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 cancer diagnosis.
I had my first child…he was a terrible sleeper and I breast fed him for 1.5 years so not much sleep happened to me.
Then as soon as I finished breast feeding him, I got pregnant again. I was sick for 9 months, had the worst pregnancy ever.
I also breastfed my daughter for 1.5 years so again my sleep was interrupted for all that time.
When my daughter was about 1.5 years old, she started developing symptoms of asthma.
I went from going back to work after having a second child, to being crazy worry about my daughter as she had several asthma episodes. I would either be at the hospital with her 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…exhausted.
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) instead of being on a device or watching TV. When I don’t follow this routine, I promise I feel it in my sleep as I don’t sleep as well as when I do.
So why sleep is so important?
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.
Can you believe that?
I am blown away by how clever our bodies are and it makes so much sense when I look at what happened to me.
I was so sleep deprived before my cancer diagnosis that my body didn’t get the opportunity to fix anything.
So what about you?
Are you focussing on establishing a healthy sleep routine?