The first step to better rest

We need sleep for overall good health.

One of the first things I discuss with people and work to balance is sleep. Because without good solid sleep, it is pretty difficult to prevent or heal chronic disease. In fact, insufficient sleep increases risk of hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, and overall mortality.

However, it can be challenging to make sleep a priority in a world that tells us that our worth is caught up in productivity and pushing through.

I know I have suffered from the adrenaline rush of late nights and early mornings. However, once I decided to make bedtime a non-negotiable and put my sleep at the top of my own personal nourishment list dramatic changes started to happen in my health and life.

I think sleep hygiene practices are essential to good sleep, yet I believe there is an important first step that needs to take place to get better rest. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown zeroes in:

“We have to become intentional about cultivating sleep..., and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.”

It is essential that you give yourself permission to rest and this may feel against the grain and potentially uncomfortable. However, if you are committed to creating greater well being in your life, rest is absolutely foundational.

Be a rebel. Make time for sleep and rest.

In practice, this may mean winding down a little earlier in the evening. Or reducing your checklist so you can take a nap. Believe me, being well rested is a gift you deserve and a profound practice for better health.

My challenge to you: make your own nourishment list.

When you think about your ideal life. Would rest be a priority and make it on the list? Would exhaustion not be worth it? Be curious. Be gentle. The answers may guide some profound changes.

Wishing you rest and happiness,