Sleep – Tip #59
When I wrote this tip I was trying to work through a reintegration with my husband after a long deployment. I was sleep deprived (working full time and trying to look after 2 children – under 3 years old at the time). I knew that sleep was important and once I followed my own advice the world seemed like a much better place and my husband instantly became more reasonable! Jump ahead now to our current deployment and I am still struggling to get enough sleep so that the people around me love me rather than fear me.
I know that sleep is something that needs to become a priority when trying to survive a deployment but is MUCH easier said than done. There are nights when I am totally committed to getting to bed and actually turning off the light and going to sleep early. I am struggling to move from thinking about doing it to actually doing it…
Over the years I have discovered that not only am I more sane when I have slept more but also that I eat better and this results in me not gaining tons of weight and feeling even worse. The National Sleep Registry says that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. 9 hours of sleep makes me happier, I eat less, I react less and I am generally a more reasonable and pleasant person to be around. Knowing this doesn’t seem to help me though and on average I am only getting 6-6.5 hours of sleep right now. This past week I decided that my “Living It” should be to commit to my own advice of getting enough sleep.
Things I accomplished:
*I turned off my phone rather than just plugging it in (I often hear the vibration and then check it so that stopped that bad habit)
* I have stopped using my bedroom to watch TV in – I will often fall asleep watching a show and then wake up at crazy hours
* I have reinforced a regular nightly routine with the kids (there were nights this week when I was ready for bed before they were!)
* I have been cooking dinner 30mins earlier so that I can get things done after dinner a few minutes sooner and I am not awake because I still have energy from the food I ate at dinner
* I stopped eating or drinking anything after 7pm
This week I definitely felt better, was more cheerful and I wish I could tell you I ate less but… I am a stress eater so that will continue to be a work in progress. The bottom line for this tip is that sleep is something we need to make more time for as it makes the times you are awake so much nicer – if you truly follow this tip, it will also help you to survive deployments, reunions and all the other things military life throws your way a little better.
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Filed under: Living My Own Advice, Military Family Support - Tips from the 101 Tips books, Re-integration Tips | Tagged: deployment, family, military, military families, reintegration, reunion, sleep, support |