I’ve always been a night owl, spending my nights as a child reading in bed under the sheets, and as an adult, pouring over the internet, writing, or recording in the studio until odd hours of the night. What can I say? On this point, I am a true New Yorker. On my weekends, I sleep fine (that is to say, I stay up late and sleep in), although lately I’ve struggled with insomnia during the week, mostly from that nagging “running mind” that so many women I talk to have from time to time.
There are numerous resources out on the net to help you fall (and stay) sleep such as exercising daily, a warm shower before bed, avoiding late meals, “unplugging,” de-stressing, aromatherapy and such to relax before trying to fall asleep. But what I love about this sleep series from the BBC is that it not only explains the science behind sleep cycles and tips for better sleeping, but it also goes above and beyond (as I would expect from the BBC) with practical and comprehensive information to help you better understand your own internal body clock and how to not work against it. In 10 minutes, you can have a full assessment of your sleep rhythms, at what times of the day you are most and least productive, and what deeper issues might be contributing to your difficulty sleeping.
Apparently, the siesta that we all envy about life in Spain (and actually, many other countries as well) is perfectly in tune with a natural dip in alertness in everyone from about 2-4pm. This is exactly when I’m about to pass out daily at the office. They recommend coffee (one cup – not eight) and/or a 15 minute snooze, which I figure then allows you to be fully alert the rest of the day, rather than fighting sleep every 45 minutes (and eight more cups of coffee) because you’re working against your natural need to rest and restore.
The body knows best, although often we don’t know our own bodies enough to not force them onto unrealistic schedules. This series is a great tool for recognizing and appreciating ourselves as we are – and perhaps as proof that I might be a far better employee if I could only start the day at 4pm!
Check it out @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/