5 Ways to Sleep Your Way to Resilience

camping under the stars

The last month has been a great reminder of just how precious our good health is, after losing our sister-in-law when she collapsed at a graduation party, a yoga student canceling her Bali trip with us for congestive heart failure, and a dear friend starting chemotherapy for a blood dyscrasia. We really don’t have anything if we don’t have our health.

Taking care of your health is also a required skill for resilience. Resilience is a combination of our thoughts, feelings, and attitude which determines how we show up every day. We all know when we don’t feel good physically or emotionally, we can’t be as patient, positive, or productive in any area of our lives.

It turns out that rest is the number one lifestyle behavior to keep our brains resilient, and The Better Sleep Council reports some interesting statistics on sleep:

  • 79% of people would feel better and more prepared for the day with an extra hour of sleep.
  • Sleeping only 6-7 hours, you are twice as likely to be involved in a car crash, and sleeping less than 5 hours increases your risk 4-5 times.
  • You will actually die of sleep deprivation before you die of starvation (10 days vs 14 days).

If sleep is so critical, how do we get more? Here are 5 ways to improve your sleep hygiene and build your resilience:

  1. Avoid stimulating activities right before bed, like phone conversations, reading emails, or watching TV.
  2. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day (even on the weekend).
  3. Establish a night-time ritual to prepare yourself for sleep with a hot bath, calming music, or aromatherapy.
  4. Limit caffeine and sugar after 12 pm.
  5. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and sacred for sleeping only.

Getting enough sleep requires the discipline to make it a priority instead of barely enough to “just get by.” Don’t wait until you have time, are on vacation, or for the weekend to “catch up” on your sleep. Build your health and resilience today and get more rest!

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