Articles

Sleep Week

I love sharing good health and wellness material on our We R Native page and social media channels, so in lieu of National Sleep Week, I want to do something different and fun. I want to invite you into my space and take you on a little journey with me to track my sleeping patterns.

What is that you ask? Before I dive in to specifics, let’s go over the “why” piece. Unlike top heavy topics that affect Indian country such as diabetes, obesity, suicide, etc. sleep is not really a hot topic that is discussed when it comes to overall health. But, it is an important factor and contributor when it comes to those heavier health issues.

Sleep is the essential part of our overall health and well-being. Sleep is food for the brain, and it’s as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. It also gives your body a chance to recharge and get ready for each day.

So what are some things you can do if you are struggling to get a good night’s rest? It might be a good idea to keep a sleep journal to help keep track of when your sleepless cycles occur. This might shed light on why you have trouble staying asleep. For instance, maybe it happens around exam time, sporting events, when you don’t exercise as much as you normally do, or when you stay up late playing video games or are on a devise. You’re the expert on how you’re feeling, so it’s a good idea to really tune into this.

Sooooo, back to this little journey, I will show you my sleeping track from my Fitbit charge 2. On this journey I will show you what works for me to get a good nights rest, and I will also try out some new and recommended healthy habits for sleeping!

Trust me, I know it isn’t easy. I’ve been there, all through high school, during my undergraduate at the University of New Mexico (Go Lobos!), and as an adult now. Those sleepless nights, crappy mattresses, all-nighters, insomnia, stress, loud neighbors, sharing scary stories with your cousins, work schedules, etc. All these different reasons then trying to go to practice, or going to your 8 AM class, running on little hours or minutes of sleep. I had a job where my shift would end around 11 PM, get home do some homework/read, then I finally get to bed and fall asleep around 2 AM. Then I have a 9 AM class the next day, so that meant waking up at 7:30 to get ready and drive to campus. I also noticed with today’s times I’m carrying around new habits, such as going to bed with my phone, pinning things on Pinterest, trying out snapchat filters, watching YouTube tutorials and cruising through Facebook and Instagram.

Before I start my journey to fitness, here are some prior views of my “sleeping tracker.” The sleep recommendation for young adults is 7-9 hours of sleep each day to feel your best! So, my goal has been set at a reasonable time, 8 hours 15 minutes of sleep. I have a target sleeping schedule, bedtime by 10:25 PM and wake up time by 7:00 AM.

The time begins when I went to sleep and ending time is when I woke up. The little hashes show areas when I “tossed/turned.” The green stars indicate I met my goal. This is a little preview of how this journey will work.

Just so you know, all sleeping patterns are different for each person. It depends on your age, etc. So what I show you on mine, may or may not work out for you. But! Don’t feel discouraged, keep working on what makes sense for YOU! 🙂

Anyway, I’ll be wearing my Fitbit to sleep all this week. Tune in back here on Saturday April 29 to see the results and health habits that worked for me.

 

-Celena McCray is a member of the Navajo Nation (Dine). She’s from a small rural community called Becenti, New Mexico which is located on the Eastern part of the Navajo Reservation. Celena is the suicide prevention project coordinator for THRIVE (Tribal Health: Reaching out InVolves Everyone), and also helps with We R Native!

 

 

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