EXERT & EXHALE
By Angie Fenton
Lack of sleep is a health issue that deserves your attention and your doctor’s help. Not
getting enough sleep—due to insomnia or a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea,
or simply because you’re keeping late hours—can affect your mood, memory and health in
far-reaching and surprising ways, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, Ph.D.
Sleep deprivation can also affect your judgment so that you don’t notice its effects.
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WANTED: MORE ZZZS
I often joked that I hadn’t had a
good night’s sleep since late May
2015 when I learned I was pregnant.
But sometime this summer, as I
woke up for the umpteenth time
in the middle of the night with my
toddler’s feet in my face and her
elbows in my ribs, I realized this
was no laughing matter and I was
tired of being tired.
My bed was so worn it was
genuinely concave, and the constant
exhaustion was starting to affect
me and my on-the-job production.
I researched the effects of sleep
deprivation and was genuinely
horrified about the seriousness of
this not-so-uncommon epidemic.
According to Johns Hopkins,
those of us who lack sleep are more
likely to gain weight, age our brains
40 EXTOL : DECEMBER 2019/JANUARY 2020
prematurely, develop heart disease,
cause car crashes... The list goes on
and on — and it incited a newfound
determination to do whatever I could
to catch more ZZZs and ensure my
daughter did, too.
The first move was obvious: It
was time to get a new bed for the
bedroom I share with my husband
(except when he’d been relegated to
the couch because said toddler was
in his place). And, we decided, it was
also an opportunity to transition our
soon-to-be 4-year-old from her first
bed into something more substantial
and make bedtime something we all
looked forward to.
On a sunny Saturday, the three
of us ventured to Schmitt Furniture
and – with the help of an incredibly
knowledgeable gentleman who
inc reas e in
de M e ntia ri s k
worked there – quickly found exactly
what we needed: An adjustable
split king-size bed for Mom and
Dad (which we could control
individually), and a bunk bed with
safety features for Olive, which came
equipped with stairs — as opposed
to a ladder — and built-in shelves
under each step as well as beneath
her bottom bunk.
The Schmitt Furniture duo that
delivered and set up the beds were
courteous, kind (they didn’t blink an
eye at the incessant questions my kid
kept asking) and true professionals.
That night, Olive quickly took to her
“big girl bed,” and the hubby and I
found ourselves snoozing with ease.
My only regret: Why in the world
didn’t we do this sooner???
I also consulted with friends and
how Muc h
s le e p de privation
you r br ain
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h eart di s eas e
More like ly
a couple of experts, all of whom
advised setting and sticking to
individualized bedtime routines,
utilizing white noise apps if
necessary, practicing meditation
and “unpacking” the day’s stressors
and tomorrow’s worries whether
mentally or by writing them down.
While each night isn’t perfect –
Olive is currently asleep in my bed
right now but that’s because she was
feeling a bit clingy today wanted
to “cuddle with Mommy,” which I
allow as a treat (to us both, mind
you) but it’s no longer the norm.
Found: More ZZZs.
Schmitt Furniture is located at 101 E.
Main St. on the Furniture Corner of State
and Main in downtown New Albany.