Sleeping (Is) Beauty

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After writing about the Drug Holiday that I’ve been on for the past few weeks, I’m thrilled beyond belief to report that for the first time in a year and a half, I have slept eight hours in a row three nights…in a ROW.  I can hardly contain how happy I am. I mean beyond belief happy. I feel like a completely new person. It’s as if by going to sleep, I am actually waking up for the first time in a long, long, lonnnnnnng time.

I’m not sure, yet, whether this Drug Holiday will be permanent.  I need to have a conversation with my Oncologist before the final decision is made (I’m voting for YES!). In the meantime, however, I’m going to relish every, single second of glorious, wondrous, beautiful, Silver Lined sleep!

There are a lot of health benefits, by the way, to sleeping. As it turns out, sleeping is seriously good for us!  Here are my top 5 benefits of sleeping:

  1. Reduce stress- When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep.
  2. Reduce Inflammation & Repair the Body – The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in our body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. In terms of repair, while sleeping our body produces extra protein molecules while that help strengthen our ability to fight infection and stay healthy.
  3. Improve Memory– While our body may be resting, our brain is busy processing the day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Dreams and deep sleep are an important time for our brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help us remember and process things better.
  4. Improve Creativity In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, our brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well. Researchers have found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight- Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.

And because I’m ALL about SLEEP and feeling quite rested (WTF is that, I’ve been wondering for the past 18 months!), I thought I’d share with you my top 5 tips for getting myself to bed on time:

  1. First things first: give yourself a specific bedtime. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, so take a look at your wake-up time, and work backward.
  2. Don’t wait until you feel sleepy to think “Hey, maybe it’s about time for bed.” It’s all too easy to keep yourself alert and busy way past the time that you should be asleep.
  3. Stay away from the internet for at least an hour before your bedtime. Television, too, but I think the internet is even more apt to make me feel artificially wide awake. I used to try to go through my emails one last time before bed, to get a jump on the morning, but I realized that this stimulating activity made it much harder to go to sleep.
  4. Don’t drink caffeine for several hours before your bedtime or even better, not at ALL!  Even drinking it in the morning can make a big difference in nighttime sleep. I drink one cup of Matcha in the morning and it produces not only Silver Lined health benefits, but keeps me even keeled for the day.
  5. Get ready before bed well ahead of time. I have been known to put on my jammies right after dinner. Not the sexiest look (well, sometimes I try), but getting ready for bed early helps guide me in the right direction.
  6. Create a bedtime ritual, and do it at the same time every night. Maybe you fix yourself a cup of herbal tea, maybe you read in bed, maybe you do an evening tidy-up. By doing the same thing every night, you will cue yourself to start heading to bed.

Wishing you some very, very sweet, Silver Lined dreams!

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Comments

  1. says

    I vote for yes, too! You can tell your doc I said so! I would add that sleep also boosts your immune system and in fact can help as a cancer risk reducer so there you have it! A serious look at the quality of life this brings on (in my humble opinion) far outweighs any supposed benefit of drug "T". We will never ever know if all the women who took drug "T" and didn't have a recurrence, would not have had said recurrence ANYWAY, had they NEVER taken it. This is a quote directly from my oncologist, who questions EVERYTHING, as do I. Enjoy the rest you are experiencing and know that "T" only serves to block estrogen from breast tissue which is you had a double, you have no more of. It does not act as Aromatase Inhibitors do in stopping the body from producing estrogen. Just a thought. I am so glad for you to be feeling better!

  2. Beatriz Lopez-Frekin says

    I am so glad you are getting your sleep:) When I had my daughter, back in 2004, the lack of sleep was SO bad! I LOVE every minute of motherhood, including all the challenges, but lack of sleep during the first months was seriously BAD:( So I feel your joy on getting sleep:) The first night I got a full nights sleep, I seriously (& I do mean seriously) thought about having a party to celebrate! It was that BIG of a deal for me. I LOVE my sleep! Dr. Neil Nedley has shown that when you go to sleep before 10pm your body makes a lot of human growth hormones from 10pm-1am. And those help with the bodies healing process and maintaining a youthful appearance. Also, getting 10-15 minutes of sun (with no sunscreen during time) will help your body make melatonin (which also helps you sleep better) when you sleep and that has many benefits including maintaining a happy mood. Anyways, hope this continues for you:)

  3. says

    Hollye- Hope you are doing the deep breathing routine – Inhale on 1, exhale on 2 concentrate on the numbers one is in two is out and you too will be asleep before you know it and sleep peacefully til nature's calling & then do the same again. Concentrating only on your breathing 1 & 2 releases you from worrying about FBC or anything else-"just breathe" Good nite kid. Thanks again for all the good you do for all of us. !&2 concentrate on the numbers. Sleep well friend.

  4. Glitterina says

    So happy you are getting much-needed silver-lined sleep! You are right on point about the benefits of getting a good night's sleep and also creating a ritual. I have my alarm set for 9:30 pm, that's my cue to take a warm shower, with lots and lots of bubbles courtesy of Philosophy's Amazing Grace, brew a cup of Sleepytime tea with a bit of honey, grab an issue of Romantic Homes and hit the sheets. About 20 minutes later I am usually happily snoozing! Have been known to change into my jammies as soon as I get home, particularly after a bumpy day at the office …

    Wishing you beautiful, peaceful, restful sleep and sweet dreams!

  5. Laura Johnston says

    I am so happy for you, Holley! I can only imagine how a boost to your creative energy will bring pleasure to all of us readers. Will do my best to take your advice and back away from the computer an hour before bedtime 😀 xo Laura

    • says

      Thanks Laura. Thankfully enough sleep is a boost to just about EVERYTHING! Enjoy the unplugging…it's so worth it!

      Best,
      Hollye