We have all been there. Between the hours of 5-7 PM, we are DRAGGING. We cannot wait to stop working, drive home, eat dinner, and crawl into bed. If we have little ones, we pray our kiddos are also tired. We pray they will brush their teeth the first time you ask and go to sleep without putting up too much of a fight. Or, if we have tweens or teens, we think about telling them they can put us to bed tonight because we are just bleeping TIRED! All you can think about is your nice cozy bed and being done with the day. You are counting down the hours and minutes until you are in your PJ’s and your eyes are closed. You are just freaking done.
But then we get home . . . there is a mountain of laundry and somewhere in there are the elusive soccer socks that your daughter HAS to bring to school in the morning, the dishwasher needs to be flipped, homework needs to be reviewed and signed, dinner is had, the dog is walked and chased around the yard, kiddos are FINALLY tucked in, perhaps a little later than you hoped and then . . .
all of a sudden . . .
WE HAVE ENERGY!
We caught that second wind! We think to ourselves SCORE!!! Somehow we activated our superhero powers and we “realize” we never really needed to go to sleep! We are moms after all – we ARE superheroes and superhumans. So all of this makes quite a lot of sense. We just thought we needed sleep.
If only this were true. If only that second wind was actually good for you.
I am so sad to tell you that the second wind we all get is not to be used for housework, television, or powering on your laptop. That second wind is actually a huge signal that we should be asleep.
I know I barely scratch the surface here on sleep and what it means. I know we are all wired a bit differently. However, I read this excerpt recently and I want to share it with you. It was a HUGE “ah HA” for me and it has been an AH HA for some of my life coaching clients as well.
In Shawn Stevenson’s Sleep Smarter, he talks about this second wind and what it really means:
“Around 10:00 p.m., your body goes through a transformation following the natural rise in melatonin. The purpose of this transformation is to increase internal metabolic energy to repair, strengthen, and rejuvenate your body. Heightened production of antioxidant hormones happens at this time to help protect your DNA from damage, improve your brain function, and more. If you’re asleep as normal during this phase, all is well. However, if you’re up when 10:00 p.m. rolls around, that increase in metabolic energy can be experienced as a “second wind.””
Why does this matter? Shawn Stevenson goes on to explain that when we dig into that second wind to “do stuff” or watch Netflix (cough cough), we are inhibiting our body from repairing itself and removing free radicals (the stuff that causes illnesses, aging, etc). If we experience that second wind, it is also harder to fall asleep, which leads to more sleep deprivation and just more plain old tiredness.
Again, I know this is just a tiny nugget on the topic of the incredible importance of sleep. However, the concept of the WHY behind the second wind is new to me and I wanted to share it with you. It happens to all of us, we all do it, we all need that time of the quiet house to ourselves to just BE. However, lest this becomes a habit, try to limit your “second wind” nights to nights you plan for them and really do need them as a mental health break. Not as something you rely on nightly to simply get all of the things done.
If you are looking into improving your sleep, I really like a lot of the common sense approaches, backed by science, that Shawn Stevenson discusses in his book, Sleep Smarter. Click here to order. (Note, This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you).
Finally, while I am NOT a sleep doc or a sleep expert, I CAN BE your accountability coach to start living the life you want to live. If that means more sleep, I am happy to discuss different ways this can work in YOUR life and why this matters in particular to YOU. If you have no idea how you are going to go to bed earlier and still rock it as a mom, I am your gal. If you are curious to see what it is like working with me as a life coach, please click here to learn more about what I offer and click here to book a FREE discovery call with me!