The Recovering Farmer

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sleepless In Manitoba

I know. The title has everyone thinking of that movie Sleepless In Seattle. The one starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It’s a romantic comedy. But that is not what I want to talk about. Because, really, as you know I am not the romantic type. Remember when I admitted almost a year ago that I had bought flowers for our anniversary? The first time in years? Which reminds me. Our anniversary is coming up next month. Got to get ready for that. Think of something special. I will think about that.

Do you find yourself wishing for a good night’s sleep? An uninterrupted sleep? To wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to get at life? Sleepless In Manitoba is a series of workshops being put on by the Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services. An interesting topic, to say the least. More and more research is being done on sleep. Significant and interesting data is coming out of this research. We are getting close to the day when we change our clocks. The good news is that we get an extra hour of sleep. Research has shown that traffic accidents increase significantly the day after we lose an hour of sleep when we go back to daylight savings time. Imagine that. Losing one hour of sleep has such an impact on our daily lives.

Knowing that, take a minute to analyze your sleep patterns. I know for myself it does not take a lot for me to miss out on some sleep. Many of the people I deal with will share with me issues they are experiencing with their sleep. Some people have a difficult time falling asleep because of overwhelming stress in their lives. Others have no problem falling asleep, it is almost like their brain knows that sleep is the only way it gets a break from constant rumination, but will wake up in the wee hours of the morning and not be able to fall asleep because of anxious thoughts. Do you know that insomnia is a symptom of depression and anxiety and a condition that makes it worse? It makes for a vicious circle.

A lot of our sleep issues relate back to stress in our lives. And with the fast paced world we live in stress is becoming more of an issue. Farming is one of the most stressful occupations. Being overwhelmed with stress often lead to poor decision making. Most accidents, and particularly farm accidents, are as a result of in-attentiveness. Not being aware. Why is that? Our minds are far too busy dealing with a myriad of issues in our lives. We need to stop and take stock. Recognize what is going on. And then use the tools available, and they are, to bring back balance to our lives. Bring back a semblance of control.

In my research I have come across some information that I will use more often. Do you realize that your body is directing you to take a nap in the early afternoon? Really. I like that. Far too often I am looking for an excuse for a nap. Even napping ten minutes can restore your physical and emotional wellbeing. A one hour nap is even better.

This is but a taste of information that will be provided at the Sleepless In Manitoba workshops. Dr. Carlyle Smith, a renowned sleep specialist, will share his expertise on sleep deprivation and the practical tools available to help you get a better sleep. I have been asked to be involved in the workshops to talk about the stress and safety. Talk about some of my experiences. I am looking forward to sharing war stories with many of you. That is the way to learn. That is the way to make the rest of your life the best of your life. Visit to find out more about these workshops. Hope to see you there. Make it a good one.

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