September 20, 2012

Only Sleep Matters!

Sleep deprived much? I know I am. I feel like (and probably look like) the walking dead. When you get to the point where your temper is limited, you look like you haven't combed your hair in a while, or you start forgetting words like "steering wheel" (like I just did in a course I taught this morning - refering to it as a driving thingy), you know it's time for a nap.

The truth is, of all the healthy things you can do for yourself, sleep is number one. No exercise or carrot stick will do. We must be able to get at least 7 hours a night of uninterupted sleep (that's the rub) and not just going to bed at 10 and waking up at 6 kinda stuff. That's another thing about sleep is beginning to suck. When I finally get to sleep, I'm up in a few to pee, then up because it's too hot or too cold, then up to pee, then up again to sucks! I'm starting to think I shouldn't drink fluids after 6 or something. My outlook on life is negative, my feelings of actually giving a crap dissipate, and all I want to do is lie down.....anywhere (like maybe under my desk).

So why is sleep so hard to come by these days? Seriously, I ask my classes how many get 7 hours and I don't think 2 people raise their hand at any given time. Is it stress? Certainly. Is there to much good TV on after 10...probably. Sleep is tricky. While it is so hard to get up out of bed in the morning? You make deals with yourself; five more minutes (and I won't wash my hair)...five more minutes (and I'll wear the same outfit as Monday)... five more minutes and I"ll bring a can of soup to work....does that sound familliar? It has gotten so bad for me lately, that I have worn the same outfit for days, my hair is a mess, and the empty cans are starting to stack up in my office (kidding.....sort of).

So the first thing I did when I came into the office is book tomorrow sleep. I already feel better about my day (since it is now Friday). But that doesn't fix the problem. How does one accommodate for "sleep partner's" (I hate that term..but whatever) sleep habits. How do you get to bed early when you have a house full of door slammers living with you? I'm yearing for the days (not too long ago) when I lived alone and could turn off the house whenever I wanted.

In conclusion, if you are thinking you have to start exercise again (or more) or you have to start eating more veggies...first take a look at your sleeping pattern. If you are anything like me right now, my "two cents" to you is focus more on getting your sleep and less on the rest. Your mind and body will thank you, you will look better, you will have more of a positive outlook, stressors won't get to you as much, you will be more in balance and it won't take 8 - 12 weeks to reap the positive results. Before you think it's early onset Alzheimers, before you reach for that anti depressant, and definately before you start looking on line for another spouse, get some sleep. The world always looks better in the morning (....unless you've been up to pee 100 times during the night).

Now I must find a pillow and blanket.



  1. First of all, I want to mention how much I thoroughly enjoy your posts. I am a family physician who wholeheartedly believes in health promotion and prevention in the context of "keeping it real".

    My husband and I were bemoaning our over 40 sleep patterns this morning after feeling unrefreashed upon waking up (yet again). I just read your post and couldn't agree more that sleep is so important to how we feel and think. I have tried to master my own "sleep hygiene" for years and still consider it an uphill battle. I am thankful for those occasional nights that I sleep well and only pee once...they give me hope.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Dr. Sara;
    Thank you for sharing this. I had to laugh at your definition of a hopeful night's rest (only peeing once). It's so true (yet so sad).

    Thank you so much for your comment. I am always very relieved that someone is enjoying the read. I am also happy to hear you are a doc that supports the promotion of health (hopefully more are joining your ranks).

    Thanks again for taking the time out of your schedule to read this stuff. If you have any insights to share, based upon your professional / personal experiences in health care, I would always welcome them!

    Good luck with the sleep thing...if you find something that works please share.