Sleep…or the lack thereof…is a hot topic around our house right now. With everything happening around us, it’s easy to skip a bit of sleep here and there, and soon we start to miss the regular, non-interrupted ZZZs, we’re so used to getting.
Besides making us feel tired and a bit grumpy (as Cash often reminds me!), a lack of sleep can cause so many issues you might not be aware of:
- Trying to lose weight? A lack of sleep can cause obesity and make it harder to lose those extra pounds! When you don’t get enough sleep, your body secretes less of a hormone called leptin, which tells you you’re full, and more of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. Now that’s a no-win situation, for sure!
- Sleepy people are involved in more accidents on the road, at home, and on the job. One study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that sleepiness is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year. That’s scary!
- A lack of sleep makes it harder for you to think clearly and remember things. I already have a hard enough time keeping track of our crazy life!
- Excess fatigue can negatively affect our most intimate relationships. That is so not good!
- If you don’t get enough sleep you have a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, long term mood disorders, lower immune function, alcohol use, and a shorter life expectancy.
- When you’re sleep deprived, you’re less able to recognize that you are—in fact—sleep deprived, so you’re less motivated to get the sleep you really need.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
If those stats aren’t a wake up call (pun intended), then I don’t know what is. The truth is that we need to get at least 7-9 hours per night. Ladies, this is especially crucial for us! A study at Duke University found that women need more sleep than men because of our awesome multi-tasking brains. And speaking of multi-tasking, a good rule of thumb is to keep other activities (reading, working/playing on the computer, paying bills, watching TV, etc.) out of your bed and reserve it only for sleeping and intimate-type activities (*wink, wink*). Not to mention, a lack of sleep can age your skin, and you know I’m all about keeping those good anti-aging secrets.
Need More Sleep? It’s All About Routine
As you guys know, a morning routine has shifted my mindset and attitudes in so many ways. But creating a routine that doesn’t work for you, doesn’t work for anyone, right? If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Gosh, if I could just get to bed earlier…”, then hear me out: Instead of going to bed an hour earlier, which is a difficult thing to do, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night for four nights, and make night four’s bedtime your new regular bedtime. Another great routine is to focus on creating a relaxing bedtime ritual: Soak in the tub, read a book, enjoy some tea, listen to your favorite soft music, or whatever helps you relax. If your kiddos have a bedtime routine, why wouldn’t you?
Need even more tips to get those extra ZZZs in an already crazy busy life? Here are some tips from the experts at WebMD:
- Wake up at the same time every day. Even on weekends.
- Eat meals on a regular schedule, like we do in carb cycling, so your energy levels will stay constant. Not only will you be more likely to make better food choices, but you’ll also be less likely to get sleepy from a lack of energy.
- Exercise regularly. While this might not make sense, exercise helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
- Can’t find time to go to bed earlier? Re-examine and re-prioritize your schedule. When you get enough sleep, you’ll be much more successful with all your most important tasks!
Does this all seem totally overwhelming? Pick just one tip and set a SMART Goal. Even one tiny improvement can make a world of difference!
Leave the Back to School Grind Behind: Take Some YOU Time
Feeling Tired? Top 5 Tips to Naturally Boost Your Energy Levels
Immune-Boosting Tips to Stay Fit + Healthy
Keep It Simple: My Morning Routine
Life Lessons Learned | Developing Integrity, Learning to Love Yourself, and Setting Boundaries