I was listening to Dr. Oz talk about sleep patterns the other day and he had 8 questions about how/when you sleep. If you answered 3-4 or more with a yes, you apparently have sleep issues. The questions ranged from when you fall asleep (in a moving car, in front of the tv, in a movie, in a conversation) to whether you wake up in the middle of the night. I always thought I was a “good” sleeper – I fall asleep easily and I don’t really have problems with insomnia unless I’m really upset about something. That’s a good, solid sleeper, in my mind. Or at least it was . . .
I answered about 5 of the 8 questions with a yes. Yes, I fall asleep in front of the tv. Yes, I fall asleep in movies sometimes. Yes, I fall asleep while riding in cars as a passenger. So what???? I also talk in my sleep according to all my roommates. Apparently I have a really good time, too, because I’m usually laughing and joking. What’s the problem or the issue with that? Plus, I really value sleep – I think it’s important to get it, to get enough and I don’t fool around with it. I go to sleep around the same time each night and I try to get 7-8 hours a night. Is that not enough?
According to Dr. Oz and his co-author (You Breathing Easy – I’m playing the audio book in my car), there’s more to it and I could be doing better. You see, if you haven’t heard, sleep is so essential to our health. And our stress manifests itself during our sleep or prevents us from sleeping. I hear you – we all know that, you’re saying! So, what are we doing about it – that’s the question. Since I’ve always viewed myself as a “good sleeper” I never saw the need to “do anything about it.” But maybe I can do better. Maybe I can have more restful sleep and wake up feeling energized and ready for the day. Maybe I can really get my energy back while I sleep. Maybe then I’ll stop falling asleep in front of the tv or in movies (but maybe not if I continue to make some bad movie choices!) or while riding in cars.
Honestly, I like little cat naps in the car while I’m riding, so I’m not really all that jazzed about working that out of my life. But I am interested in this concept of making my sleep really work for me. As a “good sleeper,” I’ve taken it for granted. So, to get that sweet sleep, I’m going to do the following: (1) pay attention to my sleep patterns; (2) prepare for sleep by turning off that tv and shutting down my mind (much harder to do, quite frankly) and meditating for a good 10-15 minutes (that’s a really long time!) before going to sleep; and (3) stop assuming that I’m a good sleeper and that’s enough. Even though I have no problem recognizing when it’s time to go to sleep and doing just that – according to my mom I’ve always been that way even since I was a toddler – it’s high time to do something more than that and value my sleep even more. We can talk about the eating before (and in) bed in another post!
Grateful to be a good sleeper but seeking to be a better one,