A national poll found that 65% of people report they do not get enough sleep
You may be sleep deprived if….
• You sleep through the alarm clock.
• You have morning grogginess.
• You use caffeine to wake you up or to help you stay awake during the day.
• You have difficulty concentrating or are forgetful.
• You turn down social engagements because of fatigue.
• You find it difficult to keep your eyes open while driving at night.
• You fall asleep within 5 minutes of going to bed.
• You are irritable with family members and co-workers.
• It takes you longer to get things done.
• You experience the mid-afternoon slump.
• You are tired all the time or have trouble staying awake in class.
Sleep hygiene is important to your physical and psychological well being. In addition to the above, not getting enough sleep results in:
• Slow response time, decreased reflexes, hand tremors; high blood pressure
• Decreased immune function (more colds, flu); decreased body temperature
• Stomach problems (heartburn, indigestion); menstrual irregularities
• Mood swings; irritability; impatience; anxiety; depression
• Impaired judgment; increased errors or accidents (esp. traffic)
To get a good night’s rest…
Do not skip meals. Consume 3 meals and 2 snacks during the day. Consume smaller meals as the day progresses.
Do not go to bed hungry or full; eat a light evening meal (this should be the smallest meal of the day). Eat your last snack one hour before bed.
Meals should be moderately low in fat, but have a good mix of protein and carbohydrate for satiety.
Avoid caffeine after 6 PM – drink herbal tea or decaffeinated coffee or sodas
Avoid alcohol and drugs – alcohol may put you to sleep quicker, but it has negative effects in the second half of sleep.
Do not nap during the day.
Get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day
Reduce your stress by using relaxation techniques such as Yoga, meditation
Years of research from the National Marriage Project found that dating helps marriages become stronger, healthier and happier. Today’s couples increasingly expect high levels of intimacy, communication, emotional support and fulfillment from their relationship. One of the ways we can do this is to make sure we spend time alone with our spouse. In other words, go on “dates”.
In addition, couples that try new, fun, active, or exciting things together begin to view their relationship in the same way. Dating ought to be on a regular basis, ideally once a week but no less than once a month. Making the effort to plan these nights (or days) is an investment in your relationship that will pay off for your children and for your future. Both partners should participate in planning.
Plan it for a time where both parties are energized and excited about the “date” and no one is too tired. This is a time to be able to talk and laugh and be yourselves. It is an opportunity to connect again and remind each other why you are still together.
Communication is important because over time, we and our relationships continue to change and develop and we experience new challenges and problems. Don’t just talk about the mundane or work or children. Converse about all kinds of topics and be inquisitive; the way you would with someone new. Ask questions about your partner’s dreams, goals, and desires.
So, call up those babysitters—family, grandparents, neighbors, friends (take turns keeping each others’ kids), day care workers, or a sitting service—and go out on a date. Here are some suggestions:
take a drive and explore your own city or nearby towns.
take a picnic to the beach or park
listen to a new type of music (concert or cd)
go out for dessert and coffee
stay home (enjoy your pool, music, work on a project)
have a tech free night
be near/on the water: gulf, lake, river and moonlight
take a class together
rent a kayak, sailboat or canoe
go to a comedy club
play golf or mini-golf
rock wall climbing
go to a sporting event (find cheap seats)
go to a local art show, concert in the park, renaissance festival, oktoberfest, seafood festival, jazz festival