Posts Tagged ‘sleep’
Sleep is one of the key ingredients for success. I have the perfect example to illustrate the point.
My son Tsoof is 18 years old. As his mother, I am slightly biased, but he is very smart and talented. He is in his third year of university and is excelling in everything. He is taking extra subjects, plays in three bands, he teaches two music classes and is simultaneously composing music and working on producing a show..
This week, I read an article that explained one of the reasons why Tsoof is so successful. He sleeps a lot.
Sounds funny, right? Keep reading to see what I mean.
The article I read talked about the damage of not getting enough sleep. Tsoof, from a very young age, was a good sleeper. When other kids in day care did not need to take an afternoon nap, he still slept in the afternoon. Later on, when he was in primary school and even in high school, no matter what movie was on or what he had to do for school, he slept an average of 10 hours a night. Our two daughters consider sleep to be a waste of time, but Tsoof never needed to be “encourage” to go to bed. Today, he is busier than ever before and he still averages over 9 hours a night.
I have been teaching happiness for many years and one of the things most of my clients want to know is how to find out when they are happy. You see, people are focused on what is going wrong in their lives. They have signs that tell them that things are not going great. Let me share some with you.
image”I am unhappy when I’m in conflict”
“I am unhappy when I don’t succeed”
“I am unhappy when things don’t happen the way I want them to happen”
“I am unhappy when people do not agree with me”
“I am unhappy when I am tired”
“I am unhappy when I don’t have the money to do all the things I want to do”
“I am unhappy if I can’t predict the future”
“I am unhappy if I am not in control all the time”
“I am unhappy when I worry”
“I am unhappy when people do not appreciate me”
“I am unhappy when others are more successful than me”
Research shows that people have more signs for unhappiness than signs for happiness.
Let’s continue with our tips on how to be happy and feel good in life. In the first post, I shared the science of endorphins – the “feel good” hormones. Chapter two was about the science of smiling. In the third chapter, I explained how taking time off can help us improve our mood, feelings and functioning. In this fourth chapter, I will explain how a good night’s sleep can improve our health and well-being and make us feel good.
Sleep is essential to our health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, many people do not get enough sleep or do not sleep well. A survey conducted in the years 1999 and 2004 found that 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. When we are asleep, the brain goes through our impressions of the day in a process vital to memory formation.
Good sleep impacts our nervous system, cardiovascular system, metabolism and immune system. Imagine what impact bad sleep has!
During a recent presentation, someone asked me to share some tips on how to feel good. In the first post of the series How to Feel Good, I shared the science of endorphins – the feel good hormones. In the second, I covered the science of smiling. In this post, I suggest another great way to feel good – taking time off.
Last year, I took time off from everything (home, work, kids and Gal) and went overseas to spend some time with my family. It was a wonderful reminder for me about why we have take time off to recharge out emotional batteries.
Taking time off from daily life can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing. It helps us regenerate and start fresh. Sleep is the body’s natural way of giving us time off. It “forces” us to rest so we can function. Did you know that without sleep, we would die? If you want to torture someone, you do not need to hurt them. Just deprive them of sleep for 2-3 night. Just ask any mom!
In over 1,100 posts on this blog, I have covered a lot of topics that lead to happiness. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the flipside of happiness – depression, because depression is a big issue for many families these days.
There are many depressed couples, depressed parents and more and more depressed kids. The most concerning of these are parents who suffer from depression, because they often raise kids that cannot handle life very well.
Some say depression runs in families. That is not surprising because I think if you take a perfectly normal and healthy child and raise them in a house where one or both parents are depressed, they will definitely grow up to be troubled.
Depression is something people do not like talking about. I know many families in which the depressed parent is dragging the whole family down but no one says anything. It is very much like having a parent who is alcoholic or terminally ill. Everyone walks around on eggshells but tries not to say anything. Not always because they are afraid, but often because they have given up trying to speak up.
Stress is the new era’s worst disease. It is estimated that over 90% of all illnesses are caused or worsened by stress. In the future, you may find yourself dedicating most of your energy to overcoming stress. Stress management is a lifelong journey and everything little thing you do can help.
There are many ways to measure your stress level. I personally like rating it on a scale of 1 to 10. For any of my coaching clients, I recommend a stress review every three month to make. This helps them make sure they are progressing (or at least helps them find out if their situation is getting worse). The issue with stress is that you start noticing it when it gets out of control. Regular monitoring when things are going well can be critical. It allows you to find a benchmark that you can compare to. If things go a little sour, you can do something straight away before you find yourself in a mental health ward with a nervous breakdown.
In every family, some mornings are harder than others. How the morning goes often sets the tone for the rest of the day, so the way all the family members wake up can determine whether the day will be easy and relaxed or stressed and chaotic.
Imagine a rushed morning. You find yourself saying things like, “Get ready”, “Get dressed”, “Come on, put your shoes on”, “We are going to be late”. The kids are late for school, you are late for work, you spill coffee in the car, the kids forget their lunch boxes and when you think it could not possibly get any worse, you find yourself stuck in traffic. You end up thinking if only you had those 5 minutes you wasted hurrying the kids, you would have been ready on time.
It is not always easy to wake up kids. If they went to sleep later than usual, or they stayed up late in front of a screen, it can be even harder. The best way to help them wake up in the morning is to give them time. I know it sounds funny but enough time to wake up at their own pace is all it takes. Regardless of their age, waking up at their own speed is essential for a good start to the day.
In Australia, the new school year starts today. I sent some rules about starting the year on a positive note to all my clients, which I would like to share with you too.
Even though the first week of the school year is not very important in terms of learning material (because most teachers do not teach new things), I believe it is one of the most important weeks. It is a pivotal point for setting the right frame of mind to ensure a good year.
Most kids are very excited to start the year. They have mixed emotions of anticipation and fear. Whatever happens in the first week of school, will determine which will take over – the fun and excitement or the dread, from the new teacher, academic performance or lack of friends.
Last week, our 11-year-old daughter Noff had a slumber party for her birthday. Since she has a birthday party every year (most of her friends do not), we decided we would try to do something different this year. She had already had one or two friends for a sleepover, but never a whole slumber party. At first, I asked her how many girls she would invite and she said 5, but when the invitation went out, I discovered she had invited 12 girls.
Hmmm… I wondered how that would work.
While I was worried if we would be able to fit 12 girls into our living room as the invitation went out, I realized that a slumber party required more than just a big living room. It comes with lots of other challenges. Some people also questioned our choice to allow this mass sleepover to take place, but I thought it was a great opportunity to give our daughter a chance to learn things about herself and others that no amount of talking could.
Challenge 1: The number of kids
The first challenge was to reduce the number of people from 24 that usually come to her parties to 7, which we thought would be a good number. Obviously, this did not work for us, because with a lot of effort, Noff only brought it down to 12. She struggled so much that we comforted each other, “We’ll manage. We always do”.
Eventually, 7 girls confirmed, we put mattresses on the floor, and as the girls came with their small suitcases, we discovered there were 9 girls there, 10 including Noff.
Last Sunday, Ronit ran a parenting workshop and I came in the afternoon to help her pack. When I arrived, she was still talking to the parents about rules and boundaries and mentioned the way she used “family rules” to avoid conflicts with the kids.
That reminded me of the time when I wanted to register for a software engineering course at the local university. The course I wanted was popular and all the places were taken, so I rang during my lunch break to ask to be put on the waiting list.
“I’m sorry, Sir, but you’ll have to come in person and fill out the waiting list form”, the administrator told me.
“Can you please just take my details and put me on the list?”
“I’m sorry, Sir, but it’s university policy”, she said.
Boy, was I pissed off at this. I was spewing for weeks afterwards. It may have even contributed to my later stomach ulcer. Or not.
Over the years that followed, more and more companies structured their operations in such a way that clients could not get their way. Not easily, anyway. When I rang Customer Service, I would bump into First Line staff who were basically trained parrots. The term “company policy” rang in my ears more and more often. It was infuriating.
But at some point, Ronit and I learned how to use the same trick to our advantage as parents. Oh, sweet revenge!