Oct 12, 2009

What You Need Most: Sleep

Aside from a sound relationship with Christ and immersion in the Bible, what do you need most as a Proverbs 31 woman? I think the answer is...sleep. Yes, really. Sleep.

And before you click away from this article thinking, "I get enough sleep," consider that WebMD reports one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation is not realizing you're sleep deprived.

While some sleep deprivation is a normal part of being a parent to young children, you should do everything in your power to ensure that you get plenty of sleep.

According to Web MD, sleep deprivation leads to:

* increased risk of obesity and diabetes;
* depression;
* marital conflict;
* increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure;
* decreased thinking capacity and ability to perform ("Reducing your nighttime sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32%.");
* poor memory;
* and an estimated 100,000 car crashes each year.

Sleep deprivation also greatly reduces your level of patience and nurturing, as well as your ability to do the things you'd like to do with your family each day.

Experts say not getting a full, undisturbed eight hours every night for as little as two weeks is the same as not sleeping for at least two full nights. If you sleep only four hours a night for two weeks, your brain thinks you haven't slept at all for three nights in a row.

And perhaps you're one of those people who requires more than eight hours sleep. (I'm one of them.)

As moms, we have a lot to do each day. We often sacrifice our own needs for that of our children and husband. But don't fall into the trap of letting sleep drop low on your list of priorities. Not only will your health suffer, but your entire family will suffer because you are less able to be a loving, caring mother and wife.

During the course of the next week or two, I'll be posting tips on ensuring that you and your children get more rest. In the meantime, do your best to hit the hay a little earlier each night. Your body - and your family - will thank you for it.

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1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to hear more tips on getting more sleep. I think this is the biggest issue I struggle with consistently. This year, I have felt like I need to so whatever it takes to be pleasant and cheerful with my husband and kids daily. This has meant cutting back on activities and volunteering, but I still have a hard time going to bed when I need to. I would love tips on having time to unwind and connect with my husband, but still go to bed earlier. Thanks for a great blog! Erin

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