Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Magic Pill

It isn't very often that I get to say I have a magic pill for you.  I have one today.  A pill that is free, yes, free! A pill that will greatly improve your life.  A pill that doesn't add calories to your diet.  A pill that is available to every person on the planet.

You ready?  Naw, I'm going to make you wait.

I personally started taking this magic pill on a more regular basis about one year ago.  I didn't notice a difference right away.  I also noticed that taking this pill wasn't always easy.  Darn it.  But about 6 months into taking this pill, I started to notice a positive difference.  I was mentally clearer.  I didn't feel as stressed.  I wasn't eating like a maniac or drinking too much, at least not as frequently.  I felt stronger too.

Okay, I'll tell you now.


That's right, sleep.  Of course you sleep.  We all sleep. But do you sleep enough?  Did you know that adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night?  Did you know that insufficient sleep is now being considered a factor in all kinds of diseases, like diabetes, depression, even cancer?  I have your attention now, don't I? Here.  I found the data for you.  Reading this might make you fall asleep.  CDC Report on Insufficient Sleep

I've always loved to sleep.  I'm one of those people who could probably sleep for most of the day.  But even I was not getting enough sleep.  So, motivated by Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project(she says quality sleep is one of the keys to happiness) and my friend Susan (who has a life as full, if not fuller, than mine,  If Susan can find the time to sleep more, so can I), I decided to try to get better sleep.  I had already banished screens from the bedroom, as well as keeping the bedroom for sleeping...and maybe one other activity (wink, nod).  I knew that those were both important steps.  So I added going to bed earlier.  Not super early, but earlier.  I also started regulating my sleep - going to bed and getting up around the same time every day.  Going to bed earlier wasn't too difficult.  Getting up around the same time was hard, especially when I didn't have to get up.  I did it anyway.

Guess what?  As I said above, about 6 months in, I noticed I was much fresher when I woke up.  I didn't wander around the house like a zombie every morning.  I could actually talk to people and complete sentences within 5 minutes of waking up.  I also noticed that I wasn't getting as irritated with the small stuff. I felt stronger, both physically and mentally. While it's true that I was making other changes in my life, I'm pretty sure the added sleep was the bigger factor.

So, give it a try.  Here, this might help: