Updated: Aug 29, 2019
American adults are the worse at sleeping.
We are probably also worse at other things too but apparently we are really bad at sleeping. Many of us are living in a state of such high perpetual exhaustion that is stealing precious joy, energy and time from our days. Perhaps we are worse at other things too, including driving, reasoning, reading and math skills because we are always tired?
When I ask my friends how they are doing, most of the time I hear in response they are tired. They are super busy and they are tired. I’m tired too, so we commensurate about our exhaustion by comparing the things that are taking up our time and leading to this tired state. We never really talk about if we are sleeping and what is causing our lack of sleep but describe all the things going on in our lives that are keeping us from resting.
According to the CDC the worse adult sleepers are in the southeastern part of the country. Another study says almost 40% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep.
CDC sleep data: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
With the popularity of activity monitors like Fitbit and Jawbone sleep reports are more readily available supporting the CDC and other studies to show adults simply are not sleeping.
The effects of poor sleep are well known and include terrible things like increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and if you’re lucky just exhaustion.
Knowing this why are we not sleeping more?
The Sheep Are Mocking Us
There are several causes for lack of sleep but the biggest is stress. Stress always exists for everyone but American adults are reported to be more stressed than other populations. The stress we carry includes concerns for our work, family, finances, politics, safety and society. Combined with a poor diet, lack of physical movement and no time for self-care all of this adds up to a rough night trying to sleep.
You can blame time spent on technology, the demands of time from American workplaces, society expectations and more for our exhaustion but I think the root of the problem goes deeper. I think the reason the magical counting sheep that lure us to sleep are mocking us when we try to sleep is because we have broken up the connection between our mind, body and spirit.
We are no longer connected to ourselves and even less connected with others. We are just pushing through the day trying to meet all our demands, cross off items from a never ending to-do list and meet expectations placed on us that we have let go of the basic need to keep ourselves together in mind, body and spirit.
Think about it.
The Day the Music Died
The average American adult does not exercise regularly. When would we do that if we’re putting in almost 55 hours a week at work, taking care of family needs and keeping up with regular life demands? More and more of us are working multiple jobs to keep our families financially whole and hopefully one day reduce the demands placed on us by American corporations. Many more are going to school to achieve degrees to meet societal and workplace demands for higher education. This adds up to a lot of time working and fitting in other obligations throughout our day. By the time we get through the demands of our day there is often very little energy left for exercising.
Unfortunately, most of our days are spent sitting instead of moving. The advance of technology has created a highly seated society where movement is through our fingertips instead of our feet. This work is nonetheless demanding and we are so physically exhausted from our days that we fall into our beds only to be kept up by our minds who are still running at full speed from the day.
Our minds are running all the time with constant to-do lists, deadlines and decisions we are responsible for in our jobs and families. We are constantly connected to work, family and friends through technology and live in a 24/7 connected society. We seek out more and more convenient time saving strategies only to find that new found “free time” is consumed with other obligations and needs very quickly.
Between our physical and mind activities are spirits are depleted. Despite the technological connectivity of our day more people report feelings of loneliness and depression than ever before. Church attendance and other religious based activities are the lowest in history leading to many churches making the financial decision to close facilities and programs. Even if you are not religious most adults say they don’t feel connected to others or a higher source.
What’s ironic is we don’t feel connected to ourselves either yet the “selfie” is the latest form of self-display to show how happy we are on social media.
Altering the Formula
We can talk about priorities for our demands on our time. We can also talk about saying no to reclaim some of our schedule. However, most of us can’t say no to work demands or family needs out of responsibility and obligation. With such a high insecurity about the financial stability from our jobs most of us cannot say no to side hustles, small businesses or other endeavors in motion to protect our families financially either. Let’s face it, living isn’t free or cheap. I get it completely.
What I do propose however, is rethinking our approach. As in, radically redefining what we are doing and getting serious about how we are doing it. In whatever way works for us we have to control the monster of stress before it destroys us through the horrible things lacking in sleep causes. Seriously think about how you could change just one thing in your day to move your body, slow your mind and breathing and take stock of what’s going on during any part of our days.
I agree with every person reading this post that we are probably not going to be able to change the American workplace to make it more secure so we don’t need side hustles. We are probably also not going to be able to change the American family life. We can however get really creative with how we deal with it all. We can add in the right tools and support to make that possible and we must for the sake of our sleep and re-connection of body, mind and spirit.
Tools and Support
I do firmly believe we must detox our adrenal systems to be better supported in dealing with the stress of our lives. Without a functional adrenal system we are in a constant state of fight or flight and our bodies are producing massive amounts of cortisol that is influencing our sleep, or lack thereof.
These oils are fantastic for fighting the feelings of depletion and helping us recover what we have lost due to the stress.
Basil is the oil of renewal as it helps to cope with life stresses. The oil supports recovery from adrenal depletion and the symptoms of exhaustion, low energy and feeling overwhelmed and burned out. This oil can help us break negative habits and demands that are taking away from our time, energy and joy so we can find other alternatives that will be uplifting and freeing.
Melalueca is the oil of energic boundaries. This oil helps us clear out things that are holding us back or are toxic to us including physical things, relationships and other that depletes our energy. This oils helps us connect to people and things in a way that honors and respects one another and empowers us to set appropriate boundaries.
Serenity is the oils of rest and relaxation. This deep blend of oils is soothing to our minds and allows us to relax, stop the constant thinking and exhale. Supporting our need for rest and being able to relax even for a short while so we can go to sleep naturally and awake renewed to manage the stress in our life.
Interested in more?
Our physical, mental and spiritual health depend on us running optimally. That means our basic needs of food, water and rest are essential every day. We may not be able to redo our lives to eliminate high amount of stress but we sure can support ourselves naturally so it doesn’t deplete us completely and result in endless sleepless nights.
If you have questions about any of the oils recommended in this post or any of doTERRA’s natural oils and products please reach out!
Don’t let the sheep mock you at night anymore! Get an account today and start saving at least 25% off the tools you need to get creative about restoring your mind, body and spirit connection.