“I cannot seem to get enough sleep.”

“I go to bed at 8:30pm and wake up at 7:00am and I still feel tired!”

“I find myself drinking coffee all day just to stay awake, realizing I have replaced water with coffee and I am STILL falling asleep at 2:00 in the afternoon.”

Have you heard these types of statements before? Or maybe it’s you? You find yourself yawning at 3:00pm and counting back on your fingers how many cups of coffee you have already had and then googling “safe daily coffee consumption”. When I googled it, here is what I found: Up to 400mg of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee.

According to the mayo clinic, 4 cups of coffee is the max. Surprisingly, according to the Huffington Post the average american drinks “2.1 coffee drinks per day”. However,  it increases with age.

Interesting. As we get older, we drink more coffee.

Why is that? Is it because we are more tired? Are we worn out from raising kids and need more frequent pick-me-ups? Between over-committing and over-indulging, our societal pressure is overwhelming!

The overall culprit is stress! I know, I know. You’re thinking, stress? Really? Again?? When is everyone going to stop blaming everything on stress?

Here is the deal. We tend to glorify our busyness and show off by wearing the dark circles under our eyes as badges of honor. Somehow this proves our dedication and drive to the world around us.

Whatever happened to taking a break and unplugging? Whatever happened to rest? Its biblical, you know. In Exodus 20:8-10a it says  “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a day of rest.” (NLT)

The obvious conclusion is to sleep more. But then, the obvious rebuttal is, when? Who has time for that?

I find myself constantly saying that I don’t have time for things. Except, that’s not the truth. I somehow have time for Netflix every night. Last minute shopping sprees. High stress events that I really don’t need in my life.

Make the time. Carve it out. It hurts, but it works.

But what about that 12 hour sleep shift that still doesn’t seem to be enough? There might be a reason for that. Not all sleep is slumbered equal. The quality of your sleep makes a huge difference.

Here’s what I found about increasing the quality of sleep:

Try winding down, without the T.V. blasting high stress blue lights at you. Skip the chocolate dessert (caffeine and sugar before bed? Because that’s calming…) Don’t eat for at least an hour before bed. Try meditating. Reading. A good conversation with your spouse or kids.

And for the love, put down the phone. Facebook will be there tomorrow. Talk about stress!

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