Sleep and naps

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I rarely get a full weekend off anymore. In the past year I can remember maybe 2 weekends that I had off with no clients and no major work to be taken care of. Working saturdays at the chiropractors office means that saturdays are a full day with clients and a yoga class. Every saturday for years has been like this and like most people I adapt to whatever my schedule is.

Over time I’ve noticed that my sleep needs are higher than many people. I think this is due to several factors. One is that my normal inclination is just to sleep more than what most consider the average of 8 hours. Another is the fact that my job is manual in nature and I burn more calories moving around. It’s not digging a trench in the sun but it’s still working and manual labor that takes more energy. The last is that even with the manual component it’s also energetically and mentally draining. The focus and continued nurturing care that goes along with bodywork takes a toll.

I slept 12 hours the other night. My wife asked me if I wanted her to wake me in the morning and as I had the sunday off I told her no, just let me sleep till I wake naturally. I woke at 2pm. Years ago there would be a small amount of concern at allowing myself to sleep so much. There are things to do, you could have woken earlier and taken advantage of the cooler temps outside to do yard work. The list goes on but let’s say there is still some puritan work ethic rumbling around.

While thinking about the issue I find it funny that when I do wake up I feel better, my joints ache less and I’m more mentally alert. When I do get up and get to work, which is always the case, I do it better and with less mistakes or brain fog. My wife often comments that I’m moving while I’m sitting still, I never stop. Even on a yoga mat I’m moving, stretching, breathing and it’s the time where I’m most still.

Even now as I type this I’m playing poker online and watching a comedy show on dvd. Usually this is just how my life is. I run at a higher rpm and need more sleep when I do finally run down. Learning to accept our own biorhythms and nature seems to me the way that we get the most of our bodies while we have them. Start where you are. For me this means allowing myself to get more sleep. It also means being able to allow myself to take less clients per day for massage and allow myself down time.

Setting limits and boundaries around our energy levels seems only fitting. Asking for help when we need it and our reserves are dwindling allows us to recharge and use communal resources for the same recharging benefit. This afternoon I just up and decided it was time for a 45 minute nap and it was taken. I felt refreshed and awake, my alertness made yoga class easier and my body just functions better.

In the absence of sleep I’m told everyone will eventually go crazy. Let’s not allow that to happen. Summer is upon us and in higher temperatures in the afternoon it’s time to siesta. Wake up refreshed and then you can fiesta.

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