GOOD NIGHT… Step Forward Calendar

Somehow the time change and the earlier dark hours make me think about sleep.  The irony is that this is also the time of year that my calendar and my to-do list become overwhelming, which then makes sleep turn into more of a challenge than a good end to a long day.

How about you?

How’s your sleep these days?

Sleep is essential for our mental, physical, emotional health. It’s just as important as food and water and exercise.  Our culture is quickly becoming a risk factor for good sleep.  We praise people for their ability to work hard and sleep little. We plug in to phones and computers and tv and all sorts of blue light that disrupts our brain waves prior to lying down.

We have too many people demanding too many things in too little time.


Why is sleep so important?

Here are a few key reasons you NEED A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP:


  • Lack of sleep adds weight. In fact, inadequate sleep is the number one way to predict weight gain and…yikes! obesity (55% of adults with short sleep duration over a long period of time have been found to be obese).


  • Sleep more…eat less! Poor sleep impacts the hormones that regulate your appetite.  Those who get adequate (7 – 9 hours/night) tend to eat fewer calories than those who struggle to get what they need for sleep.


  • Sleep enough for good concentration and productivity. Good sleep has been connected to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory performance in kids and adults.  (Psst! When you don’t sleep the amount of hours you need, some of your brain function is impacted in a similar way as being intoxicated!


  • Sleep helps you stay fit and strong! Studies have proven that good sleep enhances speed, accuracy, reaction times and mental wellbeing in athletes and those who work out.


  • Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are impacted by sleep. In fact, 90% of people who experience depression note that they don’t sleep well…or enough.


  • Want to stay healthy this winter? SLEEP! More research! The people who study sleep found that those who slept LESS than seven hours were almost “three times more likely to develop a cold” than the people who sleep eight or more hours.

What’s ENOUGH sleep?  There are a bunch of factors…genetics…circadian rhythms (we all have different rhythms and needs…the Night Owl is not a mythical creature!)…age.  But here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Adults (18–64 years): 7–9 hours
  • Teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
  • School children (6–13 years): 9–11 hours

What do you think?  Are you getting enough sleep?  AND is the sleep you’re getting a “good sleep”?  Because the hours are only as good as the quality of sleep you get. First, you should be asleep about 85% of the time you are in bed.  You also need to go through complete cycles of sleep that get you to Dreamland (REM sleep processes all the stuff your brain has been collecting!) and into deep sleep patterns.  I’ll be sharing important info and ideas throughout November to inspire you in your quest for GOOD NIGHT sleeping!

November is just the right time to make some changes with your sleep rituals, habits and beliefs.  During this month, there’s a calendar of activities and resources to support your GOOD NIGHT.  I’ll also be posting daily reminders, tips and resources on Facebook ( and Instagram (


AND…since I am running incredibly late on this month’s Step Forward Calendar, I feel like I owe you. I can’t give you extra hours of sleep, BUT let me give you just a few little tips before we launch this new Step Forward experience into GOOD NIGHT!


  • DON’T use alcohol, pot, cigarettes to “calm down and relax”. Each of these contains ingredients that actually wake you up…disturb your REM (which whacks out your energy, focus, sleep patterns!).
  • DOkeep your bedroom cool…but NOT cold! A hot bedroom doesn’t let you rest deeply and can actually wake you up with tossing and turning if you get too warm in the night! (Think Goldilocks here…JUST RIGHT!)
  • DON’T FOCUS ON NOTSLEEPING! I know.  Easier said than done.  But the fact is, the more you focus on what isn’t working, the more stress and anxiety you’ll create about sleeping.
  • DO establish a regular, optimally timed sleep window. Use what you know about your rhythm (morning?  Late night?) AND the amount of sleep that gives you rest, REM and restoration for a busy new day.


Here’s to an amazing new month!  Here’s to a beautiful fall and winter season!  Here’s to Thanksgiving and snow days and piles of leaves that bring delight to dogs, kids and a few adventurous adults I know!  AND HERE’S TO A GOOD NIGHT!

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
― Homer, The Odyssey


IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING with depression, anxiety, relationship problems or trauma that is keeping you up at night, this is an important time to call enCOURAGE Counseling.  Together we will figure out what’s going on, and then work towards goals that will give you tools and specific ways to live the life you actually want!  Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION (720-230-3076) or go to to send an email or make an appointment for your FREE CONSULTATION.  I want you to get the support and the tools you need for a healthy, exciting and thriving life!



Goodnight Mind:  Turn Off Your Noisy Thoughts & Get A Good Night’s Sleep by Colleen Carney, Ph.D. and Rachel Manber, Ph.D.

Quiet Your Mind & Get to Sleep by Colleen Carney, Ph.D. and Rachel Manber, Ph.D.


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