Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Margie Lawson-Defeat SDB's



THE POWER OF SLEEP
By Margie Lawson

A big THANK YOU to Angie Breidenbach for inviting me to guest blog today!

I have an important announcement: If you post a comment today, you have a chance to WIN one of my LECTURE PACKETS (a $20 value):

1. Empowering Characters' Emotions
2. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More
3. Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors

Each Lecture Packet is power-packed with over 200 pages of lectures. They have the potential to change your writing world. ;-)))

Please visit my web site, www.MargieLawson.com, and click on Lecture Packets to read the course descriptions.
Thanks. Now let’s dig in!

THE POWER OF SLEEP

We’ll start with something fun. Are you sleep deprived? Try this SHEEP DASH – and check your response time:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/

Now – go to another site and take an on-line test to assess your sleep. Scroll way down the page and you’ll see the Scorepworth Sleepiness Scale.


Now that you know more about your response times and your sleep debt, let’s talk about sleep dynamics.

If you’ve slept well, you have the potential to have a super productive, super creative, super happy day. Writers need all three going strong to optimize their success.

Some people go through their days, months, and years, sleep deprived. If you have an infant, sleep deprivation is the norm. If not, you’ll enjoy life more if you make sleep a priority.

Why do we need to get decent sleep?

There are five top answers – and I see all of them as being equally important.

1. Memory Booster – During sleep, your brain organizes memories, which helps you access them when you’re awake.

2. Learning Booster – When you learn new things during the day, sleep helps you process what you learned, locks in the learning

3. Mood Booster – While you’re sleeping, emotions, decision-making, and social interaction get a break. They rest. The more rest you have, the more you may be able to problem solve the next day.

4. Neuron Booster – Neurons that are used each day repair themselves at night. If you don’t make your sleep quota, your nervous system isn’t repaired. When we’re sleep deprived, it’s no wonder we feel like our nerves are fried.

5. Immune System Booster – If sleep deficient, our bodies are open to invasion. We’re vulnerable. Infection and disease take hold.

Our memory, learning, mood, nervous system, and immune system ALL function better when we get enough sleep.

How much sleep is enough?

Research is fairly consistent in this area. The average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Refreshing sleep requires a good 7 hours to complete the sleep stages: Drowsiness, Light Sleep, and Deep Sleep, which includes Dream Sleep.

Some people seem to need less sleep, others seem to need more. If you’re sleeping more than 8 hours per night, it could be a symptom of depression. That topic is deeper than this blog topic will go. Either talk to your doctor, pursue psychological therapy, or both.

If you consistently sleep less than 7 hours, you may have issues with weight gain as well as immune system problems. Work on improving your sleep patterns.

What can you do each day, to improve your sleep at night?

NO NAPS! Or – no more than a 15 – 30 minute POWER NAP

WATCH YOUR CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL -- none to some

CHECK YOUR IRON LEVEL – you may be low

EXERCISE 45+ MINUTES PER DAY – morning or afternoon

GO AFTER SUNLIGHT EARLY IN THE DAY – or use one of those cool natural-sunshine lamps – sunshine will help regulate your bio-clock.

What if you wake up and you can’t get back to sleep?

BORE YOURSELF -- think of something mindless, like counting a mountain of cotton balls

LEAVE YOUR BED – read something bland, listen to environmental music, return to bed when you’re sleepy

EAT TURKEY – it creates L-tryptophan which makes us sleepy

NOTE: Turkey must be eaten on an empty stomach (no protein in stomach) in order to work as a sleep aid.

SLEEP is a big topic with more areas to explore. There are dozens of more things you can do to improve your sleep. Keeping this blog-length, I’ve hit the highlights.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our foray into THE POWER OF SLEEP . . . and I hope you’re motivated to make refreshing, rejuvenating, revitalizing sleep a priority.

CONSIDER THE ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES AND STRESS ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS. PUT SOME ENERGY INTO SLEEPING WELL!

THE POWER OF SLEEP is one of five new sections I’m adding to the 200+ pages of lectures in my Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors course I teach on-line in January.

You can read the course description under the LECTURE PACKETS button on my web site: www.MargieLawson.com Please feel free to e-mail me if you have questions: margie@margielawson.com

THANK YOU for dropping by Angie Breidenbach’s blog. Again, a warm THANK YOU to Angie for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. ;-)))

THE CONTEST DRAWING will be tonight, 10PM Mountain Time. Post a comment, and you may win one of my Lecture Packets!

ALL SMILES…………………MARGIE
www.MargieLawson.com


Angie says: Thank you, Margie! I had so much fun playing with the sheep. I learned that I'm not as sleep deprived as I thought, but that I could do better. The tests gave me some ideas on how to improve so that I can be more effective. (I did get my hubby to take the tests too. Heh heh, it was fun.)
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