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Take Care of Yourself

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2016 24 May

a woman asleep in a field of flowering chamomile

What sinister condition can be responsible for the following disorders: high blood pressure, irritability, confusion, headache, memory lapse, fatigue, weight gain, aching muscles, hallucinations, depression, and death? If you guessed sleep deprivation, you would be right. Sleep is a need as basic as food and water. Getting by on less and less is a recipe for sickness, stress, and unhappiness. Why, then, do so few of us put a high enough priority on getting the sleep we need?

I have a friend who frequently nods off during social events. She isn’t bored and doesn’t suffer from narcolepsy. It’s just that she has a habit of packing too many good things into her life. I’m guessing many of us are like that. We cram our schedules to the max.

On average our brains constitute 3 percent of body weight and consume about 25 percent of body energy. Just as we wouldn’t expect cell phones or laptops to work without charging their batteries, we shouldn’t expect our brains to continue to work without the chance to recharge.

The good news is that unless you suffer from a sleep disorder, it may be fairly easy to solve the sleep problem. Try these simple tips to get your sleep:

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Exercise, but do it in the morning or afternoon.
  • Avoid watching television or using a computer thirty minutes before bedtime.
  • Take a closer look at your daily schedule. Can anything be eliminated to afford more time for sleep?
  • Drink a glass of warm milk or chamomile tea.
  • Take a relaxing bath before bedtime.

Consider moving sleep up on your priority list. If you continue to neglect this basic need, you can’t expect God to make up the difference by zapping you with peace. More

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