I’ve always said sleeping is what I do best. “If only I could find a way to monetize this and make it my job!” I would joke.
I never thought much about things like sleep hygiene or if I was getting too much blue light from screens before bed. I was one of those people who could fall asleep (and stay) asleep quite easily. In fact, if I had trouble sleeping, it was that left to my own devices, I could get some sleep. too many.
I was made for quiet awakenings and breakfast in bed. It’s amazing for me to have been able to get dressed and fed, drive 45 minutes and arrive at the office at 9 in the morning (OK, 9:30)
Then I became a parent.
Everyone tells you that sleep is the first thing you lose when you have a baby. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “sleep now”, as if it was possible to accumulate all those hours and use them as credit in the months to come. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe any of those other well-meaning parents, but like most parenting experiences, you don’t really understand until you’re there.
Little did I know that the night before going into labor was the last time I would get a full, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep for many months to come. I couldn’t imagine the kind of deep fatigue that would come with waking up every few hours (or some nights, every 45 minutes) for weeks and months.
As new parents, my husband and I had to learn to function with a sleep deficit. I kept reminding myself that it would get better, that part was only temporary. And things got better – babies are amazing that way – but it still felt like we were rolling the dice every night.
My experience may be specific to the challenges of new parenthood, but research shows that a surprising number of Americans don’t get enough sleep.
In a survey of Healthline readers, 3 in 5 said they were only light sleepers, and more than half experienced pain or discomfort that interfered with their ability to fall or stay asleep. .
Dear tired friends, Healthline Sleep is for us.
We know sleep is crucial – in fact, around 50% of Healthline readers say quality sleep is an important part of their overall health – but few people actually get the amount of rest they need each night. .
When we look at our own audience data in the context of the world around us, it’s no surprise that so many people feel restless. We have all been living in a state of heightened stress for over two years due to a pandemic, growing inequality, political unrest, grief and loss.
But even before the pandemic, our culture has long been dominated by the “hurry now, rest later” narrative. Our feeds seemed to be full of articles about successful people starting their day before dawn, or advice on how to make the most of your waking hours, or catchy slogans like “You have the same 24 hours in your day than Beyoncé.”
Rest was a reward, something we could only indulge in once we had done enough – otherwise, rest was akin to laziness.
Good sleep may seem like a luxury, but the cost of sleep deprivation is much higher. Over time, consistent poor sleep can weaken your immune system, affect your memory and balance, and even increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It’s time to change the narrative. In many ways, the events of the past few years have forced a cultural shift in how we think about our health and well-being, including sleep and the concept of rest in general.
More and more people are intentionally prioritizing rest and good sleep as necessary acts of self-care. We wake up to the fact that rest itself East productive – when we get the sleep we need at night and take breaks throughout the day, it helps our body and mind reset and rejuvenate. It helps our cells repair themselves, aids faster healing, balances hormones and improves mental well-being.
Good sleep helps us be better versions of ourselves and gives us more energy to invest in the things and people we love.
We launched Healthline Sleep to help you get the rest you need and merit.
We know sleep isn’t just something that happens at night when your head hits the pillow. Good sleep is a holistic collection of healthy daily habits and practices that support your overall health and prepare you for better, more restful nights.
It’s about nurturing your mental health and understanding how your favorite foods impact your sleep. It’s about moving mindfully and knowing how your sleep needs change as you age. It’s about creating the perfect nighttime routine and learning how to take the best nap of your life (because naps are productive too).
But above all, it is a matter of finding solutions that are accessible, practical and adapted to you. Solutions tailored to your unique lifestyle, sleep issues, wellness goals, and even your work schedule.
My own sleep journey hit an inflection point earlier this year when, after a particularly watery night (me and baby both), my wife and I decided to call it quits. We came up with a plan and started putting more structure in place when it comes to daytime and nighttime sleep. As parents, this meant we also had to re-evaluate our own sleep hygiene and make some changes. As a new mom, I realized I needed to prioritize my well-being better. To do this, I had to learn to ask for help.
Eventually, we worked with a sleep coach who helped us identify a handful of daily habits, nighttime rituals, and even baby gear (thanks, blackout curtains!) that made all the difference. We always take it one day (and one night) at a time, but we get there and feel much, much better in the process.
We hope that Healthline Sleep can also be a kind of coach for you.
Our team of medical experts, sleep specialists and writers have put together the ultimate guide to all things sleep. Whether you want evidence-based advice for determining your ideal sleep schedule, finding the best gear to create your own personal sleep sanctuary, finding a specialist to help you with a sleep disorder, or simply how to pass the ‘summer, we’ Got you.
Healthline Sleep is your partner in getting the sleep of your dreams. Here’s to better nights ahead.
Erin Edge, Editor-in-Chief