Very recently I attended the sleep symposium -- The Power of an Hour , hosted by Meridian Health and The Asbury Park Press -- and and as I walked out the door of my house that morning, my husband said, "You realize you probably know everything they're gonna tell you. You just never APPLY those things in your real life."
Well, he was kind of right. I KNOW I don't get enough sleep. I KNOW I watch TV late-night when I probably should be winding down or reading. I KNOW I have a decent amout of FOMO -- or Fear Of Missing Out, which I swear leads me to stay up late because I just HAVE to check Facebook, CNN, Huffington Post, Eonline.com, and catch up on the reality shows I TiVo'd, or else, heaven forbid, I am not CAUGHT UP with the world. I KNOW that when I am yawning in my daughter's bed while I am reading her a story at 8pm, I should PROBABLY go to sleep myself. But I do not. Not for hours later.
What I don't always remind myself (in that tiny voice in my head that 'knows better') is that if Mommy doesn't get enough rest, then the whole family can suffer. I can get irritable, or I can insist on 'sleeping in' JUST A TAD, which makes me rush and hustle the kids almost every morning ("C'mon...Let's GO!!!"). I sometimes forget things, or misplace things, because I am probably not as alert as I should be.
When I disclosed to Carol Ash, DO, the featured speaker at the packed event and frequent Today show contributor, that I took Ambien almost every night for two years, she was quite polite, but said, "That's not good. We need to talk." The Nurse Navigators at the Sleep Center at JSUMC, who were also there that day and who were equally fabulous as Dr. Ash, calmed me down when I was saying, "There's NO WAY I could tolerate a sleep study because I don't go to bed till 1am. How am I going to RELAX?" But honestly, I need to get to some of the roots of why I am so restless, active, unable to 'just chill.'
I always feel like 'I can't turn off my brain' because I have a million Mommy things running through it -- even more so once I get peace and quiet and the kids are asleep. I definitely want to evaluate my stressors, watch less TV and unplug from my phone or iPad at night...and just slow the pace.
So today, I booked an appointment for a sleep study (you need a prescription from your health professional). Ok, so I'm not signing up for the overnight sleep study where you go to a local facility and sleep there hooked up to electrodes (warning to self: this may come down the road, though, and I'll be heading to the one at JSUMC, for sure). Instead, I am going to do one of those 'take-home' sleep studies, and have the expert Nurse Navigators get me on the road to some ZZZZZs. It's a start!
And hopefully I can learn to sleep like a baby.