The Importance of Sleep

I do laundry everyday.  And I’m sure I’m not alone.  But I have the bad habit of waiting til after the kid goes to bed to start…  Which means that a single load that takes 2 hours to wash and dry doesn’t get finished until 9 or 10 at night.  Not a big deal, right?  Unless I have more than one load to do… or diapers to wash.  In order to keep up, I started the routine of sleeping in the recliner so that I could continually do laundry throughout the night.  I haven’t slept particularly well for years, so I figured I might as well get something productive done rather than wake up at 2am and eat ice cream. 


So, here I am wondering why I’m so stupid by lunchtime.  First solution: caffeine.  I don’t like coffee, so I was downing 32oz beverages like it was crucial to my survival…  And I guess to be honest, it was crucial.  But soon, Pepsi wasn’t enough, so I had to look for something harder.  Dr. Pepper really did the trick for awhile, but it too began to fail me.  I knew I had to look for another alternative before I graduated to the heroin of sodas, Mountain Dew.  Or worse, energy drinks…


After months of sugar highs and subsequent crashes (not to mention that extra poundage that empty calories provide), I needed an intervention…  I needed better sleep. 


I had overheard someone touting the benefits of magnesium supplements awhile back, and started doing some research.  Turns out that magnesium (found predominantly in dark leafy greens) is essential for nerve function.  More importantly, the relaxation of nerve function.  (Magnesium is also great for people with restless leg syndrome.)  Well, who eats enough dark leafy greens in this world filled with processed foods and 16oz steaks?  Not to say that I indulge in either, but I will confess that I don’t always eat my spinach… 


The trick with taking additional magnesium is that you have to consume enough calcium to metabolize it.  So, instead of adding another pill to my collection, I decided to drink a glass of milk with it.  And low and behold, something started to work!  I’m not sure if it’s the magnesium, the sedative effects of milk, or just the routine of it all, but I’m getting better sleep than I’ve had in a long time.  And I realized that my mommy brain wasn’t as bad after a decent night’s rest.  I started using bigger words again, was more efficient during the day, but the most important benefit was that I didn’t frustrate as easily…  A very important thing, indeed, with a busy toddler in the house.


*Ironically, I am writing this post after three sleepless nights watching my brother’s kids.  If only there was a supplement that would help a toddler sleep in an unfamiliar location…

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