Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Exercise does much more than the body good!
"I only woke you up once," my oldest, Jaimie, said this morning.
She woke me up once, then our youngest got up twice after that and my son--who sleeps with me most nights--was flipping and flopping like a fish on land. Not the best scene for trying to get a decent night sleep, right?
Even on the best of nights, I suffer with insomnia and have as long as I can remember. I wake up after a couple of hours of falling asleep and my brain is alert and ready to go. Or I worry about things. Or my head fills with 'What If's'. Or I wonder whether I'd done everything I could have during the day. You get the idea, right? Does all of this sound familiar?
A couple of months ago, my lifelong fight with insomnia was taking an ugly toll on my body. So I decided once and for all to make some changes to detox and feel better. And by 'detox' that doesn't just involve what I'm eating (although that was included!). It also involves detoxing my mind. And I've found that making sure I get some exercise each day has proved so beneficial. I call it 'calming exercise' because I do stretching, yoga and/or pilates followed up with meditation. All of these forms of exercise are slow, deliberate and really force us to be in-tuned with what our bodies are doing and how it's functioning.
Many people with high anxiety or other issues that have us running around or finding it difficult to sit still find these practices almost irritating, including me. But after awhile, I've found it really helps my mind, body and spirit calm and relax. I still wake up but I've learned how to calm my mind enough so I can fall back to sleep alot faster. So I may only stay awake for a few minutes rather than hours.
I know there are many of you out there who suffer with sleeping issue either because (like me) you can't shut down enough for sleep or your medication may keep you going or other issues. I thought it might be a good idea on how to help each other get those much-needed Z's. Sleep deprivation is hard on your brain, your body and interferes with overall functioning. Tomorrow, I'm going to give some of my tips that have worked for me. I'm someone who will try every natural method I can before turning to medication but if you have found medication that works for you, you can use the tips in conjunction with them.
Feel free to share your own thoughts here or what you'd like help with. Let's see how we can help one another. =)