I remember listening to a doctor’s talk during chemotherapy…he talked about 6 things we should all focus on to achieve good health and I was really surprised that he talked about sleep being one of them.
Then I looked back at the 6 years prior to my diagnosis. I had my first child…he was a terrible sleeper and I breast fed him for 1.5 years, then I got pregnant again as soon as I finished breast feeding him. I was sick for 9 months, had the worst pregnancy and I also breastfed my daughter for 1.5 years. After that, my daughter had asthma and I went from going back to work, to being crazy worry about her as she had several asthma episodes and we would either be at the hospital or I would be sleeping with her so I could hear her breathing.
So there wasn’t much sleep happening for me…and my body was tired…after the first chemo session, I remember sleeping for 4 to 5 days. I would only get up to eat.
My body was exhausted….so I really focussed on having a healthy sleep routine and in respecting my body during chemotherapy so I could get as much rest as it needed.
Fast forward one year after treatment, I am still sticking to a healthy sleep routine….I go to bed at 9 pm (yes it is early but I need it), I turn my phone off by 8 pm and I rarely watch TV. I drink a herbal tea and I chat to my husband just before bed (he probably would say I don’t)
So why sleep is so important? You probably know that we release a hormone called Melatonin when we get to deep sleep. This hormone works like our internal clock and regulates our circadian rhythm (blood pressure and some research has found this hormone on our reproductive and intestinal organs too). Research has also found in research that not even animals can survive without sleep so why should we?
In a society where we are constantly being told we don’t achieve enough, we need to work harder, we don’t have that perfect life that everybody else has…we accept that we are constantly stressed and that we don’t have enough time in our days so we compromise our sleep.
Listening to Dr.Stasha Gominak (she is a sleep doctor), she explained that it is during sleep our bodies heal, it is during sleep our bodies can focus on fixing everything is broken. On top of that, our bodies are so clever that it keeps a backlog of things to be fixed when we don’t sleep.
So why are we not focussing on establishing a healthy sleep routine??