Sleep has a huge impact on my moods. If I get enough sleep, I have a lot more good moods. If I don’t get enough sleep, even a little bit less, I have a lot more bad moods. I often have thought life was complicated and so hard. I have often worked hard to have good moods that I’m curious about how I have good moods and bad moods.
I’ve done an experiment over the last two years of my life. I didn’t plan on it but this is how it came out. The periods I was most unhappy were also the periods I had the most screwed up sleep and tried the hardest to do things that would put me in a good mood. The periods I’ve been happiest over the last two years have been where I’ve got the most consistent good sleep.
For me, that’s 8 hours, every single night. It doesn’t have to be uninterrupted. I have a newborn now and I get in bed a little earlier to account for that. I got in bed after 9 last night and I got up after 6 this morning. I got a total of eight good hours of sleep last night.
Getting enough sleep is so important for my mood. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks I’ve started to try and cram more into every day. I was starting to get less sleep. I was getting an average of an hour or two less each day and I was starting to get more bad moods also. I was starting to get depressed more often. In fact, the relationship between me getting depressed and me not getting enough sleep is most total.
If I don’t get enough sleep, I get depressed. That’s how it works. My mom has had issues with getting enough sleep and her moods and she hasn’t gotten good sleep in years. Now that she’s getting more good sleep, she’s in better moods even though her life situation is the most challenging she’s had. She’s getting enough sleep, she’s in a better mood. It’s amazing to me how hard I’ve worked to find good moods, to do tricks and it’s that simple. Get more sleep, you will have a better mood.
Here’s the question. If I know more sleep leads to better moods, why wouldn’t I give myself enough sleep? Why wouldn’t I do what it takes to make sure I’m going to get enough sleep? Think about how hard people work to be in good moods. They go to the doctor, do activities, join sports clubs and work to get fulfillment. Some people use drugs and alcohol to get into a good mood that way. Why wouldn’t it just seem easy to get eight hours of sleep a night to get into a good mood that way? It’s often because I’ve complicated my life a lot.
My physical trainer says people often ask her what they need to do to get in shape. She says eat clean and exercise. It is that simple. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I eat clean and I exercise. It’s that simple. The same thing goes for sleep. I’m having the best mood I’ve ever had in my life since I was a kid and what do I do? I just get enough sleep.
The key question is: if these things seem easy and if they seem obvious, why don’t we do them? If you know you need to sleep to be in a good mood, you need to eat clean to have a good weight and you need to exercise to feel healthy, why wouldn’t you do those things?
The answer usually seems to be that we are rushing towards salvation in the future. Our minds are rushing and pushing towards that salvation. We have to work hard today and put extra things in. Deep down I felt like I wasn’t enough my whole life so I have to cram in an extra paper to write, an extra thing for work, an extra few hours of video gaming to prove I was enough. All I did was set myself up for failure over and over again.
I would be afraid of going to bed and not being able to wake up so I would stay up too late so I knew I would be able to fall asleep. Then I wouldn’t get enough sleep and I’d be in a bad mood the next day.
When I went to bed then I would have to face all my thoughts and bad moods and it was this horrible cycle. I had been in that crazy fast, push, run lifestyle for about sixteen years. I hated my mood and I just kept trying to get a great mood. The answer is to stop. I stop and take a look around at where I am.
The answer is things are pretty easy. When it comes time to make a decision like what should I eat today or what should I buy from the store I think about it with the approach that I’m going to take care of myself. I am not going to create pain and suffering for myself. I know when I stay up too late, when I don’t get enough sleep, I create pain and suffering for myself. I know that when I don’t eat right, I don’t feel good about myself I create more pain and suffering for myself. I know if I don’t exercise my body doesn’t feel as good. I don’t have as much time and energy I create pain and suffering for myself.
I was creating more pain and suffering for myself because I felt like I deserved it. I was a bad shameful person who deserved to beat myself for all the things that had happened and be committed to the pain and suffering that had happened in the future. At the same time I was fantasizing that salvation would happen in the future.
Today, I take a loving approach. I stay in the moment, I do the best I can to take care of myself. When it comes time to go to bed, I know that I’m willing to lay in bed awake and go to bed early so I can have a better mood the next day. Instead of the other way around where I know that I’m going to screw my tomorrow over. It’s about loving myself and caring about myself to look around and see what I can do today to make a better tomorrow. If it’s go to bed, eat fruits and vegetables instead of ice cream, eat a little less ice cream, or take a walk instead of sitting around, I try to do it today.
I hope sharing this with you today is helpful. I hope this removes some of the mystery about moods. I’ve seen in my life that sleep and mood are dependent on each other. If you want more about figuring out why you can’t love yourself, why you can’t go to bed, why is it that I know I have to exercise and eat clean, but I won’t do it? Maybe some of what I create in the future will be helpful for you.
Today I pray that what I’m doing is enough. What I’m doing is enough to love myself and take care of myself. I pray to get enough sleep how ever it comes whether it’s in four hour increments or six hour increments. I pray to get enough sleep to take good care of my mood the next day. I pray to set up a good future for myself by doing the work for it today. I pray that by sharing what I’ve learned about how sleep impacts my mood you can better take care of your mood. I pray that from reading about how I refused to love myself and created pain and suffering for myself you can make your life so much easier. I pray that sharing this makes it easier for you to look around and see where you have opportunities to get the results you want today. I pray you can live the life you want today where you don’t create pain and suffering for yourself each tomorrow. Thank you for reading this. I hope this is useful for you.