The biggest change I have noticed since cutting out the booze, is my new ability to sleep all night long. Previously, I would wake up several times during the night because I was too hot, too cold, I needed the toilet or I needed a drink. Sometimes I just couldn’t sleep. I never had a problem getting off to the sleep, the problem would come at about one in the morning. Then I would have to suffer the inner battle of “if I drop off to sleep now, I can still get five hours sleep before my alarm goes off”. Then its four hours, then its three hours, then its two. Before I knew it, my alarm would be going off and i’d drag my tired backside out of bed and into the shower, ready for a new day.
The reason I named my blog ‘Sitting Sober on Cloud Nine’ is because that’s exactly how I feel each and every morning since kicking the drink!! There is no more rolling out of bed and dragging myself into the shower, dreading what the day has in store for me. I get out of bed with a spring in my step, totally energised and looking forward to my day, feeling blissfully happy as if I am sat on cloud nine. I put it all down to the fact I now get a good nights sleep.
Sleep has so many health benefits, one of the main ones being, it helps reduce stress and improves your mental well-being. I am a Mum of two and a wife, I have 2 dogs and a career. Juggling all of these elements in my life is of course going to be stressful at times, especially when you have an important meeting at work and it is absolutely imperative you are not late. You walk into the living room two minutes before you need to leave, only to find your kids still sat in their PJ’s, despite the fact you sent them upstairs to get dressed 20 minutes ago. Just as you are about to blow a gasket, you hear the bin lorry making its approach and remember your husband is away this week, so you need to put the bin out!! Finally five minutes later than intended you and the kids are leaving the house, just as you start to think 5 minutes late is not so bad, one of the kids stands in the pile of dog sh!* your adorable puppy has left in the porch.
As well as stress, poor sleep is also linked to weight gain. The whole reason I quit drinking in the first place was because I wanted to lose weight. According to healthline.com, good sleepers tend to eat less calories. Their studies showed that sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite, this is because they have higher levels of ghrelin (the hormones that stimulates appetite) and reduced levels of leptin (the hormone that suppresses appetite). You also can’t continue raiding the fridge if you are in bed asleep.
As well as improving your mental well-being and helping you to shed a few pounds, the NHS states a good nights sleep will also boost your immunity, prevent diabetes and heart disease. It can also increase your sex drive and fertility.
So many benefits from something as simple as getting a good nights sleep!!!
Obviously a better nights sleep is also going to make you more productive. My family are my world and I cannot believe how much time I wasted in the past because I was too tired. I didn’t even realise how much time I was wasting. I thought the fact I cuddled up to my kids on the sofa, watching movies, eating pizza and popcorn was quality family time. Maybe every now and again it is, but not every weekend. Especially when I’m only doing it because I can drop off for an hour (You can’t spend quality time with your children if you are asleep!!).
I am pleased to say I now spend loads of good quality time with my kids. We regularly go swimming and play sharks and fishes and my kids try to teach me how to do tricks under water. Every Sunday, my husband and I take them to Great Run Local, I partner up with Bradley and he partners up with Elliott and we have a race to the finish line. Its brilliant fun!!!! As well as exercise, I have more time and energy to cook family meals that we can all enjoy. Sitting down together and talking about our days. Bradley was laughing at my husbands comments so much the other day, he fell off his chair, his gorgeous little laugh was so infectious we were all in stitches. I will remember that moment forever I think.
I want my kids to see me as a fun Mum, always ready to play and have fun with them, not a tired Mum whose always sat on the coach with a glass of wine in hand and shouting at them.
A good nights sleep can improve your health, your mood and your entire life. If alcohol is the only thing stopping you from getting that restful slumber you need, then surely its time for you to quit the drink. It could turn out to be the best thing you ever do!!!