Greetings all. We are at the end of another busy week in the Medows household. Things are about to get even crazier in the weeks to come. Keri is beginning her yoga instructor’s course, Levi and I are heading out to San Antonio for NCBA Cattle Con, Steer weigh in is right around the corner along with Spring calving (is Spring capitalized? Are seasons proper pronouns? Where is Mrs. Reed?)…then it will be time for baseball, sheep weigh in among other things. So to say our schedule is going to be extremely stacked is an understatement.
That brings me to my blog topic for today, which is sleep. Not long ago, like 6 months, I had this thought in my head that sleep was for people who weren’t busy enough. Getting 8 hours of sleep was for children and retired folks. However, after paying closer attention to how sleep affected my health and overall mood, I could see that wasn’t the case.
Keri has been trying to convert me to this mindset since we’ve been married. But in true Medows/Stone fashion, I refused to listen to her and had my mind made up that I thrived on little sleep. I think there is this trend, or stigma, in modern society that we have to sleep less than everyone else to be able to get ahead. That if we are in competition for anything, that us sleeping more means us getting behind. I always hear anecdotes about super successful people who thrive on little to no sleep. As a result, we as a society have come to see getting plenty of sleep as a sign of weakness
“Sleep deprivation walks hand in hand with stress”-Susan Harris-Broomfield, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
My mindset regarding sleep completely shifted after my Episode 4 conversation with Susan Harris-Broomfield, an extension educator with University of Nebraska. We talked at length about the importance of getting a good nights sleep and its overall effects on ones health. I encourage you all to listen to this episode because it really opened my eyes to how little sleep I was getting. It made me re-evaluate my sleep habits and apply them to both myself and my children. Since doing this shift on sleep, I’ve found myself more awake and alert during the day, less reliance on caffeine, and overall being in a better mood.
Susan was kind enough to provide me with a handout that she compiled of some tips and tricks for maximizing your sleep.
Some techniques and habits I’ve implemented are:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
- To get up at 430 every morning means I must be in bed by 930 pm. This is REALLY hard to do but I know it’s a must if I’m going to be my best the next day.
- Avoid excess caffeine and any caffeine after 3 pm
- This was a BIG change for me. I used to drink caffeine at all hours of the day. I still do drink caffeine in the morning, but not near as much as I once did. I never really had an issue falling asleep regardless of caffeine intake. However, I noticed the quality of my sleep vastly increase after putting an evening moratorium on caffeine.
- Falling Asleep in Bed
- This seems like a no brainer, but I used to ALWAYS fall asleep on the couch and then go to bed later. This would upset my circadian rhythm and not let me get the quality sleep I needed.
- Acually Use My CPAP
- Again, seems like a no brainer. I have obstructive sleep apnea. I’ve had it since I was an adolescent, but was only diagnosed recently. Most of the doctors I’ve been to believe it is the main cause for my atrial fibrillation. I did several sleep studies to determine that use of a CPAP machine was appropriate. However, I’m Missouri Mule level stubborn and refused to use this for a very long time. However, Keri made an ultimatum with me that it was either me sleep with the CPAP on or I sleep on the couch. After about a week, the couch wasn’t comfortable anymore and I decided I’d try it her way. I have so much more clarity now and don’t find myself in the mid afternoon slump like I did before.
These are just a few of the tricks I’ve used to improve my sleep quality. I’ve said it before that I’ve enjoyed all of my guests equally and believe they bring so much to the table for helping promote our cause. The episode I’ve recorded with Susan, however, had the most immediate affect on me changing my own habits. I’m very grateful to Susan for that. You can find that epside here.
What are some tricks you have for helping you maximize your sleep? How much sleep is enough for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments section and lets get a discussion started.
Thanks for taking the time to read today. Like I said in the beginning, Levi and I are heading out for NCBA in San Antonio next week so pay attention to our Socials to see what we are up to down there.
Also, please go check out our Mental Health Resources Page. This is an ever-growing list of rural mental health resources that I’m compiling. Please feel free to reach out via our Contact Page if you feel there are any resources I should include.
See you the next time!