Monday, February 7, 2011
Master Your Sleep, Book Review and Giveaway
Having any trouble sleeping? How many times did baby or kids wake you up last night? Can't shut off life when you hit your pillow?
Hmm, this might be the post for you!
I have to chuckle at myself. That was a little cheesy but when I was approached to do this book review I thought to myself, "Oh, I don't have any trouble sleeping but I'm sure others do." This statement is somewhat true. I do get more than 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis and I can fall asleep fairly easily. What I did not realize are a few sleep practices that could possibly help me acheive better sleep. Which in turn will help my day to day life. Like say for instance, me getting uninterrupted sleep during the night (darn those kids!).
The book I am talking about is, Master Your Sleep, by Dr. Tracey I. Marks, MD. Dr. Marks focus for her book was to simplify a person's understanding of sleep and how to get the best kind of sleep. I was really surprised at what I learned while reading her book. It truly is simplified.
With my weak understanding on the subject, Dr. Marks in her 125 page book, was able to help a layman feel like a 'master' of sleep in training. The only thing left for me to do was to apply her methods practically.
For two nights my husband and I, based off her recommendation, turned off the nightly television/internet watching an hour before bed. In turn, we read, talked and believe it or not one night we even went to bed early. Just that one little bit was an eye opener for the both of us. Then, our weekend trip hit and it all went to pot! We are finally home now though and I am looking forward to putting her simple practices suggested in her book back to good use. I'm confident I'll be able to get a full uninterrupted night of sleep soon.
I got a chance to ask Dr. Marks a few questions. Here they are:
Q. What inspired you to write this book?
A. I kept seeing lots of professional women (especially moms) who would come to me for various issues but when I asked them about sleep, most if not all had sleeping problems that were contributing to their current issue (such as relationship problems, work problems, feeling stressed, etc.)
I would work with them to help their sleep issue sort of “on the side” while working on the main reason they came to see me. I notice that most would only remember one or two things I said. I decided to make a workbook to give people to help them remember what we talked about.
The workbook expanded to a book and I decided I wanted to be able to reach and help more people with this issue.
Q. Most of our readers are mothers, what would be your #1 tip for getting their kids to have restful sleep? What would be your #1 tip for how mothers can get restful sleep?
A. Enforce a wind down period one hour before bed. Just as adults need to settle down and get ready for bed, so do children. But in a household with working parents, the evenings can be hectic with dinner, baths, homework, evening emails, etc. It’s hard for a child to run around wildly and then 10 minutes before bedtime be told to get in bed and fall asleep now.
If your child goes to bed early (like 7 or 8 pm) and you don’t get home for dinner until 6pm, it may be hard to start your child winding down as soon as you walk in the door. But even 30 minutes of pre-bedtime activity that is distinctly different from usual evening “stuff” can help them ease into a regular bedtime. Try not to deviate from bedtime too much on the weekends (maybe one night) too avoid having to spend the first part of every week readjusting.
As for mom – it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing. If I had to sum it up to one concept, I would say “less is more.” With moms it’s so easy to want to cram every minute of your day with a task. If you only have 5 minutes, rather than do nothing, we have to throw one more load of laundry in the machine.
The problem with constant activity is the accumulation of mental clutter at the end of the day. It shows up as taking longer to fall asleep, or being irritable or less patient. Stressed women lose their sex drive.
So what do you do? Find 30 minutes each day to do nothing. Do this even if it means you don’t get something done. Some things can wait. AND, you can get more things done more efficiently if you are rested rather than pushing yourself too hard and ultimately taking longer to do the same thing.
Spend your 30 minutes focusing on your breathing or listening to music. Don’t spend it going over your grocery list. The idea is that you are pulling yourself away from the busyness and resting your mind (like rebooting your computer). I think Americans very much underutilize the power of meditation.
One more thing – apply the concept of less is more on the weekends. Find something to cut out so that you have some downtime over the weekend. If your weekend is stacked with activities, it can have the same effect of creating mental overload from too much stuff.
I cannot keep this knew enlightenment to myself.
There will not only be one lucky Simply Healthful reader but 3 Simply Healthful readers who will get their very own copy of Master Your Sleep.
Okay, here are the Giveaway Guidelines:
-To enter just leave a comment on this post
-No anonymous comments please!
-You'll have until midnight PST on Thursday February 10th to enter your comment
-The winner will be announced Friday the 11th in the morning