Sleep is the Best Medicine: Tips for Surviving COVID

As we await the test results of our SECOND (PCR) COVID test, I wanted to share the wise words of my Dad (a Yale-trained Biochemist/Ph.D.):

Sleep is the best medicine.

Here I am with my Dad, who continues to be a huge inspiration to me in my life. (This photo was taken on the weekend of my wedding. He is now 83). 

My hubby and I took a second COVID test because our first one, taken last week, came back negative. But my daughter, who got a positive test prior to our test several weeks ago, definitely had it. She acted in a responsible manner and did her quarantine time, but she (symptom-free, lonely, and ready for human interaction) came over for a quick TV-time with Mom and Dad just shy of the end of her quarantine.  Several days later, I felt exhausted (and even lost my sense of taste and smell for one afternoon). We got tested the day after my symptoms showed up, but the test came back negative.

My fatigue has continued, and my hubby started to feel like he had been hit by a train. So we decided to do another test to see what was going on. (I’ll share my gratitude in detail in an upcoming post for the amazing compassionate healthcare we were given by Nanette Ford and her office at Family Medicine and Wellness). We should be getting the second tests’ results within a matter of days.

I’ll keep you posted if you like. 🙂

Okay, so fatigue. What shall I do? Follow my Dad’s advice!

And I encourage you to do the same. Why? Well, let me return to the story of how COVID came up in our house. We had likely been exposed due to our TV room gathering (on a Thursday). That Friday I worked my butt off, as this has been a very busy year in my business. Saturday was yucky and it turned very cold, so my hubby and I didn’t get out until very late for our daily hike. It was late in the afternoon when we finally got out, and our adorable little Pomski puppy (just over a year old) went after an animal. We lost him for a bit. We were out in the cold and dark, and it started to rain. I was freezing cold and shouting at the top of my lungs, irritating my throat. We found the little bugger and got home, but I was wet and tired and not feeling great. I woke up the next morning and felt like IT had come on.

So beware of overtaxing your body right now. Physically, mentally, and spiritually (I was also very worried about our little guy and feel very responsible for him, of course). Isn’t he adorable?

With IT potentially in our systems, my hubby and I started to really prioritize sleep and rest. I canceled what was not absolutely necessary on my schedule, and I took naps during the day.

Want to hear what my favorite nap biohack is?  NuCalm. Steven Kotler wrote about this “gadget”, which engages the parasympathetic nervous system, in his book about peak performance, Head in the Game. Dave Asprey’s Head Strong also gives a nod to this technology (called Cranial Electrical/Electrotherapy Stimulation or CES).


What does this system look like? Well, I have the “legacy” system that includes the CES device, the cream (mainly GABA/L-Theanine), and the all-important neuro acoustic software that is used along with a light-blocking eye mask. I put it on and typically do a 50- minute session, which puts me to sleep for part of it and leaves me feeling refreshed.

Here is what my system looks like. 

NuCalm has moved to a new system of “discs” (the circular stickers you see in the photo) which go on a specific point on the left wrist and can replace both the cream and the CES device. I still love to use the legacy system, however; I first learned about it at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, and my sleeping (and napping!) have improved ever since. 

So we are sleeping a lot. And resting, and napping.

What has become of my daily hike?

I have not been outside since that evening when we temporarily lost our little puppy!

Guess who loves all this resting, sleeping, and napping.  Our little puppy!  AND our other dog, who acts like our puppy’s mama. Here she is, asleep on the couch.


I have been studying sleep for years (I even did a graduate-level certification on sleep, and served on the Board of the Academy for Sleep and Wellness). In addition to all of my course work, I have come across many, many great books on sleep. Here are a few (and I notice in my bookshelf that a favorite tome of mine on sleep by Dr. Winters must be out on loan).  

There are a few supplements I like to take. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I love Dr. Anna Cabeca’s Better Brain and Sleep, which has great magnesium in it. I also use a great melatonin product to assist with sleep (talk to your doctor please, this is NOT medical advice, any type of diagnosis, or a treatment plan). Here are a few other supplements that I love for sleep:


I have also written quite a bit about sleep on this blog. There are also some posts also on “rest”. One of my favorite posts is where I talk about how Olympic athletes love to “press the reset” button and take breaks from their intense workouts. On my podcast “Mountain Mantras”, you can hear from elite athletes Muffy Ritz, Rebecca Rusch, Kikkan Randall, and Liz Stephen who talk about how rest is a very important element of their training schedule.

The nonprofit I founded in 2008, Nurture, also has many lessons on sleep that we provide to kiddos (kiddos REALLY need their sleep!). I’ll have to share more about Nurture in some future posts!

Speaking of kiddos and sleep, I want to give a shout out to my dear friend Kim West (AKA The Sleep Lady). I wish I knew about her work when my kids were little. If the kiddos can’t sleep, parents can’t sleep. Please check out her work (SleepLady.com). Here I am with the beautiful Kim during a recent mastermind:

So there you have some info to work with.  Now I’ve got to go to sleep! 🙂

 

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