Tina Gable, MSN, RN
Tick-tock, tick-tock, rush-rush, hurry up. It seems this day and age our daily schedules are completely booked and we have become accustomed to living appointment to appointment. Our calendars dictate our next move and our own watches have become our metronome of life. We must keep perfect timing. A combination of school functions, grocery shopping, homework, house chores, even catching our favorite weekly television series is enough to keep most of us in a frazzle. If you are like most, times of absolute relaxation are few and far between and, for some, almost nonexistent.
I’d like to share a little discovery I’ve made over the last several weeks that has become quite the eye opener. Due to the high doses of asthma medication my son requires to breathe normally, I have resorted to the only thing that has proven reliable for getting him to fall asleep before midnight ……nightly car rides. Every evening around dusk, we buckle in, set the bluetooth to the lullaby station and take a long, peaceful drive down a quite country road. There is virtually no traffic. It’s just us, the soft music, the road and the stars. Through the soothing motion of the ride, the tranquil sounds of Baby Mozart and calming nature sounds streaming through the speakers, I’ve come to realize that I actually benefit from this anti-insomnia escapade just as much as my son. I have exchanged mandatory evening drives for sleep and sanity, yet I’ve become quite fond of our quiet time. I never expected to experience such feelings of relaxation and gratitude simply from driving down a road, listening to lullabies. There is a true element of peace and refreshment in even just a few moments of genuine relaxation. I’ve noticed that I fall asleep more quickly, without having to wrestle the daily stressors that run rampant through my mind at bedtime. It’s given me a peaceful wind-down time that, honestly, I never thought would have the positive impact it’s had on my life.
Do you feel overly stressed? Do you struggle with unhealthy sleep patterns? Do you have frequent headaches? (I did.) It can change. As fast-paced as our lives can be, you cannot neglect to take care of that person in the mirror and allow yourself some “peaceful wind-down time.” You don’t need it? You don’t have time? Well, that’s exactly what I thought and the reason I’m sharing my experience with you. Make the time for yourself. You are important.
I challenge you to block out just 15 minutes each night just before bedtime for one week. Go to a quiet spot and completely disconnect from any other noises or distractions (put down your phone). Turn on your choice of tranquil music or sounds, close your eyes, take a deep breath and just relax all your muscles. Consciously block out all thoughts and concentrate only on the sounds you hear. Don’t forget to set your alarm….you might just fall asleep!
Here are a few links:
Bedtime Baby Lullaby Classical Music Mozart Bach Beethoven Pachelbel:
Relaxing Music, Meditation Music, Sleeping Music:
Relaxing Music with Water Sounds Meditation:
Tina Gable, MSN, RN lives in Moore and works at OFMQ (Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality). She received her Masters in Education at OCU in 2011 and has a strong background in Pediatrics and Cardiology. Tina Gable has also worked at OU Medical Center and Integris SW.