Is Rest Essential to your Wellness?

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There’s so much to do.  So little time to do it.  Is rest really that important?  Yes, yesss, YESSS! Here’s why… Remember when you were a kid and had bed times around 7:00, then 8:00, then 9:00, and eventually you were left on your own to go to bed responsibly. Oh boy I just knew I was grown then!  I tested the boundaries of my new found freedom by talking on the phone and trying to watch the late night talk shows.

I wasn’t one of those wimps that went to bed early was I?  I continued this into college, again swept with the new found freedom of independence. Freshman year I remember going to bed regularly at 1am and waking up early for an 8:00am class.  I realized I still ran out of steam around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon, and by late night I shouldn’t even attempt to study. I concluded that I am a morning person. And that the number of hours of sleep matters for me to make to most of it.

I don’t care about being a wimp any more.  I want to maximize my power and energy to accomplish whatever needs to be done during the day.  That means a happy Tonya goes to bed by 10pm and wakes up around 5am. If I’m really on my game, I start the morning with meditation and a workout.  Then watch out world, I am suited in my full armor to conquer the day ahead.

Our parents were on to something when they made us turn off the tv and go to bed.  You don’t see elementary school kids too tired to play.  And then they even get a nap during the day.  Why do we grow up and forget these things?

We put everything ahead of our own health and wellness.  We work excessively.  Go from meetings to sports events.  We binge on the news.  I’m asking you to think about your sleep habits over the years.  How you raised your kids to sleep and how you were raised.  Then think about your sleeping habits now.  Have they evolved for the better?  Find ways to improve your sleep.  Here are some tips.

1. Have a wind down routine before bedtime. A warm cup of tea. Wash your face, create a soothing environment with low lights or candles.

2. Turn off all devices and TV for 15 minutes prior to bed. I know tons of people that have become addicted to the white background noise of the TV and the glaring blue screen. Those comforting tools are actually distractions. It’s like riding a bike in the sand versus on the pavement.  Sure you’ll still get there, you may even like the way the sand feels under the tires, but the ride will be much more efficient on pavement.

3.Read a pleasant book, or focus on pleasant thoughts before closing your eyes. Reflect on your gratitude journal or count your blessings. Or just be sure to pray before bed.  Another childhood pastime that is often overlooked or forgotten.

4. Go to bed early and rise early. Go to bed late and rise late. Whatever your schedule permits, but do get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to be at your maximum potential.

Try it for a week.  Make it a priority and adjust other things in your life to allow yourself to make sleep a priority as many nights as possible.  Then compare how you feel and operate that week to the prior week.  I bet you will see a marked difference.

Please do something good for yourself and observe Global Wellness Day, this Saturday, June 9th. Add it to your calendar and get some rest!

UGottaEat…so sleep mindfully. :)