I am sure that all of us have thought that at one time or another, especially coming up on this Celebratory time of year. Before the desire to cut out sleep over takes you, I want to share with you WHY you want to sleep. This is a blog post I wrote several years ago that I thought will be perfect for this Holiday season coming up.
We are given the impression early on in life that you can do all and be all. We have a job that we must be responsible to; a family to care for, child’s activities, and church activities…the list goes on. What about Rest? There is a saying…”I’ll sleep when I’m 6 feet under” that is very morbid, I know…and we always laugh it off. However, we really do need REST. In order for our bodies to heal, replenish, grow, build, repair, etc…we must have SLEEP.
There are 2 kinds of rest: One is SLEEP the other is RECOVERY
This here will motivate you to get some sleep….Research shows that those who only get a few hours of sleep a night are more likely to become obese. Your body needs to shutdown and repair itself…The only time to do that is at night.
There is also a correlation between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behaviors. Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger, while Leptin is responsible for letting you know when you are full. When you are sleep deprived production of ghrelin is increased and the production of leptin is decreased. This will make you feel hungry and never feel full. In conjunction with that, poor food choices are made when feeling tired. It is easy to see how these changes can lead to weight gain.
What should you do?? In addition to eating right, breathing deep and exercising….make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Don’t short change yourself. This is important for your health!
Remember, when you don’t feel tired, you won’t feel hungry!
This is taking time between workouts to rest, or taking time after a BIG weekend to rest. Allow the body to get back in sync with one of these activities:
- deep breathing
- low impact activity that you enjoy and that brings out the “child-like” zest for living
- Tai Chi/ Qi Gong/ Shi Bashi
Recovery is important for muscle development; diminish symptoms of over training, mental and emotional balance. When taken on a regular basis, all you need is 24-48 hours of recovery time.
How can you tell when to take recovery time?? Listen to your body, tune into it. Here are some signs:
- sleep deprivation
- nagging joint pain
- lack of focus during workout
- over eating
- emotional eating
- frequent minor injuries…etc.
If you have any of these symptoms, give yourself 24 hours to recoup and get back to it. You will find that your workouts are more effective when you give your body the proper recovery time.
2008 IDEA Fitness Journal,
Flier, J. Annals of Internal Medicine, Dec. 7, 2004; vol 141: pp 885-886
Van Cauter, E. Annals of Internal Medicine, Dec. 7, 2004; vol 141: pp 846-850