It’s no secret, firefighters are chronically sleep deprived. It’s the one thing I hear about most during the firefighter fitness tests that I do every year here in Oregon. Plus I’m married to a firefighter so I really know the toll it takes on the person and their family. Now I know there’s work demands and sometimes responsibilities at home that you can’t change, but hear this:
One thing I make a point to ask my tired firefighters is: “Are you making sleep a priority? As in, are you making an effort to get in as much as you can?” EVERY TIME I ask, I hear “No…not really.”
So here’s why that’s a bummer: sleep is just as important for health, longevity and quality of life as exercising and having a healthy diet. And it’s especially important for mental health. Not to mention the effect it has on your looks…everyone knows that “you look tired” means you look like sh**.
But, for some reason, we as a society think sleeping is lazy. I tell all my clients to NOT buy that idea and be smart – there is healing and restoration that occurs when we sleep. Our bodies don’t work right without that restoration. Sleep is productive! Put it on your to-do list, seriously. Go to bed early. Give yourself permission to take a nap for God’s sake.
Now, start feeling and looking better without the guilt. Getting healthier never felt so good.
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I want to hear from you. In the comments below, tell me how you currently deal with sleep deprivation and what steps you might consider taking to get more rest.