Mama, Are You Tired Too?
I have been away from my TV career for almost 2 years now. For nearly 15 years, I woke up at 2:30 am, Monday-Friday. And most of those years I was in it, I was a Mom with little kids. Sleep was undervalued and lacking most of those years. I would try to play catch up on the weekends but that never sufficed. I would skirt through the day on adrenaline and copious amounts of coffee. I moved through the motions and NEVER stopped for fear if I did I would crash. Literally, I crow barred the day and never allowed for "rest" or sleep because "it's just what we do as Moms." That was my justification of that crazy schedule and the lack of emphasis on sleep.
But here's the thing, whether you wake up at 2:30am or work nights or go to bed at 9pm every night, chances are YOU are tired too.
Am I right, Mama? How many times do you wake up and feel tired even after a decent night sleep? How many times do you pray for bedtime to come FAST so you can get back in bed? How many times do you answer the question "how are you?" with "I am soooo tired!"
Yeah, me too. Still. Even with a bit of a more "normal" schedule now. I am still more tired than not most days. According to statistics published on sleepfoundation.org, 20 percent of women suffer from excessive sleepiness and fatigue, with most sleep trouble occurring in younger aged women. And a prior poll done revealed that most of us ladies sleep 6-7 hours on average, when the amount of sleep required for healthy adults is 7-9 hours per night.
I know what are you thinking...but I can not sleep more than that. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done or I have kids that end up in my bed making it impossible for that amount of sleep. Yep, I say all of those things too.
And if you are like me, your patience runs REALLY thin when you are tired. Right? I mean, let me be honest, I am not patient to begin with, then I add exhaustion to it and I am just a joy for my family to be around.Recently, I spent some time with a dear friend, Lauri Leadley. She was a respiratory therapist for years but for the last 18 years and her husband Glenn have been helping MANY people, and MANY women specifically, figure out why they are tired. Their company, Valley Sleep Center is devoted to helping millions with their sleep health.
We as women are not supposed to just become Moms and never feel rested again. It is a lie we have bought into over the years. Yes, a total lie. No, we are not supposed to run ourselves to the ground. Pride ourselves on "busy" and boast about surviving on 4 hours of sleep. I am guilty of it all. But I no longer want to feel this way.
She shared so much valuable information about the VITAL role of sleep in our health as women. And that initial conversation pushed me lovingly down a path to rule some things out for my own sleep health and share with you because I know I am not alone in this.
We all HAVE to sleep. It is vital for our longevity and overall health, mentally too. 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder and about 95 percent of those affected remain undiagnosed and untreated. That is bonkers to me!
I spend all the money on good food for my health and dedicate time to working out consistently, see a therapist, journal, pray, dedicate time to my relationship with God but I don't put any effort into my sleep health. Sleep is last in my health pyramid if you will.
I feel like we, and I lump myself into this too, have this all backwards. We will dedicate ourselves to all the ways to get healthy and we completely overlook the ONE thing that might make everything better, from the inside out.
Well, I am tired of being tired more days than not. And to be honest, a sleep study may not reveal a rooted cause for the sleepiness I have had for YEARS but if I don't take action then I will get nowhere. But I know it will lead me to more clarity no matter what the results show. And action always moves us forward and helps us see things better.
So, here goes nothing. If anything, I am gonna get a bed all to myself for an entire night. Sing with me "HALLELUJAH!" Kidding, sort of.
But for reals. If there was ever anyone who could guide me to optimal sleep health, it is my sweet and dedicated friend, Lauri.
I'll share it all because isn't that what good friends do? And heck, maybe if we find out how to help me sleep better my bags under my eyes might miraculously disappear too!
For more information on the work that Valley Sleep Center has been doing over the last 18 years, please visit their site to browse and ask all the questions.