Life Balance: Getting Enough Sleep

It’s eight o’clock the kids are in bed, the laundry is folded and the dishes are done. You’ve just enjoyed an hour of quality time with your spouse and now you have a bit of time for you before bed. You jump under the sheets at exactly nine o’clock and have no troubles falling asleep. You awake refreshed and rejuvenated by six and find your entire day to be just as productive as the last one.

Who am I kidding here? My bedtime routines goes something a little more like this: it’s eight fifteen and the kids don’t even look tired. My spouse is sitting on the other side of the room, mad about something, but unable to talk about it while the kids are awake. There is a pile of dishes in the sink, but I can’t keep the kids out mischief for more than half a minute. Nine o’clock finally rolls around and the kids are in bed, except now one of them wants water and the other just has to read one more story.

When the house quiets my spouse corners me about a purchase I made and we spend an hour discussing and figuring out or finances. Finally, I do the dishes and get the laundry folded. Just when I think I might have a bit of time to do something I want to do I glance at the clock. It’s eleven-thirty and I’m going to have to get up and do it all over again at six the next morning. Sound familiar?

Getting enough sleep can be very difficult. If only we could be in bed by nine and up by six. We would never have to worry about being walking zombies the next day. But alas, that just isn’t reality.

Sleep is essential to our bodies functioning properly. We need it to give us energy and help our brains to work properly. So what can be done to help us get more sleep? As far as getting to bed on time is concerned, I know that isn’t always possible. But somedays the dishes might just have to wait so that you can get more sleep.

For me, the biggest issue between me and my sleep is how much my brain is working. I’m thinking about everything I need to do the next day and I can’t relax enough to get that much needed rejuvenation to accomplish all of those tasks. Not all hope is lost though, because I do have a few mind tactics to ease your body into a peaceful slumber.

 

Full System Shutdown

This is the time to push your busy day out of your mind. After you eyes are closed start thinking about each of  your muscles — starting with the ones in your forehead. Repeat the word relax or calm over and over in your head as each of your muscles unwind all the way down to your toes. If you’re still not asleep, start with your forehead again until you become fully relaxed.

 

Visualization

This is also a trick of the brain for those who toss and turn. Calming noises help significantly with this exercise, but aren’t necessary.  Imagine yourself in the most comfortable place (even if it’s imaginary) you know of.  Are you sinking into a soft cloud? What about a comfy beach chair? Where can you completely unwind and feel at ease? Wherever that place is find it and transport yourself there to find your comfort.

 

When it comes to getting enough sleep it may not always be easy to find the time, but it is the value of sleep that matters. I hope these tricks help you find the zen you need to have a peaceful, easy, rest.

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