January 11, 2013 in Adventures in Re-Discovering Myself
This has been an odd week. I have been fighting some kind of low-level bug whose only symptoms seem to be a sore throat and fatigue. The sore throat has abated, but the fatigue…yowza.
But I’m a mom of three boys who have to get to school, soccer and basketball practices, and music lessons. I have important resolutions to keep regarding my fitness, so I still have to make it to the gym. I taught two art lessons this week, and have a big project beginning today for my son’s 4th grade class. I have no time in my life for fatigue.
Or do I?
On Tuesday, when I felt the worst, as soon as the clock chimed 8:00pm, I stood up, kissed my boys good night, and headed upstairs for bed. “What are you doing that for?” “But we’re still up!” Yes, but I was so tired I didn’t even have enough energy to lie on the couch and watch TV. I was asleep before 8:30pm and slept around the clock until my alarm went off at 5:15am. It was heavenly.
On Wednesday, instead of emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, and folding laundry, I took a nap on the couch.
And today, instead of getting up early to hit the gym, I slept in. I’m still sitting on the couch in my pajamas, and it’s absolutely wonderful.
Sleep is important. Just ask any mother of a small child who is off their nap schedule and screaming their head off inconsolably because he/she is just so tired. Just ask any mother of small children who refuse to let their mom sleep through the night. (That was me…for years.)
My son’s middle school is having a speaker come in to talk about how important sleep is. The medical community already has documented the role of sleep in obesity, blood sugar regulation, heart health, ADHD, mood, and safety (poor decision making).
But the effect of sleep on student performance in school is fascinating. From the school’s PTSA website:
“Recent research has shown that those students with A’s sleep 15 minutes more than those with B’s, those with B’s sleep 11 minutes more than those with C’s, etc. Other research has shown that if a sixth grader is sleep deprived by 1 hour, their cognitive ability is reduced to that of a 4th grader.”
Wow. I shudder to think what level my cognitive ability has been this week.
Today I plan to honor my body’s need to rest. I’ll still make it to the gym, but later. I’ll still honor my volunteer schedule at the school, but come 3:00pm, I’m off the clock. I’m reserving the couch, one cozy blanket, and a good book and I plan to simply park it for the rest of the day AND go to bed early. Laundry, paying bills, and picking up around the house can wait. Making dinner can wait too: I’m thinking delivery pizza for dinner.
As I go forward in 2013, I’m going to add “Get Enough Sleep” to my list of resolutions, for me and my kids. It’s a simple one, but I suspect the payoffs will be huge.