I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m weird about sleep.
And have been as long as I can remember. I think this is partly because as a child, I’ve been told, for some reason I had difficulties falling asleep and this must have carried on more-or-less in to adulthood.
Now I’m not sure if this issues is a case of the chicken or the egg. I don’t know if I have problems falling asleep because I’m worried about whether or not I’m going to get enough sleep, or if it just takes me longer than average to fall asleep which then gives my brain plenty of time to fret about not being able to fall asleep.
In all fairness, I did used to be a lot more uptight about the whole sleep thing – that was until I had 2 kids, both of whom are currently under 2 and a half. And if you have small children, you know your days of 9 straight hours in bed are looooonnnng gone (I’m secretly excited about the teenage years when they refuse to get out of bed so I can again too!)
But back to the topic at hand. Me and sleep. Or sleep and I. Whatever.
Getting a good amount of sleep is important to me. And not just because it isn’t fun to feel tired all the time – actually I sometimes wish my only consequence for not getting enough sleep would be simple sleepiness – but for me sleep deprivation can have a noticeable impact on my emotional well-being .
When I’m tired I’m more irritable, less patient with my children, and have a harder time feeling like the happy and optimistic person I normally am. And because of this, I’m quite motivated to try as hard as I might to get the zzzz’s I need in order to be my best self.
Being weird about something usually means it’s pretty important to you. And that’s a good thing.
Sometimes I’m given a bit of a hard time about the whole need-for-sleep thing from some members of my family who can survive on little sleep, but I don’t want to just survive. I want to thrive.
So I keep sleep sacred.
It’s important we keep the key things that have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being sacred. Even if people criticise you for it. They may not understand why it might be especially meaningful and important for you, but you do. And that’s all that really matters here.
What are you weird about? Or in other words, what is sacred to you? Your daily exercise? Taking time to pray or meditate (or both) every morning? Having lunch with a good friend a few times a week? Getting to Yoga Class after work? Being out in nature on the weekend? Going for sunset walks on the beach? Taking your dog out to the park to play? Having story time with your children each night? Eating healthy food on a regular basis? Getting to church on Sunday? Taking long drives with your partner? Having some quiet alone-time right when you get home from work? It doesn’t really matter what it is.
And sometimes it might be hard to make this one thing a priority or you may have to go to more extreme measures to keep it sacred, but it will be worth it. Or should I say, YOU are worth it.
When we don’t take care of ourselves and the key things we may need in order to thrive, we are less productive, less creative, less inspired, less motivated, less happy, more lethargic, more irritable, don’t feel as good about ourselves and are also likely far less pleasant to be around.
Lucky for me, my husband totally gets, respects and supports my need for sleep (in part, I think, because it makes both of our lives much happier and more enjoyable when I am rested). He takes our toddler and infant in the morning on the weekends and lets me go back to sleep, and in the morning when he gets up earlier than me he looks after the kids while he gets ready for work and I go back to sleep for an hour until he leaves.
God bless this man. But if he wasn’t so gracious, understanding, and generous in this realm I think I would be tempted to hire a nanny to come in a few mornings a week so mama could sleep. This is how much I value how good I feel when I am rested.
What is the most important thing that makes a big impact on you feeling like your best self? And are you letting anything get in the way of ensuring it’s kept sacred?