Sleep, sweet sleep

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,



Nicole Hancock Husband is an attorney and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (“CPCC”). Nicole graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1996 with a Juris Doctorate and from Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a Finance/International Studies double major and Spanish minor.