Sleep-the Facts for Feeling Good

6 Jan

As I indicated, one of my goals this year is to get more sleep.  I wasn’t feeling well and all I kept reading about was sleep.  In December, nearly every magazine and journal had some type of article on why sleep is important.  In fact many of these articles claimed that people who got less sleep also weighed more.  I thought this was a far stretch, but then I started to think of how less sleep related to my performance.

I have been fighting being sick all week, and I believe that it is due to a lack of sleep and overdoing it in South Beach.  Because I do not feel well, I have not been able to do my daily activities of running, kickboxing, and Spinning.  Could not working out lead to weight gain?  Yes, of course.  Our bodies are not superhuman, they need recovery.  Any good athlete knows that recovery is part of the training process and sleep is part of recovery.

People also tend to eat more when they are tired and more of the wrong foods.  When I am tired my body craves carbohydrates and candy for energy, but what my body really needs is sleep.   So are you reaching for swedish fish when you are tired?  Why not get an extra hour of sleep at night and save yourself from the extra calories and sugar?

So how much sleep do we need?  The National Sleep Research Project claims that The average adult aged 25-55, needs eight hours of sleep.   Small children and teenagers need about 10 hours of sleep while those over 65 need only 6 hours.  So every person is different, which is why I would recommend on spending a week recording the number of hours of sleep you get and then reflect on how you feel that day.  If you feel great, then you may be getting enough sleep.  However, if you feel tired and lack energy, you may want to adjust your schedule to get the sleep you need.

Lack of sleep can affect your performance and reduce your immunity, making it tougher to fight infection and colds.  It can affect your ability to make important decisions or push harder in the gym.  Many people who complain about not getting enough sleep, often say they can’t sleep at night.  You just have to retrain your body.  It’s like anything, your body gets used to the schedule you give it.  If you are staying up late watching television, then turn off the tv and hop in bed.  It will be tough the first couple of nights, but then you will start to get used to it.

There is no reason people should spend their days with bug bags under their eyes.  Yes, I know life is crazy busy and there is never enough time, but you must make time to take care of yourself.  If you don’t take care of you, who will?

You don’t need to sleep the day away, but you do need 6-8 hours of sleep a night to perform optimally.  Even the Energizer Bunny needs to be recharged!  So make a plan to make sleep a priority and you will notice that you will look and feel better in just a few days!

Tune of the day:  Brighter than the Sun by Colbie Caillat, my new favorite

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In Health and Happiness,


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