Sleep Is Overrated. Not.

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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.

Outfit Details:

Pink Satin PJ Set (available here), similar Cami style set here, and full length here.

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:

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!

Sweet dreams!

xo,

Related reading:

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

19 Responses

  1. I get just a few hours of sleep per night due to chronic illness and pain that ramps up during the night. Melatonin effects my digestive track in a bad way so I can?t take it. My dr doesn?t have any suggestions. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Crystal: I’d definitely discuss this with your doctor since we are not medical professionals, especially since you also have some other health issues. I hope you can find what will work best for you! 🙂

  2. How do I continue to pave forward…when it gets hard…or do I just throw up my hands and say it doesn’t matter its just me? So tired of trying to fix what can’t get fixed..so done…no more looking back to lose at..just gonna stay where I am..nothing to feel disappointed about any longer.

    1. Hi Irma: If you’re interested, one thing you might try is to make and keep a small, simple daily promise to yourself. This is the first step Chris and Heidi take with every client, and you can learn more about the process here: http://chrispowell.com/choose-a-promise/. Hope this helps, and we truly wish you the best!

  3. Great article, sleep is hard to come by in our house with a toddler and an 8 month old. One wakes me up for help on the potty, the other wakes me up to eat. I like the idea of going to bed 15 min early for four nights. Gotta try it!

  4. Wow, can I relate to this! I’ve been sleep deprived since the birth of my oldest son 5 1/2 years ago. I don’t think I’ve had 7 consecutive hours sleep since…geez, I’m too tired to remember when. ‘Cause, remember, it’s 7-9 CONSECUTIVE hours, not cumulative hours. Weight loss feels impossible, but then again a lot of things do – work, relationships, exercise, etc. Most days it’s just putting one foot in front of the other and getting through it. So I try to make one small change at a time (like no food after 7 p.m. for example, cause when I’m tired, I just want to eat to stay awake,) and stick to it until it becomes ingrained in my tired brain that this is now the new normal. I hope if I just make one wee, manageable change at a time, they’ll eventually add up and make a difference.

  5. I’ve had insomnia since my daughter was born and that was almost 30 years ago. I get about 4-6 hours of sleep each night and sometimes no sleep. I have already lost 15 lbs and have about 55 lbs to go. I know that stress and depression play a lot on my lack of sleep and weight issues.

    I want to thank you and Chris for all you are doing to help people live a more better life.

    Take care,
    Susan

  6. Thanks, Heidi! I started having pains in my left shoulder which the doctor told me was due to a strained muscle. I then started falling asleep any time I sat down, and I mean any time…sofa, table, red lights!!! I finally had a sleep study done, and I now use a CPAP for sleep apnea. My life has changed!!! Energy has returned, and the brain fog gone! Oh, and the pain in my shoulder…stressed heart!!! Please have yourselves checked if you suspect you could have sleep apnea!!!

  7. I’m in nursing and work the 11pm-7am shift, 6 nights a week I am awake. And it is very difficult to get a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep during the day hours. Which has plenty of health issues I am suffering from. I will never take a nights sleep for granted

  8. Should get tested for sleep apnea too. Untreated sleep apnea will not help you get the sleep you need. In fact it can hurt you and make treating things like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart arrhythmias harder.

  9. How about some tips for the moms that work night shifts and are only allowed 4 to 5 hours a night. … napping during the day seems to make things more difficult and mommy. . exhausted. 🙁

  10. Heidi,

    I’ve been following you and Chris for the better part of a year now. I found the dieting informaiton very effective and useful however when it comes to sleeping this is where I run into major trouble. My old job that I had I worked two differen shif: Thursday/Friday 2pm-10pm and then also Saturday/Sunday overnight 6pm-6am. I lost that job and now I’m on a schedule with my new job Friday/Saturday 9pm-9am (overnights again…) and then Sunday 9pm-7am (and not to mention the gobs of extra shifts with 1st, 2nd or 3rd shift hours in between my regular schedule). This creates for a horrible sleeping schedule and I just cannot get a routine down with it. Some mornings I get off and I can go right to bed, other mornings I’m up for another 1-4 hours before I can finally sleep. Any advice would be helpful at this point. My schedule is not going to change any time soon so it’s what I have to work with. Congrats on baby Ruby by the way!!!

  11. Heidi,

    Hi. Congrats on your new baby girl Ruby!! She is beautiful :-)I have a question… How do you get an active 3 year old girl to bed and keep her on that schedule. My daughter is a night owl and loves to stay up late. No matter what I try she will not fall asleep. I do have a bedtime routine for her. I’m not getting enough sleep because of this and I’m a single mom and full time college student(OSU). I have asked several doctors, their suggestions never help. What tips can you offer? I respect your opinion. Have a great night 🙂

  12. Now I’m sleepy haha… I read before bed or turn on my iPod before bed… these are my relaxers at night. (I sometimes do both of these)

  13. Congratulations on the new addition. What you say about getting enough sleep is easier said than done. I get maybe 5 hours if that a night bof sleep, and yes I am massively over weight. I have been laid off due to the govts sequestration. It’s been 6 months now. With stress and sevier depression, it’s hard to do anything thing especially sleep. If you can give me any suggestions that would greatly appreciated. Thanks and love what you and your hubby do to educate. Take care

  14. I am so guilty of doing my homework while laying in bed. But it is the only quiet place I can find and it is usually late at night. I am always tired!

  15. This could not have come at a better time. I have chronic insomnia and lately it’s really been bad. I think just picking one thing to focus on and trying not to get frustrated with the other things might be just the thing to help me break this dreadful cycle! Thanks!

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