Do you struggle with sleep? I know that I do.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had difficulty with insomnia and chronic fatigue and I’ve definitely felt the effects of it. That was why I was so intrigued when I met Melissa Pilatzke, who is a sleep consultant. I thought I was passionate about sleep just because I always wanted more, but after hearing her talk about it, I now know what being passionate about it really looks like. Sleep is so important to self care for both our mental and physical health, and I’m so glad that Melissa was generous enough to share some of her expertise with us!
Here’s what she has to say:
Have you ever noticed that sleep is a popular topic of conversation? People are constantly discussing their own sleep, their child’s sleep, their partner’s sleep, and it’s usually in the context of not getting enough of it! Sleep is a vital life function; human beings need sleep just as we need food, water, and air. Yet we are all guilty of making sleep a low priority at some points in our lives.
When you have a big test coming up, a presentation to prepare for, or you need to binge the new season of your favorite show, sleep gets sacrificed to make time to accomplish the task. And that’s fine from time to time but what usually happens is that we forget to prioritize sleep again once we’ve aced the test, nailed the presentation, or finished the season. This is where the trouble begins. Placing sleep as a low priority for days or weeks at a time will eventually cause some degree of sleep deprivation.
What Does This Have to Do with Self Care?
Take a moment to think about how being VERY tired affects you. If you are anything like me then you may experience headaches, loss of appetite, low energy, quick to anger, and the list goes on!
Now that you’ve thought about it that way, doesn’t it seem so clear that getting more sleep is essential to our self care?
Why do we do other self care activities? To recharge, right? Some more obvious items that come to mind when you are craving self care are to go for a nature walk, get your nails done, enjoy a long bath. These are all wonderful ideas too! They all help us to restore our bodies, our mental states, and our joy. But what is more restorative than sleep?
So, the next time you find yourself exhausted, try prioritizing your sleep for a few days to a week. Commit to going to bed early instead of scrolling Instagram or watching Netflix. I know! It’s a hard habit to break. But making time for our own sleep is the ultimate act of self care!
I recently did this because I found myself suffering signs of sleep deprivation after weeks of staying up late and waking early. Let me tell you! It was so worth it! My to-do list continued to grow but I did not stay up late to finish it because my priority that week was to get to bed early so that I could be more productive overall. This was very hard for me but as a sleep consultant I made it my mission that week to practice what I preach!
Prioritizing Sleep May Just Be the Missing Puzzle Piece
You may be thinking that you don’t need to place sleep as a high priority because you practice healthy living in other ways. Maybe you eat right, exercise daily, and meditate. That’s fantastic! Amazing! Keep doing that. I’m not saying that sleep should replace all those other healthy habits. But maybe, just maybe sleep is the missing piece to the puzzle. If you consider yourself to live a healthy lifestyle but you are only getting six or seven hours of sleep per night, you may be missing a very important piece to the puzzle that can elevate you to the next level.
When you are better rested you can focus better, you have more energy, and your mood improves. Not to mention that while you sleep your body is busy regulating your metabolism and performing immune repair. That’s a lot of work happening overnight so we should give our body the time it needs to recharge and repair so we can thrive during the day.
Take Back Your Sleep
I wasn’t always this passionate about sleep! It wasn’t until I was no longer in charge of my own sleep that I realized just how precious it is. When my daughter was born, my chance of getting quality sleep seemed to evaporate overnight!
Perhaps you’ve been reading this thinking “yeah…okay… easier said than done” because you have a child who is keeping you from getting the quality sleep you need and deserve. If this is you, trust me, I get it! I was right there with you not that long ago! It’s exactly this scenario that sparked my passion for sleep, specifically pediatric sleep.
The first step in prioritizing your own sleep is to help your little one sleep well. I have created a Free Guide to Sleeping Through Night for parents just like you! Download it now as your first step towards prioritizing sleep for your entire family!
Click here for more on mental health and self care.
Do you have something you’re passionate about that you think would help other women on their healing journey? Reach out and let me know! I’d love to connect!Want to connect further?