Today is World Sleep Day! Yes, you read it right, a whole day dedicated to sleeping, more importantly, quality sleep. World Sleep Day was created in 2008, and “is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of [the] World Sleep Society and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.”
I personally love to sleep. Love. Sleeping not only allows my body and mind to wind down but to frankly, escape. There are times when I’ve wanted to just pull the covers up over my life and immerse myself in the world of sleepy dreams.
According to the CDC, “a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep.” Not getting enough quality rest can lead to and exacerbate health conditions including type 2 Diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Though many of us are sleep deprived, in our society’s accomplishment driven “grind culture”, the act of resting is not valued enough. The capitalistic culture is still pushing us to push ourselves past our limits, and it can be difficult to rail against that toxic messaging.
I remember working a freelance job doing production on an awards show where the workplace culture lauded feeling tired and burned out as if it was a badge of honor. What I didn’t know at the time is that sleep deprivation can greatly impact depression. I was tired all the time and felt like hell. When I wanted to go home after my work was done instead of waiting around in case something came up, I was painted as being lazy, not that I actually needed to sleep for my overall health. These workplace expectations are toxic, as are the ones we sometimes put on ourselves.
I used to feel so guilty about resting when I had things to do and sometimes still struggle with that. But I finally realized that I need to listen to my body. I need to honor what it’s telling me. And if my body and mind are tired, I should give myself a break. Though sometimes we have to push through fatigue to meet deadlines and goals, rest isn’t something we should have to earn. An online community that supports these beliefs is the Nap Ministry.
Getting enough rest is crucial to your overall health. The CDC provides some tips to get better sleep:
- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends. (Hard, I know!)
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smartphones, from the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
I’ve been investing in my quest for quality sleep by:
- Getting nice, soft sheets
- Wearing a sleep mask to block out light
- Using a diffuser with essential oils for aromatherapy
- Using a white noise machine
Taking these steps has made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep. I also invested in some nice pajamas to make going to bed an entire experience.
World Sleep Day brings awareness to our collective need to be more intentional about getting adequate rest and bringing more peace and better health into our lives. Here’s wishing you a better night’s sleep and therefore better overall well-being.
To learn more about World Sleep day click here.
Here’s to happy napping! 😉