• Mary Elizabeth Sieg-Weeks

How Sleep Contributes to Inner Strength

In my last blog post we discovered the five things that I believe help to build your inner strength. Being consistent in getting enough sleep, taking care of your spiritual health, keeping up on your physical health, maintaining your mental health and leaving space to be spontaneous builds your immunity against the negative that happens in our lives. I'm not saying the bad things aren't going to happen but you'll be better prepared to handle the unexpected when you are building a positive mindset.

Today we are going to discuss how our consistent sleep patterns contribute to your innner strength. On average we need 6-8 hours of sleep to keep us healthy and alert. Creating an evening routine helps establish a good bedtime habit. My routine consists of:

1. Putting the cell phone on charger on the oposite end of the room so I need to get out of bed when the alarm goes off in the morning. I do this at 8pm. Mental Health.

2. I then brush my teeth, do my skin care routine, fill my water glass, take my bedtime meds and do a bedtime stretch. This all washes away everything we have gone through in the day and resets us for sleep. Physical Health

3. Get into my jammies, thank the Lord for the strength to get through the hardships of the day and write in my prayer journal. Spiritual Health.

4. Get in to bed and read a chapter of whatever book is part of my life at that moment. Reading helps to shut down your brain from thinking of all the useless things it brings to your attention while you are falling asleep. Just a warning, some books may not be suitable for bedtime reading. You may need to change out your bedtime book if it is the type that stimulates your brain with tasks to achieve your goals or suspense/thriller books are not good for me either. I put down the book, get settled in and go to sleep between 9 and 9:30pm.

This will look differently for everyone. You may not be on the same life schedule. Right now I get up at 5am but my goal is 4.

Start with where you are now. If you are hopping out of bed at 7 to rush around getting things done, leaving at 7:30 and praying you make it to work by 7:45 you are setting yourself up for a stressful day.

Actively decide to start getting out of bed at 6am. How much sleep do you need? Let's go with 7 for this example. Make sure you are settling down into bed to sleep by 10:30-11pm. This means whatever bedtime routine you create for yourself should start by about 9:30. Keep away from video stimulation during this time. No screen time during this bedtime routine helps to clear the mind.

My moning routine is very simular to my bedtime routine.

1. I get out of bed to turn off my alarm, go to the bathroom to brush my teeth and do my skin care. This helps to wake me up. Then I finish off my bedtime water while taking my morning meds and either do a morning stretch or walk around the block. Physical health.

***Do not engage with your social media until after your morning routine is finished.***

2. I pour my coffee and work on a writing project whether it is a blog post or work on a current book. Mental health.

3. I do a bible devotional and journal. Spiritual health.

Again, your routine will not look the same as mine. There are many different ways to maintain the health of your mind, body and soul for many different people and cultures. You do you. As long as you are feeding positive habits into your lifestyle you will have strength within you to react in a positive way when things don't go as planned.

Consistantly getting enough sleep each night builds clarity. When the bad things happen in life having clarity helps you react more appropriately. Instead of letting my sleep deprived anxiety steer me through the day now I have the mental clarity to stop, think, and act in a positive way to every (or almost every) negative situation that comes my way.

Think about your current sleep habits. Do you get enough? How much sleep do you need to maintain proper clarity through the day? What is your favorite part of your morning or evening routine?

****Just a note about feeding your body energy drinks or getting through the day with caffeine pills....

These products DO NOT replace your need for sleep. They increase your heart rate and if you already have risk factors whether you know about it or not you could be setting yourself up for increased heart health problems. Also, did you know certain ADHD meds can don't mix well with energy drinks? Check out my Facebook page for more information on energy drinks.

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