“Sleep is my lover now, my forgetting, my opiate, my oblivion.”
― Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife
If there is one thing I know really well being a single parent, budding entrepreneur blogger and full time Sous Chef; it’s that sleep is a valuable commodity to your health and a successful life both at home and at your day job.
Sleep is our time for the body to repair any damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. During sleep, cells produce more protein which is used in repairing damaged cells. Muscle injuries and other trauma also heal faster during sleep.
If you can fit in some napping during the day it’s not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, but can also make us more productive. After even a short sleep session, especially during the day, our mind regains focus and we can better tackle those tricky mental challenges. Sleep can also trigger creativity. Just remember all those “Eureka” moments you’ve had, after waking from a short nap.
All those things are super vital to your overall health, obviously.
So it’s a no brainer from there right? You need more sleep, let’s talk about how to make that happen more often – and faster.
Companies like Google are unapologetic about their “pro-napping stances”, but a majority of businesses have yet to jump on the siesta bandwagon.
If naps haven’t yet become a part of your daily routine, you might want to reconsider that since 43 percent of Americans aged 13 to 60 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep during the week.
My number one napping place.
The Car is my main place for napping, I crack the window just a touch, park near some tree’s, put the seat right down and pull out my little pillow. I have a break from 2.30-5PM in my industry, so I sleep usually from 3PM until 4:30, giving me time to check any social networks, read an article or two or pay some bills. After that it’s Z time – and it’s the most amazing thing ever.
Inside the car it’s quite, it’s your little sanctuary. Give it a go, bring a pillow, a blanket, and your teddy, whatever!
Being a “Pro Napper”
If having naps is something new to you and your finding it hard then just close your eyes. Allow your thoughts to come and go, just relax.
Getting comfortable (like in the car) or preferably in a dark room helps as our brains are wired to become alert when the sun is up. Darkness, on the other hand, signals you to relax. A cool, quiet room with the lights turned off is ideal for a restful and rejuvenating power nap.
Finally, keep naptime relatively short. As a general rule, don’t nap for more than 20 minutes at a time. Make sure you set an alarm on your phone to avoid oversleeping.
If you’re out for more than 90 minutes, you’ll most likely enter rapid eye movement – or REM – sleep. At this point, we begin to dream, and if you’re awoken from deep slumber you’ll feel groggy and tired rather than refreshed and alert.
The only reason my sleeps go so long are because I can afford that time, and I fall asleep within 5 min’s – one of the perks to being a parent!
My secret sleep weapon is Lavender, keep some in your little napping space where you can smell it well – focus on the smell of the lavender, close your eyes – and you’ll be asleep in no time! You also wake up to the beautiful smell.
Ease those anxieties
Sometimes your sleeplessness stems from worry.
Your brain is in overdrive, instead of sleeping, you think about bank accounts and meetings. Try to train your brain to think about those anxieties at more appropriate times. Schedule times each day — keyword: day — to simply write a sentence or two about what’s worrying you and where you stand with that. When worries keep you up at night, jot them down and try those relaxation techniques.
I simply keep a notes widget on my computer desktop (since I spend a lot of time on the computer) with the important aspects of life I need to keep tabs on, that way I see it, and can update it every day.
That’s it – it’s that simple!
Sky Morrow: As an active social entrepreneur and founder of her IT design firm Wasp Tech Studio, Sky is out to disrupt the industry and be a good-natured trouble maker. The single mother juggles working as a professional Chef by day and following her entrepreneurial dreams in everything she does. Key personality aspects are a tenacity for creating change and building on her empire, whilst helping others around her do the very same.
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