Sleep Is Serious!

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Arianna Huffington, the creative force behind The Huffington Post, once passed out from exhaustion. She fell down, broke her cheekbone and needed five stitches. Ever since, she’s declared that lack of sleep is a feminist issue, and has been imploring women to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Oh, if it were that simple!

So many women struggle with getting enough sleep. Why? Because we’re moms, we’re busy, we’re losing our ability to switch off.

Sleep is so important to how we function. And, we all know how hard it can be to stay patient and sane after a night of interrupted slumber.

For years, I've been convinced that I was getting a satisfying 8 hours of sleep nightly. However, recently, I started wearing the BodyMedia armband which monitors my sleep patterns. Guess what? I only average about 4.5 to 6 hours of real sleep each night from the time my head hits the pillow at night and I drop into that deep sleep to the time my feet hit the floor at 5 o'clock every morning.

That just might explain why I'm so darn tired by 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Scientists are confirming the impact lack of sleep has on our bodies. They've said a lot of things about it's impact on women's health including increasing one's risk for heart disease and stroke.

But, who knew that lack of sleep kills sex drive? Yep, sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. And, here I thought it was the fact that we're getting older and sex drive just diminishes over time.

Here are three tips to get better sleep tonight:

  1. Give Up Control of all the things you cannot control in your life. Some things like if your significant other will propose this year are just not in your control. No amount of wishing, hoping or willing can make it happen. As soon as you accept that it's out of your control, you'll spend less time worrying about it -- and, ultimately, more time at peaceful rest. Instead, read something calm, meditate, listen to music or take a warm bath. The message here: Don't sweat the small stuff!
  2. Eat Light and Exercise within three hours of your bedtime. A light dinner minus the heavy carbohydrates and red meat can contribute to better rest. While I know red wine helps you to relax and has countless heart-healthy properties, warm milk or chamomile tea are just better options for nighttime beverages. And, a good 30-minute workout can only help to enhance your sleep as well as your overall health and wellness. A healthy dose of sexual activity counts too!
  3. Set a Sleep Schedule by going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning—even on weekends. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Even with two young boys and a husband who is often on call, I manage to get in bed by 9 o'clock most nights. The problem for me is that I work in my sleep all night long...so I must now work on giving up control.

Do you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? What are your secret tips and tricks?

Please share them with the rest of us below in the Comments box. I'm sure there are some other women in our community who could benefit.

Dr. Kim

Dr. Kimberly S. Clay, aka Dr. Kim, is Executive Director and founder of Dallas-based charity, Play Like A Girl!®. On a mission to inspire women and girls across the globe to live a happy, healthy and active lifestyle, Dr. Kim has set out to finally triumph in her own struggle with obesity by creating what she calls her "best me yet" in 2014-15. Sisterbration is the space she has dedicated to documenting the journey and her musings.

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