Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wild Woman Wednesday
Pssst…. Lean closer into the computer screen, girls, because I’ve got a little secret that I want to share with you. You may already know it, but either we’re in denial about it, or feel we can’t do anything about it. Sometimes, as much as we hate to admit it, wild women are… weary. Can’t take one more step, draggin’ my booty, give me toothpicks to hold open my eyes T-I-R-E-D. Sorry, George Thorogood, we’re not just bad to the bone, sometimes we are just weary to the bone. And while the late, great Otis Redding recommended weary women try a little tenderness, frankly, I say try a little nap!!!
I’m right there with you, girlfriend. My shot of choice these days is a 5-hour energy drink, and I’ve often thought of painting open eyes on my eyelids so that if I drop off to sleep, nobody will notice. I’ve had times where I was walking across the room, and mid-step just slammed into that invisible wall and had to give up and go to bed. Admittedly, that’s rarely an option for us wild women. But did you know the harm lack of sleep can do to you, outside of those dark circles under your eyes and that perpetual IV drip of coffee?
Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity (1). The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need 7-9 hours a night. Are you kidding? Nine hours a night? Yeah, dream on (pun intended)!!! Nearly 30% of adults reported an average of less than six hours of sleep per day in 2005-2009. And I’m sure it has only increased since then.
Sleep is an important requirement in everybody’s lives, irrespective of age. When you sleep, your body tends to utilize that time to restore and energize your brain and your entire body. If you fail to get adequate rest, then it will lead to improper functioning of body organs, which will in turn cause several health problems. For instance, sleep disorders often leads to early aging, cause chronic illnesses as well as damages immune system. (2)
Today (or rather, tonight), do something really off-the-charts wild – GO TO BED EARLY! I know - it won't be easy, but you need to do this for YOU! The promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep: (3)
• Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
• Moderate physical activity may help promote sleep, but avoid vigorous exercise in the few hours before going to bed.
• Avoid large meals before bedtime.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
• Avoid nicotine.
So let me get this straight… to look better, feel better, lose weight, think better, have more energy, avoid early aging and illnesses, all I have to do is get more sleep? Yep – it’s as simple (and as hard) as that. Start exercising that sleep muscle tonight, wild women!!!! Sweet dreams!
1. Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.
3. Sleep Hygiene Tips adapted from the National Sleep Foundation