And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. ~ Aeschylus
Today’s post will be a little shorter than normal due to a highly compressed trip to one of my favorite parts of the country, upstate New York. However, in contemplating my lack of sleep as I pen this, a timely article has presented itself…
In response to my last few posts on diet and exercise, a reader in Puerto Rico (h/t AA) advised: “Don’t punish yourself.” Indeed, beating yourself up isn’t going to help anyone, least of all you, so if improving your diet or developing a regular exercise routine aren’t in the cards right now, consider focusing on something else.
How about making sure you’re getting enough sleep every night? After all, not getting enough sleep has been linked to diabetes, obesity, depression (CDC) and it also increases your risk for heart attack, cancer, and stroke (LA Times).
Which begs the question, just how much sleep do we need?
The CDC reports an adult 18 to 60 years of age needs seven or more hours of sleep per night, a target that more than a third of us in the U.S. aren’t hitting. (CDC). Further, those of us who think we can get by on less are likely deluding ourselves, says Matthew Walker, founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science (LA Times).
So how do you go about getting a better night’s sleep? The CDC recommends these three tips:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Keep screens (e.g., phones, TVs, etc.) out of the bedroom.
And to that list, I’ll add two items of my own:
Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs – I bring these with me on travel and keep a pair on my nightstand in case there is a dog barking down the street or choppers overhead.
Urpower Air Humidifier – This highly effective humidifier also gives off a soothing background noise that helps me to fall asleep. When allergies or a cold hit, I’ll add a few drops of eucalyptus oil which, despite what I’m sure science says, seems to help.
On that note, time for me to wrap this one up, head to work, and wish you a good week. Before I do though, here are the Lumineers with their hugely popular song “Sleep on the Floor.” I’ll be sure to add to our ever-expanding Spotify playlist!
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Having said that, I am interested to hear from you. Good, bad, or otherwise, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m the only person who will read your email and, as time allows, I’ll do my best, at a minimum, to personally acknowledge receipt.