Good morning Wellness Warriors and welcome to another Wellness Wednesday. The next few weeks we’ll be talking about sleep. I know, I know, you might be tempted to snooze past these posts but, sleep is so extremely important to our health and well-being. When you think about it, we spend about a third of our day sleeping. So why not make that time productive for your body, and give it the highest quality of rest possible?
The most important question I ask when discussing sleep is; “how much of it are you getting?” The answer is often different between men and women. Men have it worse, sorry guys, but it’s true! We think sleep deprivation is a sign of virility, we wear it as a badge of honor. We boast that we only got 4 hours of sleep last night and that we’re still on top of our game. We’ll here’s the truth, we’re not.
Sleep deprivation makes us less productive, and affects our decision-making abilities. I know that when I’ve had a bad night’s sleep its going to be a bumpy day, and that tomorrow I’ll probably spend a good portion of the day correcting mistakes and cleaning up messes I’ll make today.
Let’s not wake up like zombies and power through our days on stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or worse; energy drinks. Especially type A personalities who are hyper connected, always one more thing to do, one more email to answer. Getting more sleep will make you more effective, productive, and creative. Its not lost time, I promise, and will pay off in spades.
Now if you’re thinking, “I’ve been running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep for as long as I can remember, I don’t think my body needs more”, here are some signs it might. Beyond the obvious signs of exhaustion and just counting how many hours you’re actually getting, some other signs are; food cravings (sugar, salt, carbs, etc.), mindless eating, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, and short tempers or mood swings.
You can do anything differently if you make it a priority.
So how do we make this actionable and find the right amount of sleep for our individual bodies? Start small. Make a commitment to get an extra 15 minutes per day and work up from there. Our bodies adapt to running on less sleep, even though not ideal, the same way out metabolism slows down to adapt itself to a lower calorie intake. If you go to bed two hours earlier, you’ll most likely just end up waking up in the middle of the night. The same way we train our muscles at the gym, we need to retrain our bodies to sleep. Increasing by small increments each day will naturally evolve to the right amount of sleep for your body to function optimally. Remember it’s different for everyone.
How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and using my little corner of the internet to further your well-being. If any part of this was beneficial for you, and you feel it could positively impact someone else, I’d be honored if you’d share it.
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