The Seven Stones Blog

Sleep: Works Like Magic

By Sue Richardson

We aren’t always particularly skilled at making connections between our habits and the quality of our lives. It is just part of being human. I have been no exception, but as I relax into my 50th year of Iiving, one such association has finally become clear and I’d love to share it with you. If you know about this and already have integrated this invaluable habit, wonderful!

OK, if you could…

  • look and feel 5 or 10 years younger,
  • be more effective at work,
  • share your unique gifts with the world around you freely and generously every day,
  • be kinder to your family and friends,
  • experience an explosion in your own creativity,
  • improve your ability to keep unwanted pounds away,
  • feel more satisfied and have an increase in your overall well-being and health,

…would all that be worth changing just one habit?

You probably said Yes, but maybe you are more cautious than that and said: it depends on the habit.
What’s the habit? Getting a good night’s rest—seemingly so simple and so obvious, but it really works.

What is enough sleep?

30% of Americans get less than 6 hours sleep and that’s up against the recommended 7 or 8.

In the moment that you decide to stay up a little longer for whatever reason seems to make sense in that moment—even though you are exhausted, you could ask yourself: Is the quality of my life worth giving into this powerful message from my body? Although I have more to do, have I done enough today?

8 thoughts on “Sleep: Works Like Magic

  1. Hey Sue, Betsy and I were in some seminars with you. Getting sleep is great. Question how? I wake up at 1 to 3 am with anxiety. Betsy puts on a podcast or audio book on science or history. Redirects my thoughts from the feedback loop of worry and off I go ZZZZZZZZZ! Philosophy also works.

  2. Yes! Sleep is magical and essential. Not too many years ago, obsessing over getting enough of it or NOT getting enough sleep would occupy much of my day. Having my first-born triggered fears of sleep-scarcity.

    Being in the practice of tucking myself in with my kids has made a huge difference as it honors my body’s natural rhythm. And during those random nights when I find myself fully alert at 3am, I relax and engage in the practice of trust. Trusting that my body knows what it needs and that I am getting the rest my body needs. That all is well. And that is enough.


  3. Lora – becoming a mom triggered the same fear for me too. I love how you have found trust as an anchor in the wee hours of wakefulness. That is inspiring. I love this blog, Sue! So relaxing to be reminded to rest.

  4. Sue! Wow.. yes I am very aware of this.. which is why I have been chasing it for a year and a half 🙁 I love my sleep and with my daughter we had a GREAT schedule.. she was sleeping thru the night at 10 weeks for 12 hours AND sleeping 3 naps a day.. glorious.. but not #2. Still waking at night and he’s almost a year. Between teething, illness, major growth and a small place.. it’s hard. I nap when I can, but between this and being pregnant it’s been a year and a half with on average 5-6 hours a night. I have hope, but it’s tough. I’m glad I still enjoy a lot of your bullets above AND I can definitely make habit and live changes that would give me a couple more hours (but probably not interrupted).. thank you!! This reminds me I need to put “schedule sleep” on my to do list 🙂

  5. Sue, *now* I *have* read your blog post. Spot on. And as for me – becoming a mom triggered a fear of awake-by-myself-time scarcity! And a profoundly different relationship to tired and doing it anyway. Good question to ask in the moment – thanks as always for one more tool.

  6. As my son approaches his first birthday, believe me, I have no problem seeing the connection between sleep and my quality of life! When he’s crying at two in the morning, I find myself tensing up not only because of his crying but also because I know I’m going to be hurting the next day, and maybe the next two days. Sometimes I wish that I had a bit more resilience than that, as some people seem to be fine on just a few hours of sleep even over several nights. But I remind myself that as long as he’s safe then it’s okay. And it is wonderful the following night to get into bed early, to know that there are 8 hours before an alarm will go off, and to allow myself to disappear into reverie.

  7. Thank you everyone for your responses and feedback here. It is kind of ironic I suppose that I am writing this after taking the red-eye back from CA this morning–a bit tired.

    I need a bit more time to reflect on what people have said or asked to explore anything I might add here.

    For now, thank you for reading and for commenting too!

    JP–You know that I definitely remember you and Betsy and Elsa, right? I can picture you as though you are standing in front of me right now!

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