jeudi 26 juillet 2012

Recharging on a regular basis

If you are like most professionnals, you arrive at your yearly vacation exhausted with just one thought: rest, sleep, vegge out.  Earlier this week, I posted on Linkedin following up on a question by a reader on how to recharge on a regular basis so that you don't end up using your vacation time to rest instead of enjoying and doing activities you would like to do, be it travel, do more sports,visit places of interest,  renovate the house.

Our bodies unlike our houses need repair on a daily basis.  Sleep is the way our bodies and our brains make the necessary repairs so that we can continue work and life without losing too many of our marbles, oops! cells.  And it's not a joke - it's medically proven that without enough sleep, our immune system cannot keep up - I personally experienced pain last winter - nerve caught - and could not sleep more than 3-4 hours a night - no painkiller helped- I became quite sick - caught everything - Novo Virus, colds, bronchitis.  I actually was able to feel that unless something changed and I could get more sleep, my life was in danger.

Sleep does its repair work.  It also regulates our hormones, specifically some hormones that regulate our appetite - not enough sleep and you will most likely eat more.  Not enough sleep makes you more vulnerable to stress and chronic stress elevates cortisol level (from the adrenals) and slows the production of other immunity boosting hormones and in the long run affects all your functions.

How much sleep do you need?  Before the age of electricity, our ancestors - in the early 1900, slept about 10 hours a night.  That means that after dinner, the dishes done, a little bit of reading or music, and they were likely in bed by 8:30, 9:00 p.m. and up by 6:30,7:00 a.m.- That's also the time when families were quite large.

If you have been burning the candle at both ends, it will take some time to regulate your sleep and for your body to find it's equilibrium.  The easiest way is to start going to bed by about a half-hour earlier every 4 or 5 days, until you are in bed at 11 p.m at the latest, ideally 10:00 p.m., and even earlier if you need to get up very early (like 5 a.m.or so).  As you go to bed earlier, make sure you also eat proportionately earlier - a full stomach does not sleep help).

Monitor how you feel after you increase your sleep - write down a number over 10 in your day planner to score your energy level.  The way to see if you have slept enough is to wake up refreshed, ideally without the help of an alarm and to feel energetic throughout the day, until bedtime.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Life coching for women
Wellness Coach for Women
Fearless Living Coach for Women