I have been living with a deprivation of sleep.
I thought I had been getting enough. I’ve been going for a LONG time on 5-6 hours a night. But as I did research on sleep today, I realized that the average adult needs between 7-8 hours. And most adults who consistently get only 5-6 hours a day live with the effects of sleep deprivation.
Last night, it caught up with me. I sat on the couch, with a long list of chores running through my head, and within 20 minutes, I was asleep, and I didn’t wake up until 9:30. That was 5 ½ hours of sleep!
When my husband came home from class, I washed my face and crawled into bed and slept soundly until 5:30. That was another 6 hours of sleep!
That’s 11 ½ hours of sleep total! [this is why there was no blog post yesterday. I was asleep during the time I normally write my posts…]
And, (surprise!), I felt so much better today at work. I wasn’t as hungry as I was on Monday. I wasn’t fidgeting from a complete lack of focus and, as much as I was looking forward to being home, I wasn’t constantly looking at the clock to see if it was 3:30 yet.
I did some research today and found that I have literally been living with a deprivation of sleep. This leads to a decreased immunity system, a weakened chance for the body to heal itself at the cellular level, an increased appetite for refined carbs and sugars, and the inability to focus well.
So, I am going to start taking my sleep much more seriously. Before, I saw it as a necessary evil. Something that got in the way of all the stuff I want to do. I tried to get just as much as I thought I could scrape by on so I could enjoy and/or accomplish as much other stuff as possible. However, now that I know that it has purpose, I will no longer see it as a waste of time. It will actually contribute to accomplishing my goals.
Being on a journey to lose some weight, get fit, and be healthy, I now realize that sleep is just as important as my diet and exercise. It’s like the trinity of health - you can’t decide to just have two (at least, for optimal health.) I am hoping that as I seek to fulfill my need for sleep, my body will start feeling more energy for effective workouts and a less consuming desire for carbs to keep me going throughout the day.
Hmmm….no deeper lesson from all this today. Just the fact, I guess, that God designed our bodies to need rest. Don’t abuse it. Let’s take care of our temples (and realize it’s not selfish to do so!)