Sleep it off

Sleep it Off

I just got off working on a commercial for 13 days straight for at least 12 hours a day. Yes, it was a lot of work but I also learned a lot. I was happy to have learned new things but I couldn’t seem to shake being unhappy when I woke up in the morning. It was a great job with a professional group of people so why was I so bummed when I woke up in the morning?

Turns out, it was heavily linked to me not sleeping properly…

I’m the kind of person that absolutely loves sleep. Love it. If someone said “hey would you rather stay up and watch action movies or go to bed early?” I would “point me in the direction of the bed, please.”

This isn’t to say that I am lazy at all. No, I work hard and I sleep hard. I also make time for my hobbies and personal life. But I wasn’t just cranky in the morning because I was losing my normal 8 hours of sleep. It was because I wasn’t adopting proper sleeping habits.

A recent study showed that only getting 4-5 hours of sleep each night can lead to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Not worth trading for that midnight movie marathon, is it?

When you deny yourself the sleep you need, your brain starts to slow down during the day. Much like trying to go on a long road trip with the gas gauge on empty. You aren’t going to go very far.

Someone who has trouble going to sleep at night? Well before you go and grab that bottle of Nyquill or liquid sleep medicine (which is FULL of preservatives and sugar) try doing a relaxing breathing exercise. Something that helps me each night is just taking in slow, deep breathes through my nose and exhaling slowly as I let myself sink in deeper to the pillow.

Maybe you aren’t someone who is “down with meditation”. I would at least try picking up some herbal tea at your nearest grocery store, most places carry Sleepy Time Tea or something similar. My favorite tea to chill me out before I hit the hay is a blend of chamomile and lemon from a brand I found at Albertsons called Tradition Medicinal Tea.

Okay, I get it, a lot of you don’t like to drink tea and you feel that you have your own schedule and don’t want to try anything new. That’s cool, just at least try out this next tip:

If you are feeling a bit groggy when you wake up, don’t grab that large cup of coffee right away. It’s proven that if you drink a glass of water before your coffee your body will start to naturally waking up, plus it helps the liver before you give it a good shock of caffeine.

One final request: If you’re having trouble sleeping, TURN OFF THE ELECTRONICS!

I get that everyone needs to check their emails, Facebook, Twitterverse, and Youtube ratings but just simply turning off all electronics a half hour before bed can do wonders for your sleep. You see, when you have that comforting glow in front of your face, your eyes are sending a signal to the brain saying “Hey it’s still daylight! Lets party!” Making it much more complicated to fall asleep right after you update your status.

So, think you’ll try one of these methods? Maybe you have a method of your own you’d like to share? Are you reading this at 4am? Let me know in the comment section below!

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About the author

Mark Alderson