As I continued to read this chapter last night, there was no specific answer to the question, how much sleep should we get if 7.5 is not a good number? So I did some further research this morning. Dr. Lam is a well known doctor who works with people suffering from any stage of Adrenal Failure. When I was told I was in stage 3 (crashed), I was surprised to learn the seriousness of this and I also learned that so many of us are in stage 3 adrenal exhaustion (who don't even know they are). Dr. Lam's article (linked here), explains all the habits for getting a proper sleep, but still not a specific number of hours recommended. So if less than 7.5 is not good, than over 7.5 must be best. I would bet a guess, that many adults do not get over 7.5 hours of sleep per night. I assume that because everyone's needs are different, there is no exact "magic" number that will work for us all.
So when I turned my light off last night (because I was so into my book), I realized that it was already 11:00. I read for over an hour...I also caught myself doing a Facebook Live after 9:00pm (which I am careful not to be on my computer or phone after 9:00 usually as I know that this is not good for a great sleep).
At 6:00am I woke up and went to the washroom (7 hours of sleep). I asked myself, is this a morning that I will continue my healthy morning routines at 6:25? It was pitch black outside and very foggy. My soul said, "no you must get more sleep, sleep until 7:25 and do your morning routines when the kids are in school". My ego or lizard brain was yelling at me, "you are lazy, see you are giving up...you are not following through on your plans...loser, go ahead, go back to sleep, you'll wake up and I will tell you I TOLD YOU SO" I'll admit, I almost trusted my ego/lizard brain, because it is oh so convincing...but I also trust my soul much more now that I ever did. That voice that is so silent, that we hardly ever hear it. Our soul will not shout at us, it will gently remind us to be compassionate, loving and respectful to ourself. My soul doesn't want me to give up on my healthy habits, but it does want me to be respectful of my needs (that include sleep).
I admit, I was the one who decided to keep reading and get caught up in my book. So instead of lights out at 10:00pm, I wasn't hitting my pillow until 11:00. Therefore it is no wonder my soul was begging me to respect myself and sleep the extra hour. Another interesting thing that the book says, is that when we are in sleep debt...we really do need to catch up. When it is bad enough, the author even suggests that we take a "sleep cation" for a few nights at a hotel with NO distractions and dim lighting, naps and full night sleeps for the entire time. I once heard that once we lose sleep, we cannot catch up...so I will admit this part of the book was VERY interesting to me and I had a hard time believing what I was reading.
So as I complete today's blog entry, I hope that it helps you (the reader) realize how important sleep truly is to your overall health. Something I just learned about today was that there is something called the Body Clock. It is on my list to buy as it apparently helps us wake up more naturally (without a loud sounding alarm) that gradually lights up in place of natural light. Obviously this is only really needed when we are experiencing darker mornings during the fall and winter. This is definitely something that many of us could benefit from, yet more importantly getting a good quality sleep is most important and if this is not happening for you currently, it might be a great time to re-set new boundaries and create new habits for yourself. Your body, mind and soul will thank you!
And yes, I did follow through - I enjoyed my yoga, meditation practice this morning right after the kids got on the bus. I would have to say, also that I am grateful this happened the way that it did today, because I was able to realize during my meditation practice that today is the day I will do a full cellular body cleanse. It has been a VERY long time since I have done one...so wish me luck!