July 13, 2011

Sleep May Just Be the Key to Weight Loss

Have you ever fallen into bed, happy to finally be there, and looking forward to a great sleep when all you end up doing is staring at the ceiling....the entire night???!!! This was my experience last night. I usually pride myself on 7 - 8 hours a night but the planets were completely outta whack last night or it could have been the hillbillies outside screaming until 3am and running their jacked-up Chevs up and down the street....no, I'm not bitter....just trying it on for size.

At any rate, by 5am I finally got to sleep (having to get up and run at 5:30am)...needless to say, I didn't get up to do any such thing. By 6:30 I had to drag my tired ass out of bed, pry my swollen eyes open (this took about 30 minutes) and drive the 35 minutes to work hoping I could keep awake for most of it (Fact: did you know that one night of complete sleep deprivation is equal to driving under the influence?). As far as looking professional...I still don't really know what I'm wearing. I do believe I brushed the rat's nest outta my hair, but I can't be sure.

So what am I looking forward to today as I do that sexy little head bob dance at my desk (hoping that no one notices that my eyes have been shut for 15 minutes already)? I certainly don't feel like a carrot. I would love to be munching on some breakfast chips (of course it is too early for the real kinda chip..that would be complete craziness) or some Tim bits....mmmmm donught holes. I am definitely not looking forward to my workout this afternoon. I cannot imagine doing anything in the cardio room or lifting any weight off the ground. If I wasn't so stubborn, I would be doing a drive-thru and sitting with a bag full of breakfast sandwiches and do absolutely no exercise all day.

Although, for me, this is a "special occasion", for others it is their reality. Many people do not get the full 7 - 8 hours they need for health (and weight management). Research is now suggesting a relationship between sleep deprivation and weight gain. Based upon my feelings about eating well and exercising today...I completely understand without having to read another paper about it.

This is exactly how I felt this morning as I crawled outta
bed and into the day....dazed, confused, and extremely
bitchy out in the foggy, damp woods alone.
Oohhh...the drama of it all.
I am sure I have blogged about this already, but I'll say it again. Getting your sleep is the number one health practice above eating well and exercising. It is the base upon which you build your health.  If you, like so many others, aren't getting enough (the average is under 6 hours a night) find out why and do something about it. I know so many people who take their sleeplessness as a fact of life and don't give it any attention. We all deserve a good night sleep and once we get it we will definitely feel better, think better, move better, and eat better.  Weight loss programs should be touting the importance of sleep as a part of any weight loss program. In fact, when I work one on one with folks, sleep habits are first and foremost followed by eating and exercise.

How do you get more sleep? The first thing you can do is turn the technology off 30 - 45 minutes before you hit your pillow. Making sure your room is cool and dark and your bed is ergonomically sound is another consideration. If your bed buddy snores....there have been some great technological advances in ear plugs. Finally, eating a light carbohydrate snack before bed (maybe 30 - 60 minutes prior) may lull you into a carb coma. Conversley, eating a protein snack before bed (cheese, yogurt, a big fat steak) may do the opposite and wake you up a bit.

The silver lining in all this for me is at least I won't be kicking up such a fuss this afternoon when I go for my first mammogram. I will probably end up falling asleep with my boob in the squishy thing (at least the squishy thing can hold me up whilst I take a nap). Always looking on the bright side!

Stay tuned for my first installment of my new series on "medical prevention and me"...should be good for a laugh or two!

That's all I got.
K

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