Welcome back Shike doo Shidine (my friends and family)! I hope you were able to tune into our We R Native social media channels and see all the Sleep Awareness Week material! As this week comes to a close, I wanted to recap my results from my previous blog. If you haven’t read it, check it out here: http://www.wernative.org/blog-posts/sleep-journal
With this activity, I wanted to share my sleeping “digital” journal through my Fitbit Charge 2. Fitbit has a nice nifty feature where it tracks your sleeping patterns to promote overall health. Good sleep is good health! My goal was to share what works for me to get a good night’s rest, and also try out some new and recommended healthy habits!
According to the sleeping recommendations for me, I should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep. My goal on my Fitbit is set to get at least 8 hours 15 minutes of sleep each day. In order to achieve that my bedtime is 10:25 PM and wake up time by 7:00 AM.
Monday night I went to sleep at 10:54 PM and got up at 7:50 AM Tuesday morning. I had so many things on my mind and I felt some stress levels rising for the week after going to work on Monday. It was hard to concentrate on winding down or relaxing. One thing that I always do that helps me relax and also release some stress is burning sage I guess you can say it’s a way of meditation and helps me wind down. I have a small bundle sitting on my dresser, and before I got to bed I light it. It helps me keep calm and relax. I love the aroma diffusing throughout my room and home. It also puts out some good vibes.
Tuesday night was rough. I went to bed at 11:33 PM and got up Wednesday at 5:38 AM. I felt like I could not sleep. One, I ate too late around 8:45 PM and felt pretty full the whole night. Two, I was excited and anxious for my work trip! I was heading to a conference in Phoenix AZ to promote suicide prevention in Native communities. I was excited to go into the unknown for this work trip so I spent my evening thinking about everything. Honestly, being a southwest Native I was pretty much excited to feel the sun and the warmth on my skin. Three, I was wondering if I forgot anything, my house key, things for the work trip, wondering if I packed anything I didn’t need, etc. I also kept my phone by me because I wanted to make sure I had my alarm set and did not want to miss my flight, which departed at 8:30 AM, so I had to be at their airport at least by 6:30 AM!
Wednesday night I went to sleep around my goal time at 10:11 PM woke up 6:48 AM Thursday morning. I went to sleep right away that night, I think it was because I was so tired from my trip flying into Phoenix and going straight into conference mode. Network with people, tell them about our program, get them hyped for We R Native, etc. I really did not get a chance to settle in and make myself comfy at my room.
After the conference was over around 7 PM, I went to go workout and finally got to my room to get ready for bed around 9:50 PM. Even though I was not sleeping on my own bed and sleeping on hotel beds, I still made sure my environment was comfortable. Back at home one thing I have passion about is my bed. It wasn’t until I was 23 when I realized this. I began to understand that this is where I spend the majority of my life and it better be good! I invest in good pillows-goose feathers are my favorite, good sheets –high thread count, or micro sheets, mattress-I got the best one I could afford, and headboard to make my room look amazing!
Also, this one was a hard one for me, but keeping my room cool actually led me to feel more comfortable when I went to sleep. I get cold, very easily, and the idea of making my room at a cool 60-67 degrees made me want to shiver. Portland has been a cool high 50 and low 40’s at night. I sleep with my window open and it makes me feel more relaxed. But I can’t tell the temperature. So I used the hotel room to make those adjustments. It also helped me wake up in the morning too!
Thursday night I went to sleep around my goal time at 11:03 PM woke up 6:50 AM Friday morning. Thursday was a lot harder to get some rest. I was really thinking about the past two days of the conference, I also had a late dinner because I was at the conference till 7:30 PM.
As tired I was, I did not want to take a nap because I knew I wasn’t going to go to bed, plus I had to be at work early. After the conference ended, I took a quick break; I put my feet up and tried not to go to sleep. I then had dinner that evening. I also noticed within those past two days is that I did not turn on the T.V. I think that really helped me a lot by forcing myself to get some rest for the next day.
Also, one thing that works for me to clear my mind is sketch-noting. [Side note, one thing I enjoy is watching YouTube videos. I enjoy watching videos that I find productive. Occasionally I’ll throw in a nice makeup tutorial, but I enjoy looking at fitness tips, how to meal prep, organization videos, room makeovers, etc. ] Anyway, sketch -noting is drawing out notes instead of writing them down. I’m not the greatest drawer but I draw whatever is on your mind. It also gives you a chance to clear your mind, this is also known as “brain dump.” I just drew down everything that was on my mind, especially after two days of learning so many things.
Friday night I went to sleep around 11:02 PM woke up 5:57 AM Saturday morning. Another jam pack day at the conference but this time I decided to kick my feet up after the conference ended. I ate dinner around 7 PM, did a nice workout in my hotel room, finally turned on the T.V. and watched a movie, and tried out some stretching before heading to bed. After my stretches, I felt more relax, and calm. But! Right when I was about to shut my eyes, I hear some loud music outside my window.
Growing up back on the rez, I didn’t have much noise to worry about, it was very quiet. But in an urban setting, its more challenging to drown out the noise. So sometimes I play some peyote songs or some round dance songs (Johnny Mike & Verdell Primeaux and Northern Cree) on my phone to help drown out the sound. Here are a few of my favorites I like to share with you.
As you can see with my Fitbit results, I didn’t exactly reach my goal every day going to sleep but I was able to reach a few days of my recommended hours of sleep. The new habits I picked up such as stretching, fixing the room temperature, eating dinner earlier, putting away electronics are a few things I would love to continue.
One thing I enjoy about my Fitbit is tracking my sleeping patterns. Prior to sleep week and this journey, I was always curious about my “sleep health.” There are times I knew I was not getting enough sleep and I also knew it was not healthy. I think it is best to create your own sleeping journal to see where you stand with your sleep.
I think me heading to the conference can be related as if you have a big exam the next day or a game you have to prep for. The good stressors get you all hyped up, but maybe not so good for your sleep. So making sure you have good habits can help you get the rest you need and be ready for the big day! I hope this little journey, and sharing my tips and new things to try out will help you get the rest you need!