I wanted to take some time to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart – Sleep. Being that I have had difficulties with my own sleep in the past, sleep is a subject that I really encourage my clients to focus on, in addition to implementing a good sleep routine and sleep schedule.
Sleep is one of those things in my opinion that is truly instrumental and important to our health, yet it is typically one of the first things to be abandoned or neglected. How many times have we said to ourselves, “I’ll watch just one more episode” or “I’ll go on social media just for a couple of minutes” only to result in us neglecting our sleep and not getting the doctor recommended amounts of sleep per night?
I will be first to admit that I am guilty of this. I am guilty of staying up late, neglecting my sleep, and telling myself it will be “no big deal tomorrow" only to have to drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee the next day to realize that I should not have neglected my sleep the night before.
Think of how differently we act after just one night of bad sleep – we are tired, we are groggy, we are irritable, our bodies may need to get more energy from food causing us to eat more, our reaction time may be longer – which can be a safety hazard when driving. It can take us longer to process information making it harder for us to make good decisions, and that’s just the temporary effects. There is currently a lot of research being performed on the topic of sleep, and studies are showing that long term continued sleep deprivation can lead to some serious medical concerns.
I don’t say this to scare you, but just to let you know that the amount of sleep we receive is something we need to take seriously and make a priority. It is understood that we all have good and bad days, weeks, months, etc. But we want to do our best to set a good example for our kiddos and give ourselves the recommended amount of sleep we need.
Start small and try to implement small changes like;
Try these strategies this week and let me know how it goes, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what sleep strategies work best for you.
Also, check out the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) website which lists the recommended amounts of sleep per age. https://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep/index.html
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See you soon!
Michael Jankowski, MS, OTR/L
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