The Trouble with Sacrificing Sleep



The other day, I got to take a nap.  (Cue the angels singing!)  This is not a casual occurrence.  It’s rare.  It’s winning the lotto rare.  So, you may be asking yourself, how did this happen? Well, let me tell you.  My body said STOP.  It said stop as I was driving my daughter home from school.  

It’s about a 20-minute drive, and I should have been able to handle it.  But, about five minutes away from home, my body said screw this jazz, we’re outta here, Ladypants! And, at that moment, I had to fight to stay awake.  I felt narcoleptic. It reminded me of times driving back to college, after a trip home, only I didn’t have a cold milkshake to wake me up… or bring the boys to the yard.  

So, when I arrived at my house, I told my husband, who was actually home (that’s rare, too) what happened.  Then, I found my bed.  My husband let me sleep for two hours.  He took the kids outside; they did not bug me, and it was glorious!  I dreamed good dreams and woke up a new person.  

Looking back, I had signs of sleep-deprivation.  My short-term memory was waning.  While cooking, I would take out the salt and garlic powder, then immediately go back to the pantry to find them.  I would become very frustrated before wandering back over to the counter and finding them beside my bowl.  

This also happened with my lipstick.  Every day, I put my make-up on in a pretty consistent order. Lipstick is almost always last, after lip balm.  I searched and searched for my lipstick in my make-up bag, but it was already sitting beside it-staring at me.  The last time something like this happened, I found the almond milk, that I was looking for in the fridge, sitting lonely on the kitchen-island.  I felt like a poltergeist was living with me.  It was my own version of the chairs on the kitchen table.  If you have never seen the original Poltergeist, do it.  It’s important for awareness of sleep-deprivation.  

Since that fateful nap, with great dreams, I’ve decided to make a change.  I’m going to put myself on my priority list.  Coincidentally, I found that Gabrielle Union does the same thing.  I came across an article where she claims sleep as her anti-aging secret.  Sounds good to me!   

To-Do List:

Sleep More at Night

If  it’s not possible to get a full 8 hours at night due to kids, job, cats meowing after catching play mice, dog howling in response to cat yowling, sick kids, weird shadows waking kids up… etc., I will endeavor to take a 15-20 minute nap without feeling guilty about it AT ALL.

Media Breaks

Honestly, I could watch CNN all day, but it is making me crazy.  Taking a break from media- Facebook, CNN, PBS, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, E!, friends posts on social media, instant messages, e-mails -ALL OF IT.  Shut it off for a bit.  It is amazing the calm that comes from a bit of silence.  Plus, it can calm cortisol levels down.  Media breaks are precious.

Sun Salutations

I used to do a least 10 sun salutations a day, but I let my kids get in my way, literally.  Now, I am carving out that time again.  My body needs to stretch.  I wake up all crumpled and creaky.  I need to move the synovial fluid around.   

Self-Care is NOT Selfish.

We all need to take better care of ourselves.  So often, we feel that by putting ourselves on the priority list, we are being selfish.  When actually, by taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of the little people who depend on us to be alert for them.   So, take a nap, take a break, heck, take a breath.  It might just make you happier and healthier.

P.S.  Click here for comic relief.