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“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid
If you’re a parent, imagine a day when your three-year-old attends a birthday party after missing his nap. As the afternoon progresses he becomes increasingly irritable, so tired he can’t even focus long enough to eat his lunch.
While playing, he gets more and more frustrated while trying to stack his blocks, instantly dissolving into tears when they fall. When you attempt to soothe him, he can’t take in your words because he’s too tired and depleted to process what you’re saying.
Fast-forward to bedtime…despite the fact that he is exhausted, it’s even more difficult to get him to bed early. He is so revved up from the stress hormones in his little body that it makes it harder for him to wind down and drift off to sleep.
So how are you feeling? You’re probably dreading the following day. You know if he doesn’t get enough sleep it affects every aspect of his experience and his ability to navigate through the day. You spend a huge amount of time and energy arranging your life around ensuring their little one gets the proper amount of sleep. You don’t question whether sufficient sleep is critical to the quality of all of your lives.
So why is it that when we become adults we feel this no longer applies to us? Sleep is the most critical component to our performance and to the quality of our lives, and yet it is the first thing we are willing to sacrifice in an attempt to squeeze more into our already overbooked schedules. As parents, we are vigilant about making sure that our kids get enough sleep. We need to think about ourselves in the same way. When we don’t get adequate sleep, we pay a toll physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Perhaps the most obvious cost of insufficient sleep lies in the emotional realm. Most of us readily acknowledge that when we are sleep-deprived, we become more irritable, we lose our patience more quickly, we experience increased anxiety, and our tolerance for frustration diminishes.
The next time you are tempted to trade an hour of sleep for an extra hour of work or television, think of yourself as a three year old and choose sleep.
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Great blog Annie - Although I'm not a parent, I'm a dedicated Aunt and let me just say that I've experienced the aforementioned above and sleep makes the world of difference. We must get our rest as adults! If one could implement one ritual and one ritual only - that would change their life - do as Annie says above and the next time you're tempted to trade an hour of sleep for work or television - don't - choose sleep. Thank you Annie!
by Shannon J. Connolly
@ 2011/03/18 03:13:36 PM