Caring for (and nourishing!) our bodies means a lot more than just appearing physically healthy and active. When did sleep deprivation become the norm? How many people do you know that can't survive without their coffee in the morning? I'm not a coffee drinker, but I know it's really easy for me to get into a soda habit so I can get my caffeine kick in the morning. Since I've given up soda, I have to survive without my caffeine crutch, and that took some adjusting, let me tell you.
Forcing yourself to go to sleep might be a little easier if you understand what it does for us. According to this article on the web:
Sleep isn’t exactly a time when your body and brain shut off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
I struggled with post-partum depression after my last child was born. I am fairly certain that it was - in part - due to my lack of uninterrupted sleep. It makes me crazy. My kids joke that when I'm tired I turn into "Momzilla". It's probably not too far from the truth. That's not the person I want to be. And honestly, there's not too much that I do after 10 p.m. that can't be done during the day if I use my time a little more wisely (i.e. stay off of Facebook and Candy Crush Saga).
As I move into the summer with a less structured schedule, I will need take extra precautions to make sure I don't get into a late-night habit. If it's important to me, I will do it.
What's your sleep worth to you?