Sleep, what is it good for? Absolutely everything when it comes to your fitness and nutrition. We find ourselves getting busier than ever and our days seemingly longer and longer without a solution in sight. We feel we can take on more and more task and don’t think what will suffer for it. Unfortunately, for many of us, these choices negatively affect our sleeping patterns and the affects our nutrition.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Any of you with children, jobs, and responsibilities out there are laughing as you read this. You’re not alone folks, I also found it difficult to get 7+ hours in a night, until I began changing my habits. For those that are still struggling, you might be having these symptoms:
- Increased caffeine consumption
- Increased sugar cravings
- Dehydration in the body
- Lowers immune system response
- Takes longer to recover from workouts
- Less energy to do anything
- Shorter temper
- Irrational decision making
To get Nerdy with it:
Studies have showed that adults that don’t sleep enough are more common to eat more due to their leptin levels fall (leptin is a hormone that regulates hunger) When leptin levels DECREASE your appetite INCREASES. This also helps show that obesity and sleep patterns go hand and hand.
Your body’s muscles and immune system recovers when it sleeps and if your waking up sore more often than not, chances are you need more rest. Sleep will also assist your body to build a stronger immune system to help fend off Covid.
My average sleep per night went from 6.5 hours a night (pre-Covid) to 7.5-8.5 hours (post Covid). I have made conscious efforts to make myself feel better so I can help those around me get better.
Breaking old habits and creating new ones take time, so here are some you can try:
- Eat better
2. Drink more water, at least 80 ounces per day
3. Minimize water intake by 6 pm (so you do not wake up when asleep)
- Drink caffeine earlier in the day
- Cut down daily caffeine consumption
- Cut off all electronics at LEAST 1-hour before bed
- Read before bed
- Have dinner earlier so you won’t go to bed full (heartburn issues)
- Workout more often or find a stress reliever at night
- Workout earlier in the day
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!”
If any of this resonates something inside of you, give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen, you get more sleep and feel better!