When was the last time you found yourself experiencing waves of inexplicable delight? Can you recall the feeling of centeredness and satisfaction that comes with knowing in your bones that everything is just as it should be?
If this sounds unfamiliar or you find yourself experiencing fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, moodiness, lack of focus, have difficulty remembering or have dark circles under your eyes, you need a sleepcation.
What's a sleepcation you ask?
Simple. It's performed by taking some time off and sleeping as much possible.
If you're like most Americans you are living with a sleep debt, which is the number of hours of sleep you miss versus the number you need. Many people are walking around with upwards of two weeks of accumulated sleep debt.
How to fix this?
Take at least two weeks off and sleep as much as possible! If you can't take two weeks, you can still commit to getting extra sleep. The basic guidelines are the same:
- Go to sleep when you're tired.
- Don't set an alarm clock.
- Keep your sleeping space completely free of artificial light, even night lights.
- Stay away from screens in the evening. (This includes televisions, computers, tablets, and phones. They emit blue light, which will keep your pineal gland from producing the lovely sleep hormone melatonin.)
- If you're up for a real adventure, get rid of all artificial light after the sun goes down. Use only candles or an oil lamp. You'll have a great time discovering new things to do after dark. Instead of zoning out in front of the TV, you might end up playing cards, hanging out with friends over a glass of wine, or doing some hanky panky with your significant other.
What can you expect after a sleepcation?
Your sleep pattern will become natural again. At first you'll find yourself sleeping 10 or more hour per night. This is completely normal, as your internal clock begins to self regulate.
Eventually you'll regress to the optimal amount of sleep for your body. Don't be disturbed if, after a week of sleeping 12 hours a day, you begin to wake up in the middle of the night for few hours then fall asleep again. This is a completely normal sleep pattern called bimodal sleep.
If you trust your body it will lead you in the right direction. Superhumanity starts here. After a couple of weeks you will start to feel like a spunky superhero. You might be sitting in a meeting that would normally put you to sleep, only to realize that you have the urge to sing or tell your boss how much you love her!
Or you might find yourself having spontaneous bouts of sidesplitting laughter and goofy delight. Your mood will likely improve and you may even end up losing weight as your endocrine system begins to re-regulate itself.
Your colleagues and co-workers will remark on how amazing you look. Just like any good vacation you won't want to go back your non-sleepcation life. It's inevitable that you will go back to watching TV at night, texting, and getting some late work done on your laptop. There's nothing wrong with that. But by having taken a sleepcation you will have balanced your hormones and given yourself that natural glow that only healthy sleep can imbue.
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