(This blog post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019: A Journal Project)
S L E E P
The question topic might surprise you. Why start a self-knowledge journal asking about something that we’re unconscious for?
Two major reasons to figure out your relationship with sleep:
- Your brain health. Deep thinking and creativity require proper brain function. If you’re not sleeping well, then your brain isn’t going to function optimally.
- Your physical health. Your heart, muscles, immune system require adequate sleep. Stress hormones and insulin resistance increase in response to sleep deprivation.
There’s a lot of contradictory advice circulating, such as:
- Rich and successful people don’t sleep more than 5 hours a night.
- Human beings need at least 8 hours of sleep.
It’s pretty common to be confused about what YOU actually need. Let’s figure it out!
- How much sleep do you get on average per night? (How to know: total how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten in the last 7 nights, and divide that number by 7)
- Do you think you get enough sleep, too much, or just right? (How to know: Do you wake up feeling that your mind and body are rested?)
- Do you consider yourself an early bird or a night owl? (How to know: what times of the day and evening do you feel most sleepy and awake?)
- Do the activities you do in the 2 hours before sleeping contribute to restful sleep? (How to know: Make a list and assess how stimulating the activities are for your brain, and to your body.)
- Do you wake up in the middle of the night? If so, what do you do?
- Is it better for you to sleep on your back, side, or tummy? (How to know: How does this feel in your shoulders, spine and neck when you wake up?)
- What is one thing that you can easily do in order to improve the quality of your sleep? (Try it out for a month if you like, then revisit these questions.)
How to Get the most out of Know Thyself 2019:
Don’t rush through the questions. Try to do only one question every morning, leaving space to add thoughts that might come up later during the day. The journal is designed to help you develop a consistent, daily practice of self-reflection.
As critical thinkers, don’t take my word for it. Check out a source of some information I provided: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke )