said...

"rise & grind" or "you can sleep when you're dead" quote, I'd be retired to my tropical island.

Amen! Don't forget the "you sleep, I grind' one as well. Am I supposed to be impressed? Holler at me when you have a heart attack at 40, cuz I'll be healthly and rested cuz I actually keep balance in my life. LOL

I only need 6 hours and can get by on less, but WHY? I'm not going for world domination, I'm going for happiness and a drama free existance. There is such a value when you're not stressed. My skin looks great, I'm healthy and hardly ever gets sick. It's easy to be happy when you look good and feel good. I'll take that door, thank you!  

SingLikeSassy said...

Please don't let me not get 8 hours of sleep. You won't like me if I'm sleepy.

Jasmin said...

I am neurotic about getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and it works, since I'm a teacher and sleep deprivation + 19 7-year-olds is a bad idea.

My advice, especially to other 20-somethings in their first or second "real job": Don't complain if you willingly take a "morning person" job while not being a morning person yourself. I taught summer school with a bunch of night owls, and on Day 3 I said, "Well, this might not be the career for you." Even if school starts at 8:45, like mine, teachers have to be there at 8, per our contracts. And that doesn't take into account morning meetings and prep. Complaining makes you look silly, not sympathetic.

Alia Moss said...

Something I'm working on now. The reins were tightened on our work schedule, so I've needed to be at work 2 hours (!) earlier than I'm used to in order to leave when there's still a little light outside. That's my fault for pushing the boundaries of being admin roster and having no "set" hours, but it's jacking up my body clock. I come home and crash! Like not realizing I'm asleep until I wake up. Then I'm wide awake when I would normally be getting ready to sleep for the night. I'm going to have to try to keep moving once home until I can just go to bed for the night.

Jeannette said...

Girl i'm a STRONG advocate for sleep.  My friends clown me because I will cut a night short to get my sleep on.  I say it keeps me looking young.  I get no less than 7 hours sleep a night.  So "chile boo" to those who say "They sleep we grind".  Later for that.

Maureen said...

Grad school has me sleeping  4 hours at least  4 days a weeks.
"When people think of "total wellness" most focus on diet and exercise not realizing that lack of sleep is just as detrimental to our health."<------ this here is TRUTH.  my cousin recently had a baby and I'm helping out, bab has cholic and somedays I operate on less than 2 hour of sleep. Last saturday fatigue caught up with me and my body crushed on me. I rarely get sick and do not take naps during the day. I   was sick like a dog, went back to bed around 2 pm and woke up at 10. The positive note the baby is getting better and  he is starting to sleep more.

michaeldavis said...

I can't sleep 7-8 hours without feeling dead in the water. 5-6 hours are perfect for me. 


I definitely agree on a lot of the points, I would suggest setting a cut-off time for anything money-related (paying bills, balancing checkbook, etc). 

blackprofessor said...

I don't play with my sleep! I get 6 to 8 hours, depending on when I go to bed and when I fall asleep. I am working on the relax routine before bedtime as that hinders how long it takes me to fall asleep. The stuff I used to do in college and my 20s are no bueno for me now. 

thinklikeRiley said...

Riley likes his sleep. I'd sleep 10 hours a night if I could. I usually get around 6 or 7.

Javalicious said...

Small children have no respect for my need for sleep. I remember my mother telling me when my son was born "You won't get another full night's sleep for eighteen years" - so far she's right. So I'm all over nap time.

La said...

I've had terrible bouts of insomnia since I was a teenager. And EVERYTHING about my health suffers when my sleep is outta wack. That "sleep when you're dead" mantra only works for the people planning to fall over at 45, because that's exactly where not taking care of yourself will get you.

As an adult trying to combat insomnia I have invested in the quality of my sleep. I have a great bed. I have an amazing pillowtop mattress. My sheets are a ridiculously high thread count. I try to keep my bedroom cool, dim, and quiet. I try to utilize scents that promote relaxation and rest; lavender, eucalyptus, mint. And I find if I try to keep myself on a sleep schedule, just like with exercise, my body responds positively.

Trey Charles said...

My current sleep at midnight up by five thing is not working for me. At all. I've been sick more in the last six months than I can remember. Think they'd notice if I laid my head on my desk for five minutes?

ASmith said...

Not getting 8 hrs... thanks grad school.  All that rise and grind stuff grinds nothing but my gears.  Have a damn seat.

I get sleepy in the middle of the day and a second wind at night.  Not a good look when you need to be up at 6am. :(

TrulyPC said...

Sleep was everything prior to having a child.  There was no party, work or S/O that could
rate higher than my need to get at least 8, 10 or 12 hours.  After
having a child it is like my body rejects the idea of sleeping straight
through the night.  My child is a teenager and I still sleep as softly
as when she was a newborn.  But I make sure that I have a set bedtime
(so that I can get at least 6 hours) regardless of how many times I may
wake up during the night.

TrulyPC said...

Yes. :) It's time to move the bedtime back a couple of hours.

Lady4Real said...

I got my sleep back around age 8 for my oldest. I taught them how to pour cereal so at 8 he was making breakfast for himself and his 6 year old brother. They are now 12 and 10 and never bother me in the morning but we all seem to get up at the same time now so life is good.

MsJamie14 said...

My mothers told me years ago: "once you have a child, you'll never sleep soundly again." Not looking forward to that! :-( She's a worrier though, I'm not, so I hope I can avoid that. I don't need a lot of sleep, but appreciate it greatly while I'm getting it!!!

The_A said...

#TeamWinterHibernation #TeamAfternoonNap

I dream of a world where we take long naps under big shady trees on a warm sunny day!

EC Thompson, MD said...

Do you type cut energy drinks? Wow! It is pretty amazing that we actually have energy drinks in the stores. They do absolutely nothing for us. Yes, you do get a temporary boost of energy then, you get the inevitable low. The advice here is 100% in line with medical recommendations. Congratulations. Basically recommending what your mother and grandmother told you when you were growing up is 100% correct. Eat right. Drink plenty of water. Exercise. Get plenty of sleep.

Earthangel172 said...

I'm averaging 6-7 hours a night. Not to shabby, eh? Despite all of this sleep I'm getting, I am NOT a morning person and need a cup of Joe to get me going.

Also, its been two years since I've had a tv in my room. My ol' 19 inch box tv died on me and I decided not to replace it.  Best.decision.ever.

Most nights my daughter and I eat around 6:30-7ish and I'm in bed between 10 and 11 and up in the morning by 5:30.

Nutty Profezzor said...

I'm a 7-9hr kind of girl and I don't apologize for it! Sure, I have to be more organized to make good use of the time I have left in the day. It's worth it though, because with anything less than 6hrs and a 20min afternoon nap I'm pretty much useless. Having a baby down the road is going to be a struggle though!

Earthangel172 said...

I usually read and pray.

^^This! I find it hard to sleep when I don't pray before bedtime.

Grace said...

Oh, the coffee in the morning - cola at lunch - energy drink in the afternoon is not the business? Jangly nerves and headaches are not what's hot in the streets?

CaliGirlED said...

The niteowl struggle is REAL!!! I used to be known for giving major attitude if my phone rang before 10am on the weekend. I am the Queen of Napping! And should you happen to call me when I'm sleep (even if you think I should be awake), just call me back later; unless it's important, and even then you need to make sure I'm clear on the need for this conversation to take place right now. Not out of  being mean, but I so that I can fully wake up. Otherwise I won't remember the convo.

I'm good with 6 - 7 hours of sleep, add in a 1 - 2 hour nap midday, and you have one happy CaliGirlED. (Over 8 hours of sleep and you have to pry me out of bed!) I dream of siestas!

As for your recommendations, I have mastered #3! Going to really try sticking to 1, 4 and 8.  (When I used to work out faithfully, I didn't struggle as much with getting up in the morning.)

tiffanyinhouston said...

I'm getting about 6 hours now. And lots of naps on weekends. It's not working. I need to get gadgets out of my room. One night hubs came to bed and the TV was blaring and my Nook, laptop and cell phone were all over the bed. No bueno.

My skin is showing it too. More water and more sleep for TIH in 2012!

rhenewal said...

Which is why I work nights. Still sucks to some extent, but waking up at 5am was not for me.

rhenewal said...

Hmm. I work 12-hr night shifts, so my sleep schedule is... different. 

I tend to go to bed at 9am and sleep until 5pm on the mornings following the nights I've worked. If I'm off, however, I'm in bed at anything between midnight and 4am, and I only need 5 hours of night-time sleep. Sleeping at night is overall much more restful than sleeping during the day. 

I do pretty well, overall though. Drink lots of water, little caffeine, no one to argue with (single hood has its perks, I guess), don't eat before bed, and usually read for an hour or so before I turn out the lights.

Marioned said...

I learn the value of sleeep many years ago so " I get mine".  No apologies!  And it shows no bags or wrinkles:fresh face. Sleep is one my top 3 things in life!!! SES 

Rubie said...

To hell with all that I am #teamsleep 

GammasWorld said...

I represent the NC Chapter of #TeamInsomnia these days.  Part of it has been not handling stress properly but part of it is just dang getting older.   I hope the bruhs excuse me for a minute, but ladies menopause does some thangs ... not just the one thang I couldn't care less about either.  If I sleep a solid 5 hours, I'm happy as a lark.  I can go to bed at 9, 10, 11, or 12 and still wake up at some ungodly hour (usually between 3:00-3:30 am.) looking at the dog who's sleeping soundly.   

I wish I could follow my own body clock right now and wake up at 3:00-3:30, stay up a couple of hours, sleep again for a few hours, as needed.  I feel best when I'm able to do that on the weekends.   I'm trying to avoid adding yet another pill to my daily intake but GamMa is TIRED :( and might have to resort to a sleep aid soon.  

Mina B. said...

I LOOOVES me some snooze...but since I work odd hours, am a night person, and have busy mind-itis, I don't get nearly enough sleep. I made an effort a few months back b/c it was getting ridiculous but old habits die hard. I should be sleep now :\

Brenda Kay said...

I am a proud night owl, but I must have 8+ hours of sleep. Fortunately, I work for myself, so unless there is a real good reason, I'm not waking up before 10:30am. And mercy on the person foolishness enough to call me before 11am. :-)

CaliGirlED said...

Yeah I wish I could sleep on my own schedule as well because some nights I just can't go to sleep!

Have you tried chamomile tea? (I need to, especially when I have a lot on my mind.)

CaliGirlED said...

I remember that when I was self-employed. I did have to get up in the morning to get my daughter off to school, but knowing that I was going right back to sleep made it ay-okay!

GammasWorld said...

Oh to be self-employed.   Talking about something I wish I knew in my 20's LOL.  

GammasWorld said...

Haven't tried chamomile tea yet but I'll try just about anything now :) 

rhenewal said...

There is also some tea company that sells Sleepytime tea. Works really well for some insomniac cousins of mine. I wanted to call the company Herbal Essences, but I think it's actually Celestial Seasonings.

Brenda Kay said...

GammasWorld ~ I was well into my 40's when I finally figured out that:

1) I had the talent to go out on my own and make it. 
2) That I'm so much happier working for myself. 

It's hard work and long hours (it's nearly 3am now and I'm just wrapping up my day), but I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

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