To bed when the sun goes down. Rise when the sun comes up. A very basic concept. A concept our ancestors adhered to likely because they didn’t have the luxury of electricity. Nonetheless, our biological clocks are wired that way. In this 24-Hour, technology driven society, however, rest is dismissed and the importance of sleep often overlooked. We are constantly on-the-go.
Until recently I was guilty of being always on the go, go, go. “I’ll sleep when I die,” was my motto. Every night I went to bed with my iPhone clutched in hand, feeling the need to answer every text or email right away. Some nights I’d even sleep with the radio on for background noise. I was known to work on projects into the wee hours of the night and proudly updating my Facebook status “Burning the midnight oil.”
I’m an information junkie. It’s the whole journalist thing — always seeking information. I read lots of magazines, newspapers, browse lots of websites, and I even read pamphlets and brochures that most others wouldn’t. Anyway, I’ve been reading lately about how important sleep is for a number of reasons, but particularly for those trying to lose weight. Hold up. So all these crazy nights of me staying up late “Burning the midnight oil” could be hindering my weight loss efforts? That changes the game. I had to re-evaluate.
As of late, I make it a point to start shutting it down when the sun sets. I’ll admit getting to bed by 9:30 pm no later than 10 o’clock is a little challenging since it’s summer and it stays light outside longer. Here’s my new way of thinking: If I am unable to complete a task on any given day, it can wait until the next day. That’s why there is a next day. Most of my deadlines I’ve learned are self-imposed. I’m giving myself permission to move the item or items around on my calendar. I’ve made it a priority, however, to get at least eight hours of sleep a night and a nap during the day when I can.
Since I started my new routine I’m more alert and focused and I’ve also noticed I get crabby when something interferes with my bedtime. No more of that ridiculous “I’ll sleep when I die,” mentality. I take sleep seriously. It’s the one chance I get to shut my mind and body completely down. Forget about everything. Refresh. Renew. Just as my body needs exercise and proper nutrition it also needs the proper rest and routine.
I’m on a mission to be healthy. My approach to health and wellness is holistic.