We all know the importance of a good nights sleep, the rejuvenated feeling, bouncing out of bed and feeling ready to tackle the day.
But more often than not in our busy world we are left sleep deprived, tired, irritated, rolling out of bed and cursing our alarm clocks.
For most of us the blame is put on to modern technology, the late night emails, updating on social media, and TV shows that we just can not miss out on. Another blame comes to the added stress of work and life in general, finances and when you finally get the kids to bed getting that ‘me’ time comes at 11pm rather than earlier when would be preferred. And now with the world cup airing and people wanting to watch this live we are seeing a more sleep deprived society then ever before.
But what does this mean?
Well for starters it will leave you unmotivated, irritated and lacking enthusiasm. Your work ethic will show it and your ability to push yourself harder will represent your lack of sleep. Not to mention the havoc it will play on your internal body clock, your hormones, your bodies immune system, ability to grow and repair itself and your moods.
It doesn’t sound much fun when you consider the side affects of sleep deprivation does it?
But we have come to accept it as part of our lifestyle now and generally we are all running on tired.
Sleep has always been an important part of my routine considerations for me and I generally try to get my 8hrs of shut-eye. If I can manage it, I like to be in bed or quietening down for the day by 9pm, whether that be in bed with a book or finishing my TV program and jumping into bed right after. Ensuring I do this, and having the same routine regularly ensures my body recognises these signs that it is nearing bed time and it starts to snooze itself.
I do try to avoid my social media including new posts an hr. prior to bed, I have a terrible habit of wanting to check my media pages after a new posts to check up on comments and ‘like’. A habit that keeps my mind ticking it I let it which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Recently I have found that training in the evenings has altered my body clock a bit, I have more energy after this and find it easier to stay up late. While I still get my 8hrs sleep, as evening sessions mean I can stay in bed later in the morning it does mean that I am getting closer to midnight for my shut eye time, and generally the body gets its best rest in the hrs. prior to this.
Our bodies are designed to sleep and function with the sun, so summer months are the easy ones to get up early and have a fresh start. It’s the reason that we like to stay in bed later in the winter as the sun sets earlier and stays down longer.
Not only is it important to have a routine for your body as it helps to ensure we fall asleep quickly, but getting the right hrs. of sleep helps to ensure our bodies recover from what ever activity we have been putting ourselves through, allow them to repair and grow and ensures our hormones stay in check. When you are sick you need and want more sleep. Babies need a lot of sleep to grow, so if, like me you are trying to grow muscle, then sleep in obviously required. A lack of sleep can increase certain hormones which can cause weight gain, in particular around the middle (no that’s not the only reason you have tummy fat, it’s just a factor as to why it is stored there, just as high levels of estrogen in women means bigger butt and thighs!)
For me, I notice when I am lacking sleep and need to slow down. Sometimes I have gone to events in the evening and as my body is so in sync with its bedtime, when I stay up beyond that I have driven home and honestly not felt switched on in my travels to my destination, not only is this dangerous but my body is telling me its need to switch off. My brain has shut down in an effort to get me ready to bed based on my routine. I do try to keep my routine going throughout the weekend. Not doing so only places further stress on the body and can make it harder to get back into that routine come the week.
Sometimes it’s about listening to your body and understanding the signs it is giving you. More often than not they are there, we just haven’t paid attention to them yet, to busy in our lifestyles to do anything about them or to find the time to address our own personal needs.
It’s about time you gave back to the body that does everything for you, you only have one.