Do you get enough sleep? Do you think sleep’s not that important? How can sleep deprivation really impact your life?
In this podcast episode, Veronica Cisneros speaks to Chrissy Lawler about just how important sleep is.
Meet Chrissy Lawler
Chrissy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, mom of three (soon to be four!), and lover of sleep!
She is the owner of the sleep consulting company The Peaceful Sleeper, where she helps mamas and their babies get the sleep that they need.
Chrissy’s ultimate goal is to help mothers reclaim the magic of motherhood.
In This Podcast
- Sleep is undervalued
- Sleep is a form of self-care
- How sleep became so big in Chrissy’s life
- Too little sleep and too much overwhelm
- The issues moms run into with getting sleep. Why is it constant self-sabotage?
- Asking for help
- Owning where we’re at
- Giving yourself permission to be you, unapologetically
- How Chrissy helps women get out of their own way
- What Chrissy is doing right now to live the life she wants to live
Sleep is undervalued
Getting good sleep is a way to guarantee that your baseline increases.
Sleep is one of the most undervalued things in our lives and can make the biggest difference across the board. If we can prioritize sleep, everything else will improve.
Sleep is a form of self-care
Sleep benefits our physical and mental health. Our bodies need to sleep in order to restore all of our basic functions. Not sleeping well usually results in other things not going well – among other things, our diets suck, we hold on to extra weight, and we don’t have energy. Almost every single thing in our lives can improve if we are consistently getting better sleep. What if we could wake up every morning feeling like Cinderella?
When we wake up after a fantastic sleep, we wake up feeling good and feeling happy. It’s up to us to make the switch to prioritize sleep.
How sleep became so big in Chrissy’s life
Postpartum depression and anxiety is more closely linked to the instantaneous and dramatic sleep deprivation, more than even just hormonal shifts.
Chrissy noticed that her clients who were stuck in their lives, stuck in depression, stuck in anxiety, stuck in resentments…they all had one thing in common, massive sleep issues. She realized that this was a major roadblock and the perfectionist in her could not let it go untreated. She didn’t have the tools to deal with these issues so invested in herself by continuing her education and doing a 30-hour course in a specific type of therapy that treats insomnia.
Chrissy started treating adult sleep issues and, when she had kids, she realized how much her mental health was suffering due to lack of sleep. She realized firsthand that just like how her baby is happier when she’s getting good sleep, Chrissy is also happier when she’s getting good sleep. Sleep deprivation puts a gray fog all over everything and she realized that she didn’t have to live in a gray fog of being stressed out and overwhelmed anymore.
Too little sleep and too much overwhelm
We stack our lives with so much overwhelm that we can’t actually enjoy anything that’s in front of us.
Sleep is one of our basic fundamental human needs for survival. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. We wouldn’t expect ourselves to go without eating adequately so why do we think it’s okay to deprive ourselves of sleep? It’s important to shift habits and shift our attitude towards sleep. Moms are tired, exhausted, overwhelmed. Moms want to do it all and have so many “shoulds”.
The issues moms run into with getting sleep. Why is it constant self-sabotage?
- For a lot of us, it’s an old script from childhood – “I don’t want to go to sleep, sleep is boring.”
- Moms take care of everyone else better than they take care of themselves.
- Moms put too much onto their plates.
- Asking for help is really hard.
Asking for help
For many of us women, we do it, we run ourselves ragged trying to do it all. And we don’t ask for help and most of us are even afraid to admit that we need help.
We’ve tried asking for help, “Nobody can help me so it’s fine, I’ll do it myself”. We have to stop doing this, we have to realize that we need help and other people can help, they can look after themselves. Chrissy suggests making a list of all of the things you “should” do. Divide it into three categories:
- I have to do it – This is usually insanely long and unrealistic.
- Somebody else does it – This is usually full of resentments and annoyance because I want somebody else to do it but they’re not actually going to do it.
- If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done – This just feels like a list of failures. Things I wish I could have done but didn’t get to because I suck and I’m a failure.
Pick up your list and say, “You know what, now’s not the season, or today’s not the day. It’s not going to get done and I feel great about it.” You’re not going to do it all and you trying to get to it all just makes you feel like you’re drowning. This doesn’t work and there must be a better way.
Owning where we’re at
If we own where we’re at, it brings peace. If we don’t, we suffer. Vulnerability fosters connection so it’s important to admit when something is wrong. We can be brave AND vulnerable. Talk about your overwhelm. There are always other people experiencing what you’re experiencing, we just have to reach out and open up to find that connection. Sometimes we feel like everything is a mess and we need validation. We can be imperfect and strong at the same time. Vulnerability doesn’t have to result in a pity party, we can just go with it, own it, and figure it out.
Giving yourself permission to be you, unapologetically
I deeply love myself and I have learned how to give myself grace and compassion. And I give you grace and compassion. I see you. And I’m here for you because I had to see myself and show up for myself first.
After realizing that she had postpartum depression and anxiety, Chrissy admitted that she needed help. There was a paradigm shift where she acknowledged that it was worth it to get back to who she is and who she’s meant to be. Chrissy allowed herself permission to not have it all together, to need help, and fearlessly embrace her imperfections, who she is, and to love herself in her struggle. She discovered that it was easier to open up, be vulnerable, and raw with people, but from a place of no power.
How Chrissy helps women get out of their own way
The biggest thing is self-awareness and to take away from the shame and stigma. You get in your own way, that’s fine, accept it and embrace it. We all get in our own way so we need to figure out what the blocks are. We have to be in a constant mode of willingness for self-discovery, to slowly chip away at the blocks, but you can’t chip away at the blocks until you’ve made peace with the fact that they’re there. Therapy is really helpful in this part of the process.
What Chrissy is doing right now to live the life she wants to live
I’ve got to find balance, I’ve got to keep balance.
She is in a constant quest for balance. There is so much that she wants to do but when she gets out of balance then she’s not present and joyfully living the life that she loves. Balance comes from saying no, way more often.
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Meet Veronica Cisneros
I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.
So I started Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.
Thanks for listening!
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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.