National Sleep Month- Hooray!

My favorite national theme month used to be October for “National Squirrel Month” because, come on, who’s not going to love that? But last week I found out that March among other things is National Sleep Month. It’s also National reading, nutrition, and Women’s History month. I used to think March was kind of blah, but now there’s so much to celebrate!

Women get too little sleep. We are too busy running the world while men steal the credit. We’re working full time and doing more than 50% of the parenting. It’s time we take our history month and celebrate our achievements with a good book and a good Night’s sleep. In the morning we can sleep in and then have a nutritious breakfast while reading that good book.

In fact, I’m ready to start a national petition for mandatory siestas. We can start with Siesta March and if it takes off we can add to the other eleven months. When I lived in Spain, siesta-time was my favorite. Europeans really know how to enjoy the best parts of life.

Some fun facts (or more aptly “keepin’ it real’ facts) about sleep that I found from https://sleepfoundation.org:

1. Man is the only mammal that willingly delays sleep.

2. Divorces, widowed or separated people report more cases of insomnia.

3. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.

4. One of the primary causes of sleepiness in Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation- I can personally attest to this one.

5. In general most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night- I’m lucky if I get six!

Imagine how much happier and productive we would be if we could get that 7-9 hours of sleep every night. I’ve had days where I have stayed up to work late the previous night that I could barely function the next day at work. It has become expected in our society that we should give more and more of ourselves to our jobs. Ironically, this makes us far less productive.

So in addition to my proposal for mandated daily siestas, I also propose we all have a good old-fashioned slumber party. Get a group of your best girlfriends together and prepare healthy snacks, have a book club meeting or rent some movies that you haven’t had time to see, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour. Don’t set the alarm clock. Let your body wake up when it’s ready. Cook a healthy breakfast with your friends and then go running, hiking, swimming, or take a yoga class.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited one of my best friends and while we did not go to bed at a reasonable hour, we did sleep in until we were ready to get up. We even took naps. It was heavenly. I played with her son for a while so she could enjoy a longer nap. We went square dancing and running for our cardio. Just ten years ago, we would have stayed up until 3 in the morning drinking. We still enjoy each other’s company but we choose activities that are healthier and make us feel better.

Let’s give ourselves what we need to be more effective individuals. I for one, am starting with more sleep! I’ve started going to bed 30 minutes earlier no matter what. Occasionally, it doesn’t happen and I can feel the difference. If I don’t have to work on the weekends, I turn my alarm off and sleep as long as my Boyd wants or at least until my kids jump on me to wake me up.

On that note, it’s past my bedtime, so this single mom is going to go catch her zzzzs!

Sweet Dreams,

Single Mom Unfiltered

 

 

 

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