I put off having a sleep study done until this year. I tried to deny how important sleep was until I could see how not getting enough was affecting my health. So, for this post, I invited a specialist, Kelly Myerson, to contribute. She offers services to help you get your best sleep and has a free resource available. Before I share her post, I feel the need to point out why proper rest is needed.
One of the things that used to irritate me was when my narcissists called or woke me up at the most random times. I couldn’t unplug the phone or turn off the ringer because it would ring in the rest of the house to disturb everyone else, or I could miss an emergency call. I had to answer each time. 1:00am? 3:00am? Everyone in the house asleep but them? Didn’t matter. Full-blown rant.
If you’ve had to experience this tactic, I feel for you. It is a form of mistreatment often not recognized because of the way it’s done in the home. We don’t consider a spouse watching movies that keep us up night after night to be abusive. We try to accommodate them. However, if it was more overt like forcing us to stay awake or waking us up in the middle of the night to do some random activity, such as what you might see in a movie about college life when kids haze prospective members of their club, we would call it sleep deprivation.
Maybe you’re more of the workaholic who has the saying “I’ll rest when I’m dead.” You want to get as much done as you can and may believe that sleep is a waste of time. You’re tired, but you continue pushing yourself because you’re convinced that trading rest for productivity results in a better payoff.
"What Are the Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation?" – ABC Science video
We can often feel the effects of lack of sleep – exhaustion, dizziness, lack of focus, memory problems, crankiness, and more – but we continue to do it.
You may have heard about health benefits like growth or the body repairing itself during sleep, but did you know that’s the time the brain cleanses itself? Our brains have a fluid that clears away toxins while we’re at rest. That means that if we don’t give it time to do its job, we’re hurting ourselves in the long run. Sleep affects everything from DNA to immune function.
Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker
So, we see sleep is important. How can we be sure we’re getting enough adequate sleep? What to do? What to do? Well, we could consult a specialist.
Falling Into Sleep Coaching
Helping You Get Your Best Sleep Ever
by Kelly Myerson, MA, OTR
Sitting in my living room crying and doing my best to get my heart to slow down, I spoke out loud.
“It isn’t supposed to be like this!”
All my attempts to cultivate the perfect marriage were foiled by the combo of my ex-husband’s challenges with alcohol and my codependent tendencies. I thought I could “fix” him – spoiler alert I could not.
It’s been 15 years and a couple months since my divorce from my first husband. On my healing journey, I realized the worst damage done to me in our marriage wasn’t his drinking, it was my suppression of my SELF and lack of self-care.
Today, my healing has become amplified as I support other women in choosing to care for themselves first. The gravity of the choice of self isn’t lost on me. It’s heavy and sometimes hard. It reveals the darkness inside ourselves, but it’s worth bringing our darkness to the light.
Sleep is foundational for survival and so incredibly restorative, when we get enough and it’s high quality.
Most of my life, I struggled with sleep. As a child, I had intense nightmares, which became vivid night terrors when I was stressed. In college, I avoided sleep. Meanwhile, in my career in occupational therapy, I became a specialist in sensory integration therapy helping children and families with sleep.
It took the sleep deprivation of motherhood to finally realize – I was the sleep coach I needed. Taking the tools I used with my clients, I developed a 3-part framework for helping overwhelmed women tackle their sleep. The three areas are environment, mindset, and habits.
Through detailed assessment, I help you uncover the primary underlying area for their poor sleep. Then, I offer customized strategies to target either your sleep environment, mindset, or daily habits. My intention is to offer a solution, which gets you a better night sleep that night!
Sleep Tip – Mind-dumping Before Your Busy Brain Hits the Pillow
My first tip for you is to begin to cultivate an evening routine for yourself prior to bedtime. Research shows journaling prior to bedtime helps you to fall asleep more quickly. Grab a journal and a pen and find a cozy place to sit away from your bed. Take 20-30 minutes to write down what is on your mind. You don’t need to create an organized list, just get it all out. You may include to-do list items, something weighing heavily on your mind, or even the groceries you’ve been meaning to pick up.
Once you’re done, do something loving for yourself. You can take a hot shower or bath, wash your face, or read a favorite book. Then snuggle into bed knowing every small step in caring for yourself brings you closer to embodying wellness. May you have the best night of sleep.
Scullin, M. K., Krueger, M. L., Ballard, H. K., Pruett, N., & Bliwise, D. L. (2018). The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(1), 139–146. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000374
Kelly is an author, speaker, coach, and sleep expert who will cultivate space for you to emerge from stress and overwhelm to lead and savor the life of your dreams. As an occupational therapist, Kelly has over 20 years of experience specializing in sensory integration techniques. Her background in occupational therapy provides a unique perspective on development and the human condition. She helps overwhelmed working moms light up the world by taking them from burned out to radiating joy.
You can check out her recent chapter Sacred Sleep: Cultivating the Best Sleep of Your Life in the best-selling book, The Ultimate Guide to Self-healing, Volume 4, available at https://beingwellwithkelly.com/books/
Follow this link https://forms.aweber.com/form/84/605004184.htm to get a free sleep pdf, 10 Simple Secrets for the best Night of Sleep Ever.
One more reason to get a good night’s sleep | Jeff Iliff – link
Stibich, Mark. Isaac O. Opole, medical reviewer. “10 Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep.” Updated on May 19, 2021. link.