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I have made an association between memory issues and sleep. It’s an association I can’t prove, because it is anecdotal. And as you know if you have read much about nutrition and health, anecdotal evidence carries no weight. Only scientific double blind studies are considered reliable proof. Perhaps someone has done a study about this that I haven’t read, or perhaps someone needs to do a study. At any rate, all I know is what has happened to me, and I am resolved to get more sleep.
If you have a good memory, you may be chuckling because this is not the first time that I have said I needed more sleep. I have made promises and made excuses many times. But recently I got serious, and the results were so beneficial, that I hope I will never regress.
When my Dad died in 2008, I was the executrix of his estate, and I took on additional responsibility for my Mom. I was also trying to find a job. It was a really busy time. Sometimes I stayed up late in order to complete all of the tasks that had to be completed. Sometimes I stayed up late because after being bombarded with phone calls and e-mails, I just wanted to be alone in a quiet house. In addition to all of the other stress, I was concerned that I couldn’t always mentally juggle all of the things I was dealing with. I forgot names. I got the sequence of events wrong. I made lots of notes to myself so that I wouldn’t make any mistakes. In addition to everything else, there was a nagging fear that I was losing my edge.
By May, the estate paperwork was finished. Mom was settled in a routine. The economy was so bad that gave up on finding a job. I became one of Obama’s underemployed and started my own business. The stress level went down and the amount of sleep went up. Surprise, surprise – my memory came back.
At the end of August, my Mom had a stroke that left her completely helpless and led to her death four months later. As the responsibility increased, my sleep decreased. Little memory lapses also returned. My husband retired during this period, so the only time I could be alone was late at night. It was usually midnight and often after 2 A.M. before I went to bed.
God began to poke at me about my need for rest – particularly with scriptures dealing with a day of rest and a year of rest. Matthew 11:28-29 made me think about how I was behaving. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.”
I also re-read in Live Right 4 Your Type what Dr. D’Adamo has to say about sleep.
So two weeks ago I began to stop whatever I was doing at 10:30. I finished the dishes, shut down the computer, and went to bed. I set my alarm for 8 hours after I actually got into bed. The first surprise was that the alarm woke me up. For most of my life my optimum amount of sleep has been 7 hours. When we would go on vacation, after a couple of nights catching up, I would be wide awake almost exactly 7 hours after I went to sleep. I recognized that if I was still sound asleep after 8 hours that I was seriously sleep deprived. This recognition was the motivation I needed to continue to be self disciplined.
In the past few days, I have noticed two things. First, my memory is much improved. To say that I am encouraged would be an understatement. Second, I am now waking after 7 hours of sleep, but rolling over and sleeping again until the alarm goes off. This indicates that I am gradually getting the rest that I have needed.
When God ordered His people to rest, he knew what he was talking about. I just hope I can remember this.
It's been a trying few years for you, Suzanne. Wishing you wellness and continued faith.
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