pretty lady sleeping - Copy

If I only had a nickel for every time I heard someone say that. For the love of Pete…..stop it!  Did you ever stop and think for one minute why you are so tired? (Maybe you didn’t).  Let’s talk about it.

-Is it just something you say? Or are you really tired?

-Why are you so tired?

-Do you not sleep well?

-Why not? That needs to be addressed.

-I hear you loud and clear. “I can sleep when I’m dead”. Umm. Interesting concept.

-Did you know lack of proper sleep affects your swimming (running, Pilates, Cross Fit, yoga, skiing, surfing, tennis and biking, and fill in the blanks)?  The better you sleep the better you will swim (run, do Pilates, Cross Fit, yoga, ski, surf, tennis, biking and fill in the blanks).  Yes, it’s that simple.

-What is the proper amount of sleep? Beats me. I am not a sleep expert (I am a swimming teacher). According to the sleep experts adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. You would know what is best for your body and mind. Maybe you need more.

-Lack of sleep makes you crabby. Makes you overeat. There is some irony for you.  Did I mention crabby?

-Poor sleep is linked to inflammation, depression, and the common cold. Yikes!

-Did I hear you say Martha Stewart only sleeps four hours a night? Does she swim, run, and do Cross Fit, yoga, ski, surf or whatever? I never see her doing those things in her magazine. What I do see is she has a large staff to help her all day long. Even a driver to schlep her from her New England home to New York City. Maybe she is sleeping on the long drive?? We don’t know.

You can have the best food and stretching program in the world, but if you are not getting a good sleep your body cannot recover.  Your efforts are wasted.

-What I do know is we need to sleep. Remember the crabby part?

-Here are some suggestions from sleep experts to help you sleep.

  1. Create a mega sleep fortress. What does this mean? A clean, uncluttered room. I am ‘assuming’ we are adults here reading my blog. Make your mother proud. Clean your room. A dark room is also very beneficial. There are “black-out” curtains you can buy. Who knew? They have a dark underside to them. The top-side of the curtains are nice. Ok, they are not cheap. But they will help you acquire the dark room. You do not have to have a Bat Cave. Just sayin. Hey, maybe you like a Bat Cave. Whatever works for you?
  2. Keep it cool. Ever notice that you tend to sleep a little better when you are slightly cool and all bundled up in your sheets and blankets? Take a shower or bath before you go to bed.
  3. Please don’t make me say it. Argh. (I know I am going to get blowback.) The devices must be turned off. Power off the electronics and stop that whiny light from blinking at you. (Remember these tips are from the sleep experts) don’t pound me.
  4. Stop hitting the snooze button. (“But I need it, it’s how I wake up”!) According to the sleep experts what happens when you hit the snooze button and roll over you are starting the sleep cycle over. And the reason it gets harder to fight off the alarm is that the early stages of sleep are deep.
  5. Before we go to sleep ‘show gratitude’ for the things in your life. Mentally list the things you are grateful for. We are all grateful for the obvious ones. Children, spouses, partners, pets. But what about the present moment. How about that songbird that sings to you every morning? Sunrises and sunsets. A cup of Earl Grey tea. The strength in your body as you swim, run, and do yoga, garden, and all your activities.

And let’s not forgot the benefits of taking a nap.  When fatigue sets in a quick nap can do wonders for your mental and physical being. However, there are negative stigmas associated with taking a nap.  Taking a nap is not only for children, the sick or elderly, nor does it show you have lack of ambition or low standards. There is no shame in taking a 20 to 30 minute nap. Experts say this improves your alertness and performance without leaving you groggy or interfering with your regular sleep.

“Some National Parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree something is wrong”.  George Carlin.