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Recently a friend of mine joined me at my cousins wedding. Besides the number of guests, decorations, and non-stop dancing do you know what surprised my friend? That we ate dinner at 10 pm in the evening
It goes without saying that Chaldeans on average get anywhere from 5-7 hours of sleep a night. Long hours in the family business and events that span into the wee hours leave little time for bed time. Some are impressed that Chaldeans can function at such an intense level with so little rest. It may be impressive, but that doesn’t make it good for us.
A June 2010 Newsweek article entitled “The Surprising Toll of Sleep Deprivation”, discusses a research study that only allowed participants 6 hours of sleep per night for a two week period. The study found that even though the subjects felt some sleepiness and “they thought they were functioning normally, formal testing showed that their cognitive abilities and reaction times progressively declined over the two weeks. By the end of the two week test, they were as impaired as subjects who had been continuously awake for 48 hours”.
When you look at these results, it’s very clear that many Chaldeans would be performing even better if they had more sleep. Now add year upon year onto those 2 weeks and you can see where being tired turns into burn out. And if the burn out isn’t apparent on the outside, it is definitely noticeable on the inside. Sleep deprivation is linked to several health problems including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. When you look at it from that perspective, getting enough sleep seems like the best way to retain and excel in your career.
How do you find the time to add the 2 more hours of sleep you need?
1) There will be days when you have a late night at work, but they should be the exception. Work with your co-workers to schedule a weekly work week and stick to it. Last minute changes should not be made and in cases of emergency, be sure to get some extra rest.
2) Teach your body to fall asleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Sticking to a regular schedule helps you fall asleep by keeping you in sync with your own circadian rhythm, a kind of internal 24-hour body clock that is affected by light and dark. Getting some natural light every afternoon will also help you keep your rhythm and help you fall asleep.
3) On the weekends, cook the meals for the week and plan the clothing you will wear each week. This will save you a lot of time in the evenings that you can now devote to sleep.
4) Put a limit on how many activities you or your children are involved in. Not only will this free up some of your time, it will give you more time to spend with them before they are off to bed.
5) Set a time in which you will commit to turning everything off: TV, computer, and blackberry.
6) Get into a routine before you sleep so that you fall to sleep faster and deeper. Things like, taking a long hot shower, stretching, or praying. Do the same things every night before you go to bed. Following a bedtime routine sends a silent signal to your brain and body that it is time to wind down and fall asleep.
7) Remind all your friends and family not to call or bother you, unless it is an emergency after a certain time.
8) Regular exercise can reduce tension and anxiety, which will help you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep, but be sure to finish exercising at least three hours before your bedtime.
9) Napping during the day may make it harder to fall asleep, or stay asleep. If you have trouble sleeping at night or end-up staying awake, don’t nap.
10) Drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages late in the day are likely to make it harder to fall asleep when you’re ready. If you like a snack before bed, try a warm drink (without alcohol or caffeine) and a few crackers. Remember that hot chocolate has caffeine, too.
11) To help you fall asleep, your bedroom should be dark, with good ventilation, and as quiet as you can make it. For safety’s sake, make sure you have a good bedside lamp that is easy to reach, a telephone for emergencies, and working smoke alarms in your bedroom and all through the house. Bedroom is for sleeping. It’s not a media center, and not a home office. Avoid any distractions that make it harder to fall asleep.
12) If you’re still awake 15 minutes after you turn out the light, get up and do something that will make you drowsy. Then go back to bed and try again.
13) To help yourself fall asleep faster, try not to let yourself worry or replay your day at bedtime. And don’t panic if you can't fall asleep, because any kind of mental fretting will only make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, play mental games designed to relax your mind, or do something, like reading, that will refocus your thoughts and make drowsy.