Episode 4: My Sleep Sucks Starring…Starring Mark Barnes

The Problem:

The title of this podcast sums it up perfectly. My sleep sucks. Does your sleep suck? I’ll wager that if you read the title and decided to listen that it probably does. As I recount in this episode, a good night's sleep is like the fountain of youth. And unlike diet or exercise, there is scientific consensus on sleep’s importance and the many things one can do to improve it. I’ll talk about solutions in the What you can do About it Section.

In the meantime, I’m going to interview a friend. Mark Barnes is a contemporary. We’ve created a little health-based professional learning community which has only 2 members. One topic that we delve into frequently is sleep. We are fellow travelers in regard to desiring more and better sleep. We talk about our frustrations and efforts to improve in this episode.

This topic is a wonderful one for a retired educator. I’m frequently asked how I like retirement by former colleagues who are still teaching. I often respond that I now love Sunday night. The implication is that I no longer have an alarm clock so I can sleep in as late as I want. If only that were the reality! I’m not satisfied with my sleep.  

I think you’re going to love my conversation with Mark about our elusive quest for consistent sleep. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you reach out and say, “I’m dealing with the same issues!”

Enjoy our insomnia-induced crabfest and I’ll check back in the What you can do About it Section with solutions.

What you can do About it: 

In the intro I stated that there’s scientific consensus on sleep. I know this because of the research that I’ve done and personal experience. I’m a patient of the Ohio State University Sleep Disorders Center. I was thrilled to learn that my sleep doctor’s advice confirmed what I’d learned through investigation. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Learn about the importance of sleep and how you can improve it from Matt Walker, a renowned sleep expert. Here’s a link to his popular TedTALK Why Sleep is Your Superpower.
  2. Schedule a visit with a sleep doctor.
  3. Improve your sleep hygiene. Here’s a list of directives from the CDC.
  4. Download the Insomnia Coach App from the Veterans Administration.
  5. If you’re in bed and not asleep for 15 minutes, get up!
  6. Don’t nap.

If you start sleeping better, you’ll start feeling better. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health. And you’ll look a lot fresher each morning.