“Never let them see you sweat”. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. “Keep calm and adjust your crown”. These are sayings we wear emblazoned on t-shirts like armor and carry laser-etched on purses like shields against everything hurtful, inside and out. On good or better days we actually believe them. On not so good days they present the front we need to get through so we can check that day off, lay down and get up in the morning to do it all over again.
Do it all over again. The “Do” is the systematic routine that says we belong. The “It” is the mundane rat-race that is supposed to propel us. The “all over again” is the totality of our supposed wins. And winning is everything — even at the expense of the very selves we front to protect.
Let me be very clear: I am not bashing a life of success. Quite the opposite is my aim here. As a proponent of each person’s existence having a God-given purpose, I believe maximizing your talents in concert with what drives you is critical. And should there be any roadblocks on your journey they should be identified and managed, if not eliminated. This will be a treatise on just one critical way to support achieving a life of luxurious satisfaction. And money has very little to do with it.
According to an article in thegoodbody.com:
- 35% of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.
- Americans currently get on average 6.8 hours of sleep each night.
- In 1910 the average person slept 9 hours a night.
- Roughly 20% of Americans have a sleep disorder.
- Since 1985 the percentage of adults getting less than six hours sleep each night has increased by 31%.
- 97% of teenagers get less than the recommended amount of sleep.
- 7 out of 10 college students don’t get adequate sleep.
- Sleep deprivation costs the US $411 billion annually.
These are sobering statistics. And sadly, these stats are the foundation of a picture painted in the shades of depression, chronic diseases, drug and alcohol addiction and accidents that can result from something as basic as a lack of sleep.
So what can we do? Start with a proper diet, to include plenty of water and regular exercise. If you smoke, or abuse drugs or alcohol get help to stop, even if you’ve tried before and couldn’t. As long as you’re alive it is never too late to improve your health. Be intentional about establishing a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleep hygiene. You’ve heard it before:
- Don’t eat too late
- Use a blue light filter at sundown and power down electronics an hour before bed time
- Wind down with a good book, gentle stretches, journaling or meditation
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark
- Rise each morning at the same time
What would our get-it-done-yesterday society look like if we were all well-rested, facing each day rejuvenated? Sounds too much like right, no? Well, a girl can dream.
And speaking of dreaming, keep an eye out for a collection of meditations plus a journal I am compiling to help us get the rest we crave. God bless you. Now get some REST!