*Note from Sarah: Well folks, it’s been about a year since I first introduced Sleep Remedy to y’all (formerly known as Sleep Cocktail) and the news of better sleep, performance, and overall health has been rolling in and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!!! However, like with anything else, there isn’t a magic bullet and you can bio-hack, pop supplements, and count macros every which way from Sunday but if you don’t truly make self-care a priority, none of that other nonsense really matters. Trust me, I know this better than you think and although what I preach to my clients all the time is SELF CARE FIRST – actually practicing this concept is a whole other story. However, Doc Parsley is back with an article that hits this point home in a way that I hope makes you prioritize YOU rather than all the other things, people, projects, and work that you might believe should come first. Finally, if you aren’t one of the gazillions who are happily sleeping better than ever thanks to the amazing Sleep Remedy then you need to hop on board ASAP. My own sleep – no wait – my own LIFE to be exact has improved tremendously since I’ve made Sleep Remedy a part of my personal self care routine, and trust me, it’s gotten me through some pretty tough times. For me, sleep always has to come first and if I can at least keep that intact, it makes everything else so much more manageable. Oh, and be sure to use the code “Sarah Fragoso” at check out for a 10% discount!!
What we need most, we often give up first
Self-care encompasses a lot of stuff. In my experience those that don’t unconditionally love themselves, struggle with self-care the most. So we could call it self-love, or compassion for one’s self, or acceptance of one’s self, or even the practice of unconditionally forgiving ourselves for our imperfections and mistakes. Like many things the dualistic nature of our language makes some things hard to capture with words. However, since I’m a doctor and not a philosopher or theologian, I’ll stick to the parts of self-care that I can define through observation and discussion.
With my patients, and clients, self-care is usually the last thing they think of. Those of you who know me might say; “well of course Kirk, you work with Navy SEALs, and Law Enforcement, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, professional athletes etc. Of course they wouldn’t focus on self care”, and you would be correct. However, I also work with mechanics and office workers, salesmen, drivers, wives, mom’s, and nurturers. Guess who puts their self-care the furthest down the list? If you guessed the nurturing wives and mom’s, score yourself 2 bonus points. The fact of the matter is that our entire society is living unrealistic life-styles. Our bodies, minds, nervous system did not develop and evolve in the world that we live in. A camel is a marvel of adaptation and evolution, but if you expected all camels to live and thrive in the middle of the ocean, you’d be disappointed.
Unfortunately, there are limits to how little of the game we can play and still be a normal, functioning member of society. We have to get up early to take our kids to school, or the courts will get us. We have to feed our kids or they’ll starve. We have to help with homework, and drive them to dance, football, soccer, parties, sleep overs, the mall . . . and on and on and on. Oh, and while your doing that, go grocery shopping, keep up the house, pay the utility bills, fix the broken toys, refold their clothes daily, and it would be nice if you could hold down a job too, and be a great wife. Then . . . take care of yourself, go to the gym, get a massage, go on a walk, have a night out with your girlfriends, just don’t forget about dinner.
I know what you’re saying; “that’s totally unrealistic”! But, the stories of women I know that live this life-style are legion. I’ve had some tough jobs in my life, but nothing compares to being a single parent and having a career. And the first thing that we all give up is . . . ?
You guessed it: Sleep! The only time your going to get to put your feet up and drink a glass of wine is after the kids are asleep and the dishwasher is running, and things are largely put away and set for tomorrow. It would be bad for the soul to get rid of that ritual. Many of you find that the morning is the only time you have to yourself, perhaps even the only time to work out, or go on a walk. So, you stay up a little late, get up a little early and abracadabra, you magically get it all done. And, you feel terrific right? What’s that? Did I hear a “hell no” from the back?
Let’s face it. We are doing all of this crap because we think at some level it will make us happy. But, let’s break down that logic. How happy would you be if you didn’t have the strength to get out of bed, or the health to get through your day. What about the emotional stability to be a great parent, or have beautiful connected relationships. What if you couldn’t even reach an emotional place high enough to smile really big, or feel the joy of an amazing experience? It’s easy to argue that you might not be living the happiest life possible. Enter self-care.
Again, I won’t try to define the full scope of self-care, but let’s just break it down into a few categories of behaviors: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, Stress control, Mindset—fair? Now let me ask you this; what area of your life is detracting most from your happiness, productivity, or energy? I don’t actually need to know your answer to know the answer to how to improve it. That might be a little hyperbolic, but I’d bet that fewer than 10% of the people reading this article are getting sufficient quantity and quality of sleep.
But, of the self-care categories I listed above, can you guess which one is the most important? Sleep isn’t unconsciousness where everything simply rests. ALL repair actually happens during sleep. Your muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, skin, brain, and every other organ in your body repairs during sleep—exclusively. The chemicals in your brain that control your mood rebalance at night. The neurotoxins that affect your mood, concentration, and mental clarity are flushed out while you sleep. Your sex hormones are produced ONLY while you sleep. Emotions are categorized, new information is filed away, and creativity is restored—while you sleep. Your hunger, and cravings, and how your body uses the food you eat is determined by the previous night’s sleep. There is not a single thing in the world more important to your health and well being than sleep. ANYTHING that you want to get better at requires sleep—even the things you just want to keep how they are.
So, hopefully I’ve convinced you that sleep is important. If you need help with basic sleep promoting behaviors, read my previous posts on this site found here, here, and here. For more information about my sleep supplement or for more from me you can look me up at DocParsley.com!