Sleep – The Princess and the Pea

As a child, I loved the story of the princess and the pea. If you are not familiar, there is a princess who gets caught in the rain and knocks on the door of a castle. The queen puts a pea under her bed as a test to see if the young woman will feel it, because only a real princess would be so delicate that she would notice a small pea. As a result, the queen allows the young woman to marry her son, a prince. You see, the princess when asked in the morning, “how did you sleep?”, she replied that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed that she is certain has bruised her. Now, I am not really sure what Anderson had in mind for the MORAL of this tale, but, obviously the princess was super sensitive. So am I – although I can assure you, I am NOT a princess.

Possibly the princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Princess and the Pea‘ suffered from FMS since chronic sleep disturbances are typical in FMS. These sleep disturbances have been attributed to a dysfunction in the systems regulating sleep and wakefulness resulting in loss of deep sleep. Again, who knows!

What I DO KNOW is that SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. Let me say that again…. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT

As a society we are sleep deprived. We go to bed late, we look at screens before closing our eyes and even in the middle of the night, we don’t plan for an adequate number of hours in bed and our REM sleep is disrupted. I am not sure if we comprehend the consequences of these actions.

So one in three adults don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of healthy sleep, which can lead to a number of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. See why sleep is important!!! Who wants these things (see above)

Now we have to think about what time to go to bed OR what time to wake up! Did you know that our circadian rhythm, the internal clock that runs our sleep and wake cycle, resets EVERY morning. If we think about our morning rather than our bedtime, maybe we could get into a better routine and feel more energized when we get up.

Just this morning I was counceling a client on better morning habits because she can’t get out of bed. Here are a few tips I offered. Maybe they will help you too.

  1. Have a realistic and consistent bedtime.
  2. Set SEVERAL alarms. Keep at least one across the room so you HAVE to get out of bed.
  3. Short afternoon power naps help. I like a 20-25 minute nap or meditation to “reset” between 1 and 3 pm
  4. Add supplements to your diet. Melatonin and Valerian Root at night might help.

Sleep Well and Prosper!

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