Sleep – The Undervalued Gift
NOGA Wellness Solutions®
In our last installment, we discussed the various areas of self-care for maintaining wellbeing. One of the areas – sleep – is my personal nemesis. I’m always trying to “tweak” my sleep hygiene to get as much benefit as possible from it. I aim to get the recommended eight hours, but it doesn’t always happen. I used to think I didn’t need sleep. I’d go to sleep late, wake up early, and have energy during the day. Most people I speak to tell me if they don’t sleep, they don’t function the next day; they’re tired, cranky, etc. I thought I was different. Boruch Hashem, I always had energy despite my poor sleep habits. Little did I know that I was really harming my body on so many levels, thinking how clever I was “optimizing my time” by staying up later and working later! (More about that in another post.)
In the 21st Century, sleep is a very underrated, undervalued, and underutilized gift for replenishment and regeneration. These days, people brag about staying up late to overwork or party all night. Our body needs sleep for its systems to stay in their exquisitely balanced synchrony. The recommended sleep time for an adult is 7-9 hours per night. Lack of sleep can adversely alter many of the body’s systems, to say nothing about one’s emotions, ability to think intelligently, have good reaction time, respond calmly and not overreact, etc. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, Ph. D., is a fascinating read that inspires better sleep hygiene. In the book, he bemoans our sleep-deprived public:
“That low-level exhaustion becomes their accepted norm or baseline. Individuals fail to recognize how their perennial state of sleep deficiency has come to compromise their mental aptitude and physical vitality, including the slow accumulation of ill health. A link between the former and the latter is rarely made in their mind.”
I’ve compiled a useful two-page handout to give you ideas and information about how you can improve your sleep experience and enhance your overall wellbeing. CLICK HERE for my “Sleep Hygiene for Adults.” There are many suggestions in it. When my clients ask me which ones are best, I tell them to experiment with what works for them. I did so for my own sleep experience. Some of my own favorites are lavender essential oil (either diffused or dropped near my pillow), supplements recommended by my medical practitioner (including magnesium and others), a dark and cool room, ‘detechnologizing’ (as early as possible…which is difficult), then reading a book (in other words, an old fashioned one made from paper) before falling asleep. When I am “wired up,” I do some guided imagery, and after my Shema prayers, I do relaxed breathing. (CLICK HERE to download my “Breathing Contest.”)
Just as a reminder, if you didn’t already take advantage, please enjoy our early Chanukah gift to you, good through the end of December. NOGA Sound Solutions® 30 Minute Sleep Audio “Rain on Foliage” FREE DOWNLOAD should be used before bedtime. For optimal benefit, use earbuds or headphones, since NOGA® sleep audios have a practically inaudible binaural beat track in the background intended to entrain your brainwaves to a sleep state. Please share your thoughts about your experience.