Family life, social life, and professional life are a few of the many factors that can lead to sleep deprivation. Many of us wear many hats and play various roles. We are providers, nurturers, caterers, givers, and bosses. But we often forget to be human and take care of self. Being a boss means I have the power to self-sustain while guiding others. How can we effectively guide others if self-preservation is not a priority? Most of us are well-groomed and know how to fake it until we make it. We can hide the bags and dark circles, but can we really afford to keep “faking it until we make it”? Absolutely not! Studies show that people who have an insufficient sleep pattern are 60% less likely to reach long-term and short-term goals.
To reach our goals and to maintain all-around efficiency we should be catching six to eight hours worth of Z’s. Many of us are lucky if we get a full four hours of sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans are sleep deprived. How do you think a lack of sleep affects us overall? The answer is not as simple as lackluster productivity or fatigue; sleep deprivation can compromise our overall health. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, emotional disorders, and more can all be caused by sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can either be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary sleep deprivation because of social engagements or work can cause sleepiness during the day that is harmful to ourselves and others. On the other hand, involuntary sleep deprivation can result from stress or depression. If you are stressed or depressed, it is important to discuss these problems with a professional.
Need a good night’s rest? Try these holistic tips.
- Leave work at the office. The bedroom is for sleeping and romance only (by the way, a steamy encounter is the ultimate sleeping aid).
- Make sure temperature settings are comfy in the bedroom.
- Avoid watching TV or discussing intense issues while in bed. Instead, pray, read, or write in your journal before bedtime.
- Avoid sugary caffeinated drinks before turning in. A cup of hot chamomile tea with honey is a safe bet.
- Avoid naps during the day. If you do nap, don’t sleep for more than 25 minutes.
- Try yoga or other forms of meditation and relaxation modalities, such as getting massages regularly.
- Massage a few drops of lavender or valerian essential oil on your temples before going to bed.
- Sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil inside your pillowcase.
- Use an aromatherapy diffuser to waft the scent throughout your bedroom.
- Celery is also useful in the treatment of insomnia. Celery juice mixed with a tablespoon of honey makes a delightful drink.
- Pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds all contain L-tryptophan, a substance the body uses to convert to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Try nibbling on a handful of seeds nightly 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Melatonin is useful in the treatment of insomnia. You can get it naturally from adding plant-based foods to your diet — bananas, pears, cherries, leafy greens, and nuts. You can also purchase melatonin in supplement form. Always consult your physician before taking new supplements.
If you have severe insomnia consult a physician or therapist because it can be a symptom of a more serious issue.
Coach P. (@coachpsays) is a comic book reading, lipstick wearing, fitness pushing, holistic health coaching expert inspired by Christ, people, and nature. To learn more about Coach P. visit www.coachpsays.com.