Last week I was pummeled with the flu. The timing wasn’t exactly the best because I had just finished my book and was now focussed on the next task – book promotion.
Except, the Universe had other plans.
I have a book club that I regularly meet with and book club night was the same day that I finished my book [YAAAY ME!] You can order it here.
As the night went on I noticed that my throat felt a bit raw, then almost instantly a dry hacking cough came out of nowhere. I thought that a mild case of the sniffles was on the horizon – ‘no biggie’ I thought. I’ll just sip on a hot mug of Echinacea tea when I get home and it will be allll good. Except it wasn’t – it REALLY wasn’t. The next morning when I woke up it felt like an episode of Stranger Things with objects hurdling around the room leaving me feeling like I was in some sort of upside down universe. The mirror on the wall looked like it was spinning in a circle and my dresser seemed to be…walking??!!
Next, I tried to lift my head off the pillow. Had someone tied a cement block to my head?? And like that my head quickly collapsed back on the pillow. Shooting pain from the top of my head to the tips of my toenails, left me baffled, confused and freaked out. I wanted to yell for my husband Danny to help me make sense of this but my voice was merely a whisper so I sent him a text:
Me: Want to get up but feel so weak. Send help now.
Danny: You want to take a shower?
Me: COME UPSTAIRS!!
Somehow my beloved hubby thinks that taking a shower helps everything.
Stubbed your toe? Take a shower.
Have a cough? Take a shower.
Hungry? Take a shower.
Well when he realized a shower wasn’t the answer and saw my state he was like – ‘oh crap. I think you have the flu.
My track record for dodging the flu has been great – remarkable actually. I haven’t had the flu in 12 years. I know. I can hardly believe it as I type this. I mean I’ve had colds here and there but the flu? Naaa that doesn’t happen to me. That’s why I was so bewildered and couldn’t figure out what was going on. I was man down for one week and as I reflected in my piles of tissues and super sized glasses of apple juice I asked myself. How did this happen?
Lack of sleep.
Writing a book is hard. Very very hard. I don’t think I quite realized what I signed up for until it was too late. Now when I start something I make it a personal mission to finish it. I know quite a few people who have talked about writing a book and have either never started it, or couldn’t get past the table of contents. My pride and competitive spirit wouldn’t allow this so I plugged away.
Now my my eating habits didn’t take much of a beating. I still ate pretty healthy and kept up my meal planning throughout the writing process. The one thing however that suffered was my sleep. Before the book I would get on average about 7 – 7.5 hours of sleep a night. During the months of writing the book? 5.5 hours at best, sometimes less. Yikes! I felt like such a hypocrite. Here I was talking, shouting from the mountaintop really about the importance of sleep but I was basically taking naps at night?! It was even one of the habits I wrote about in the book!
I know, I know, the irony of this is not lost on me and is actually a bit embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong – I loooooove sleep, but during the book I completely fell out of line with my sleep habit, which also reminded me about the importance of getting enough shut eye. After being forced to sleep for 8 hours or more while I was sick I’m happy to say that I’ve re-established my sleep habit. It turns out that getting the flu was the best thing to teach me about how important sleep is to the body.
Here’s 4 ways to develop a sleep habit:
Establish A Regular Sleep Pattern
First things first try to establish a regular sleep pattern by going to bed and waking at the same time every day.
Write Down All the Things that are Keeping You Up
I don’t know about you but I sometimes have a hard time drifting off to sleep because I’m thinking of all the things that didn’t get done or need to do the next day. The solution? Keep a journal next to your bed and write down all the things that worry you. This way you can clear your mind of all the clutter of the day by putting pen to paper which will make it easier to fall asleep.
Create a Wind Down Routine
I talk about this more in the book including the best foods and nutrients to induce sleep but start a ritual that clears your mind about 30 minutes before bedtime. I suggest dimming the the lights, having a cup of tea or a bath then curling into a bed with a book. This wind down is important for helping to increase the sleep regulating hormone melatonin in your body.
Exercise is best way to ensure a restful night’s sleep. A study in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity showed that sleeplessness decreased 65% for participants who exercised 150 minutes each week [about 20 minutes a day]. I personally find a huge difference in the quality of my sleep on the days that I exercise.
How Much Sleep Should I Get?
Now you’re probably wondering – how much sleep should I get?
I personally feel that everyone should get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. That falls right in the middle of what most experts suggest and is a sufficient amount of time to give your immune system a boost and restore your body. However in the book I share a quiz that you can take to know your sleep type so you can know when you’re most productive and how much sleep your body needs to function at it’s best.
More Sleep = A Smaller Waistline
Did you know that sleep can also affect your weight? In the book you’ll learn the link between sleep and weight gain which are more closely intertwined than you may think. You’ll discover two important hormones that determine your appetite and hunger signals. One of them regulates your appetite, metabolism and calorie burning which is important to understand if you’re trying to lose weight.
There’s lots of info in my new book Unbreakable, to help you create healthy habits and make small choices to increase your energy, lose weight and make eating healthy easier without relying on willpower.
You can order your copy by clicking here or below: