MY OLD SLEEPING HABITS
Years ago I would chase every opportunity, never miss a deal, I hated to lose, and would have a zillion thoughts going round in my head, how to get bigger, better and it would go on…I owned and ran a golf retail business for over 30 years. It grew from a corner shop with no staff, to 30 staff trading over 3 premises.
Why am I telling you this?
It’s certainly not to impress you!
Because during those 30 years, I drove myself very hard to succeed, never missing an opportunity to get bigger.
Who was I competing against?
God knows, The point of all this was my very poor sleep quality. Yes I was successful, with all trappings which success brings, but as any ambitious person would testify it comes with ‘trade-offs’. Usually affecting our health. In my case it was a series of depressive episodes covering 3 decades.
Without going into all the details, I guess I was not coping with the stress of ALL the above very well, affecting my sleep, my ability to make good decisions and ultimately my peace of mind.
Fast forward 35 years and here I am a “Sleep Evangelist”, probably similar to a smoker who eventually quits and becomes a Non-Smoker Evangelist”. They go out of their way telling smokers why they too should quit. And they even wear t-shirts like this one:
Now where can I find a T-Shirt that says “Quit Sleeping Badly”, Just has not got the same ring to it! But believe it or not it can be as serious as smoking! But if you are like me, life just gets in the way, I thought the odd bad nights sleep will be no big deal…
I can catch up later! I will have power nap in the daytime (I could never manage that). I will just power through (Whatever that means)
So what is the big deal about sleep?
OK its time to get a brew or even stop reading, because the next section goes on a bit and I will be in full “Sleep Evangleist” mode!
Yes its absolutley BLACK!
Light is strictly not allowed between the hours of 10-30pm and 6-30am.
It’s all thanks to my fabulous NEW BLACK OUT BLINDS!
I now take sleep extremely seriously.
Next. Have you ever heard of a hormone called Melatonin?
It’s the Hormone that get’s released by the pineal gland in the brain when it starts to get dark, it prepares your body for sleep, but more importantly it performs a whole host of critcal tasks for your contiuned health and longevity.
While you sleep, melatonin goes to work. Sometimes it is referred to as your body’s rubbish collector, because it goes to every cell in your body and cleans out the free radicals and other toxins that are harmful to your cells. Melatonin is perhaps the most powerful anti-oxidant your body has.
Melatonin also slows your system down, giving the heart and organs much needed rest. It does this by constricting the blood vessels in your arms and legs, pulling the blood away from your extremities and close to your vital organs our heart rate slows down, and your blood pressure falls significantly.
Even in people with high blood pressure, melatonin causes their night time blood pressure to normalize
Suffice to say, laptops, mobile phones, white lights and even the TV an hour before bedtime will reduce your Melatonin production and you will sleep badly.
If I read this 20 years ago, I would have probably completely ignored the message
But how things have changed, I now take sleep very seriously (I know I sound like a broken record)
Where’s my T-shirt?
So if looking for optimum health, which includes a healthy weight, lots of energy, a clear mind, a better mood and better relationships
It all starts with a good night’s sleep.
Apparently all the research says we should have a good sleep ritual, make sure our room is pitch black and around 15 degree celsius or slightly less.
Going to bed and rising at the same time every day, giving us between 7- 9 hours’ sleep.
It has taken me quite a number of years to eventually take all this on-board and actually take my sleep seriously, but now I even refuse the odd overnight invitation if it means not sleeping in my own bed. Sad but true!
But I do now sleep well, I make sure I am tired when I go to bed, which means staying active all day, both mind and body.
Obviously my stress levels have been dramatically reduced, but all this was planned years ago, as I eventually refused to continue running a business which I did not enjoy and that stressed me out.
For those of you who put your head on the pillow and you are asleep within seconds, you are very lucky, because I know many people struggle with a consistent good night’s sleep.
I hope this article makes you realise the Power of Sleep and will help you to achieve quality sleep which is so important for our well-being.and peace of mind!