The obstacle to your peace could be a number of things – the voice in your head reminding you of past mistakes, concern over not making enough money, or disagreements with your family . Your obstacle might be the health scare you had when you went for your cancer screening, or your unruly teen who is tattooing and piercing every part of her body.
All of it causing stress and having a negative impact on your mind body and spirit including not getting enough sleep. In any case, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you are increasing your stress, compromising your health and probably operating well below your potential.
One of the first and most important things to do to build a stress resilient body is to get enough sleep on a regular basis.
Here’s what I mean. You look at the clock. It’s 2 a.m. You’ve been trying to get to sleep since 11 pm, and you’re still awake. Your mind races, your eyes are burning and worse still you feel exhausted.. Your muscles are tense. You think you’ll never get any rest. Sound familiar? if so, you are one of 60 million people in the U.S. who suffer from some form of insomnia.
A recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation indicates that 58 percent of adults in America experience insomnia at least a few nights a week. Insomnia increases with age, afflicting approximately 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women.
Over half of the American work force reports that sleepiness on the job interferes with the amount of work they complete.
Unfortunately sleep disorders and insomnia often disturb our sleep even if we go to bed on time.
Sleep deprivation has a specific and dramatic physical effect on the body. Te average adults requires eight hours of sleep per night. If you don’t get enough sleep you could experience the following:
- Increased irritability
- Decreased ability to concentrate and understand information
- Increase likelihood of making mistakes andhaving accidents
- Increased clumsiness and slower reaction times
- A suppressed immune system
- Undesirable weight gain.
We may not be able to eliminate all stress from our lives, but we can minimize it. Here are some strategies:
- Figure out why you aren’t’ getting enough sleep, then commit to changing your routine. How can you rearrange your schedule to get some things done earlier, allowing for an earlier bedtime.
- Get thing out of your head and down on paper. Make a list. Organize your next day’s activities into three categories: “To Call,” “To Buy, “To Do.” Attach a specific time to each activity, and rest assured that you won’t wake up to chaos.
- Create a bedtime ritual for yourself. Your routine should include a series of steps that are conducive to relaxation – for example a bath or shower, then perhaps a few minutes of deep breathing. Read or listen to music as you drink a cup of herbal tea or warm milk. Create a barrier of calm between your jam-packed day and your bedtime.
- Try not to get into the habit of falling asleep in front of the TV.
- Do some progressive relaxation techniques. Relax your body. When you get into bed, lie flat your back for a few minutes. Tense and relax each muscle group as you work your way up from your toes to your temples.
- Monitor your breathing by focusing on breathing in and out without any expectation. This will allow you to relax and not feel tense because you haven’t fell asleep yet.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping it may be a good idea to speak with your doctor. To rule out any medical reasons, most of which have an easy quick such as sleep apnea. I now several business owners who burn the midnight oil and wonder why they are not as effective as they would like to be in the morning. Sleeping is just as important as eating and breathing and sleep deprivation should not be taken lightly. Remember feeling energized and ready to go in the morning takes a good night sleep.