It is well known and scientifically confirmed that having a healthy sleeping pattern is crucial to our overall mind, body, and soul wellness, and that adults should have between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. I have to recognize that throughout my life my sleeping patterns have been inconsistent, erratic, and flat out not sufficient.
When I was in high school I was the first one to enlist in an “all night study group” with my friends. We will pick a home (sometimes mine) and we will START studying around 8 or 9 and we will stay up thanks to coffee, lots of coca-cola, and chips throughout the night. We would close books around 3 or 4 in the morning, sleep for two hours, and get ready to go to school, acting like zombies during school hours, but lucky enough, acing every test.
I applied the same concept in College and it worked! I graduated with an Engineering degree pulling all-nightersat the library and bars (no judging I did graduate).
While in high school and college my sleeping ritual and pattern had been sneaking out of the window, once I
became a mother it went running out of the front door never to look back. Between breastfeeding and working full time, being sleep deprived became normal. I remember about five years after becoming a mom that I woke up one day at 8 a.m., and oh my it was a miracle. I had by then two boys, a full-time job, and shared every household responsibility with my husband, including cleaning and cooking. I was a very happy and sleepy mother and wife.
My boys were never the ones to sleep until late, they would wake up at the crack of dawn, with happy faces and empty bellies. I loved every minute of those mornings, and my husband was up for family time too. Now my boys are older, if they wake up before me they know how to start with their breakfasts until I roll out of bed around 7:00 a.m. (yes, the crack of dawn is still their wake up alarm).
In the years to come, my nights have had several rituals and several patterns. From using my nights to sew and quilt, from devoting long nights to reading, to use them to study for my Life Coaching certification, and for a while, I turned off the lights and went to bed at 9:30 sharp (with an alarm set up at 4:00 a.m.).
When I started my journey of self-improvement I came across the importance of a nighttime routine and hours ofsleep. I immediately downloaded an app and started logging in my sleeping hours and to my surprise, I was sleep deprived at an average of 5.5 hours of sleeping time! I have been working hard to try to create an automatic nighttime routine which is easily doable and without too many steps. I have been able to increase my hours of sleep, and I do feel the difference especially on my happiness vs grumpiness when I am tired and sleepy. I learned to put my sleeping time as a priority instead of letting it be the last action of the day and compensating for the lack of sleep with coffee cups at 5:00 pm!
It is a work in progress and I do have several factors working against me in order to maintain a healthy 8 hour sleeping time, but taking into consideration the importance of a good and healthy night sleep I keep my log, I check with myself, I check my moods, my fatigue, and I do take it seriously. Nighttime may be running away from me must of the time… but I am certainly running towards it as well.