A person can become sleep deprived simply by not getting enough deep, restful sleep.
Unless you’re rich, sometimes you have to choose between two equally large yet necessary purchases. I recently faced that kind of situation and had to decide between buying a new (used) car or a bed.
For several years I’ve been driving a car that doesn’t exactly suit me: a gigantic cargo van with no rear sight that isn’t easy to park. At least, it’s not easy to park for someone like me who grew up driving small cars. I feel better parking in the back of the lot where I can pull forward into the opposite space so I don’t need to back out. That usually means parking really far away from my destination. Driving a large car also limits where I can go. Admittedly, if I know I’ll be subjected to street parking or parallel parking, I just won’t go.
Something else I’ve needed for a long time is a bed. Not just any bed – a bed that doesn’t leave me in pain when I wake up. Like most of my friends, I slept on whatever bed my parents bought me as a child, and as an adult, I got the cheapest mattress I could find. Little did I know those choices were contributing to my endless cycle of sleep problems.
I didn’t know I was sleep-deprived.
Since I was sleeping most nights – just not very well – I didn’t realize I was sleep deprived. I thought sleep deprivation was the same as insomnia where you literally don’t sleep. I was wrong. A person can become sleep deprived simply by not getting enough deep, restful sleep. My sleep deprivation came as a cumulative effect of bad sleep habits over a long period of time.
I was making every sleep mistake you can imagine. I drank coffee all day long, stayed up late, often got up early, and sometimes I skipped sleep altogether. My habits were a recipe for disaster. It didn’t take long before it caught up with me. My adrenal glands were working on overdrive and I began to notice no matter how much I slept, I never felt rested. I didn’t realize a lack of sleep was causing my weight gain and my habit of staying on the computer until 3am was disrupting my body’s circadian rhythm.
I made sleep a priority in my life in 2018.
It hasn’t been long, but in 2018, I declared sleep to be a priority in my life. For a few months, I took melatonin in an attempt to regulate my sleep cycles and it worked fairly well. I created a routine where I go to bed at about the same time each night and I bit the bullet and bought a new bed.
My new bed is the ultimate source of good sleep.
Although I need a small car, I decided to buy a new bed. My decision was made based on the fact that I can tolerate having to park far away for a little while longer but I couldn’t tolerate waking up in pain one more time.
At first, I tried to convince myself I could get away with buying a cheap memory foam mattress to save as much money as possible. Unfortunately, I’ve done that before and realized that wasn’t the right move. Instead of making an impulsive decision, I saved up some money for a couple of months and ended up buying a high-quality memory foam mattress with a platform to boot.
I’m not into fancy bed setups so I kept it simple and just got a solid, flat platform. All I care about is having a comfortable mattress. I got way more than I bargained for. I no longer wake up in pain. My hips and spine are completely supported all night long and the cooling gel feature on the top layer keeps me cool all night long.
I made the right choice – my car can wait.
It wasn’t easy for me to choose a bed over a car. I can’t say I enjoy driving around in a giant van that makes people think I’m some kind of carpeting expert. Every once in a while, some guy in a parking lot asks me if I’ll give him a job and I have to laugh. However, after sleeping on my new bed for the last few weeks, I have to say I made the right decision and my new car can wait.
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
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