Did you know sleep isn’t for your body? Sleep is for your brain. When completely deprived of sleep, for only a few days, research shows that at best our immune system is depressed, we have trouble concentrating or processing information and at worst become paranoid and schizophrenic.
Maui, my cat, was a superb sleeper. No matter where I went in the house I found him stretched out. Whatever magically found its way to the floor (I certainly never put it there) I’d find him asleep on it – pillows, magazines, empty boxes, dirty clothes . . . new clothes. A particular comfy spot was in the middle of a pathway at the top or bottom of the stairs.
As far as I could tell Maui was never sleep deprived, paranoid or schizophrenic.
Maui’s Tips for a Good Nights Sleep . . . for humans only
- Exercise every day but never just before bedtime. (Chasing things like children and dreams doesn’t count)
- Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine (catnip is fine).
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine (stretch, turn in circles and always clean your paws and teeth).
- Keep the room temperature cool. It helps us hibernate.
- Limit catnapping during the day to 10 minutes, 20 minutes max. Any longer and your brain goes into deep sleep (and you’ll be a ornery cat when you wake up)
- Keep your bedtime consistent.
- Don’t sleep all day and be up all night – it messes with your circadian rhythm.
Peggy’s Tips on Sleeping Well
Mind won’t shut off? Do a brain dump 30 minutes before bed. Write down your worries, things to do, random thoughts until your brain is empty. (takes about 3 days for this to work, but it works!)
Talk to your brain. Assure your brain it can solve any problem or cope with difficulties much better when you are rested. Your unconscious mind is always working and give you solutions while you sleep.
Get bright sunlight in the morning when you first wake up. Go outside if you can. Even if it is cloudy you get 3000 lumens vs 200 inside. (That’s a lot of lumens!)
Turn off cell phones, computers – anything that emits blue light. It keeps the brain awake.