Wine-Netflix-&-Chill is many wonderful things these days, but it's not playing for Team Sleep
Wine-Netflix-&-Chill is an epic gift and indicator of our relative good fortune at this point in the crisis. If your living situation gives you access, enjoy it! Don’t squander opportunities for pleasure right now! Do it up.
Social distancing has highlighted the crucial health benefits of play, relaxation and sleep. ‘Play’ and ‘relaxation’ are individually defined. ‘Sleep’ is a biological response to our individual physical and mental experiences. Social distancing has overturned the context of our entire lives. Including how we play, relax and sleep—how we recharge, psychologically and biologically.
Biology’s Easter eggs
Biological Easter eggs—pleasure—encourage play, relaxation and sleep. However, each functions differs to serve different purposes. Wine-Netflix-&-Chill (WNC) is best thought of as play. Not necessarily relaxing. And rarely a player on Team Sleep. Why? WNC has become a COVID19 substitute for IRL socio-cultural engagement. As in, drinks with friends at your favorite local spot.
Like hanging out with close friends, WNC can set you as ease. You’re content, sure. But connecting with other humans leaves most of us a bit keyed up. That can be good or bad, but it’s rarely immediately restful. Would you expect to be asleep within a few minutes of getting home from a night out?
By the way, this goes quadruple for resisting the urge to check the news on your phone when you wake up in the middle of the night. If you’re in bed… Put. The. Phone. Down.
Going off-course while trying to correct course
Sleep Wellness Coach Kali Patrick observes that all too many of us wake up at 03:00 AM thinking, ‘If I’m awake now, how will I get through my day?’. That's where we go off-course in an attempt to correct course.
People focus on their nighttime behaviors when they try to improve their sleep. A cool room. An ergonomic pillow. No bright lights.
‘That’s not enough,’ Kali says. ‘Instead of the 3 AM question, at 3 PM, people should be asking how their day is preparing them for their night’s sleep.’
How you sleep—recharge—is a function of how you use your energy throughout the day. The first step of improving that is to look at your daily energy fluctuations. What do you do to power through the dips?
When she begins working with a new client, Kali often has them begin with this Rest Rhythm Worksheet. The worksheet reorients your approach to sleep by asking about your daily habits. Kali explains, ‘It asks people to think about their daytime actions in terms of whether they will encourage relaxation or hyper-arousal later that evening.’
Life hack: Millions of years of evolution know more than you—Listen to your body
Energy dips, ebbs and flows are natural. It is an ironic waste of energy to fight your body’s rest rhythm.
Retraining your natural rest rhythms isn’t the only thing you’ll need to adjust to achieve better sleep. However, it is the foundation that you need in order to enjoy any of the physical and psychological benefits of sleep.
Join WEST on April 21st for a webinar presented by Sleep Wellness Coach Kali Patrick. Kali will teach you how to understand and address the root causes of sleeplessness.
- ✔ Why natural sleep remedies can actually make things worse
- ✔ A reason for daytime fatigue that has little to do with your sleep
- ✔ Why bedtime rituals and "sleep hygiene" techniques often fail to work
- ✔ Why being "good" with your food all day could be backfiring
- ✔ How to be "done" with your sleep & energy challenges
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