Living

Sleep is when our body makes repairs. 

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? According to the sleep foundation adults require 7-9 hours of sleep. Most of the people I know don’t meet that requirement; I certainly didn’t. As I’ve focused more on healing and improving the quality of my life I’ve found that getting adequate sleep makes a huge difference. 

Even though I know how important sleep is, it can be hard to get to bed and sleep. Gatherings with friends, watching a show or movie, even just having some quiet “me time” easily lead to late nights and insufficient sleep. Jobs and young children equal early mornings; if you have a baby you’re up around the clock! 

Personally, life with Crohn’s disease means that if I get less than 9 hours of sleep I feel it the next day both in how I feel and in how much I can do. Less than 7 hours of sleep and I’m an aching mess struggling to get dinner done. 5 hours and I’m physically ill. So I really prioritize getting my sleep. For me to get 9 hours of sleep my be in bed sleeping time (versus getting ready for bed) is 9:00- working backwards from a wake up time of 6:00. Luckily for me we’re a bunch of homebodies so late nights out are rarely a problem. Late nights in on the other hand….  
This is were I have to be mindful and intentional. Just because its 9:00 doesn’t mean I, or anyone else in the household, feels ready for bed. In fact it feels kinda early- we’ve got time for the next episode early. Additionally, I usually knit or sort through our sheeps’ fleece while tuning in so the longer I’m up the more I get done. However, getting stuff done today at the expense of tomorrow isn’t worth it. 

At least that’s what I try to remember. So I put down the projects and remind myself I can always watch that episode another time. I try to minimize light sources- turning off the lights and setting my phone to filter out the blue light. I’m sure going screen free in the bedroom would be even more effective but we’re not there yet. I also listen to guided meditations, closing my eyes and relaxing has me asleep in no time. After years of using the same meditation it has become extremely effective, relieving pain during flares, reducing stress and easing me into restful sleep. 

If you regularly get less than optimum sleep I strongly recommend you try to sleep for 7-9 hours a night for a week. I think you’ll be surprised by the results and motivated to continue. 

Are you prioritizing your sleep? Share in the comments below what works for you.

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