8 hours of sleep?

The general thinking in regards to sleep is that a person should get 8 hours of sleep for optimal rest and restorative function.  I don’t know about you, but it’s been years since I’ve gotten a straight 8 hours of sleep.  I don’t fall asleep immediately when I lay down, it takes a while to quiet my brain.  It usually requires some reading so that I can relax enough to, well, relax.  If there’s something bothering me, then it’s hours before I can relax.  On top of that, I only sleep for 3-4 hours until I wake up and then it takes about an hour to go back to sleep, and most of the time I lay there with my eyes closed, but fully awake.  It’s crazy!  But I’ve learned to operate on a lot less sleep than I ever thought I could.  I used to cherish my Sunday afternoon naps, but those are long gone. 🙂  I think my body is getting what it needs though, I haven’t fallen asleep driving or at my desk.  I haven’t forgotten to pick up my kids, and admittedly it’s been awhile since I’ve driven to the post office and forgotten why I was there.  I don’t generally have headaches or feel aweful, so based on that I’m going to say that even though I’m sure a straight 8 is a good idea in theory, I don’t think I’m hurting *that* much from not getting those hours of rest.  

Becoming a mom reduced my ability to sleep as well, and sometimes when I wake up at night I just have to go in and make sure that they are both ok.  Listen to them breathe.  Smell their smells.  Say a short prayer, and then I go back to bed and lay there for at least an hour.

Sometimes it’s just being afraid that I’m going to oversleep the next morning, that I can’t got to sleep at night, and then yes, I end up oversleeping.  Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy!  Some nights I resort to a relaxation technique I learned from yoga and it helps so I thought I would share it with you.  Considering that we all just lost an hour of sleep this past weekend I thought this might be helpful.  

  • Lay on your back, arms at your sides, palms up.
  • Take 3-5 comfortable deep breaths.
  • Start at your feet, breathe in and. as you exhale think to yourself, “Toes relax”
  • Envision the energy flowing out of that body part

Move up your body toes to head, and save arms last, so that the very last thing that you relax is your fingertips.  You can go as fast or as slow as you want, and you can move up the body in big chunks, or in small details.  

  • Big Chunks might look like toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, stomach, back, chest, neck, shoulders, head, arms, hands, fingers.  
  • Small details might look like toes, arches, heels, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, abdomen, chest, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, temples, head, upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, hands, fingers

Most of the times when I use this technique, I end up sleeping better than I ever hoped.  Considering that my household does not adjust well to time changes, I have a feeling I’m going to be needing this a lot this week!


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