How to Get More Sleep: Part 1 Sleeping Smarter Better
Some of the links in my blogs may be affiliate links. See my disclaimer page for more information.
Did you know that you can’t catch up on your sleep? Would you be surprised to learn that not getting a good night’s sleep is one of the leading factors for weight gain and diseases like diabetes and heart disease? Like anything else, knowledge is powerful and it is important to educate ourselves about sleeping smarter and better. That is what led me into this new Blog Series and today’s topic is How to Get More Sleep: Part 1 Sleeping Smarter Better.
How to Get More Sleep: Part 1 Sleeping Smarter Better
As a mom of a large family I can’t even tell you how many days I got by on 4 hours or less sleep. I actually just thought that was normal. How else was I going to get everything done in a day and tend to children? Now as I’m in midlife and no longer have babies keeping me up (not that teenagers don’t still act like babies sometimes), it is more about my body resisting sleep. So, sleep is definitely something that I’ve researched on more than one occasion with more than one resource and have tried many different things. I can tell you right now Melatonin, Benadryl, and other over the counter remedies like Tylenol PM are not the route to go. Been there done that.
If You Snooze, You Lose.
Have you ever noticed when you lack sleep you crave foods like candy, donuts, and other high sugar or starchy carb foods? Lack of sleep causes your brain to lack glucose so it is telling you to eat more. In fact, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity. Yes, not getting enough sleep can make you gain weight! Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause you to consume more calories throughout the day, typically from high-fat, high-carb foods. So just by simply getting some sleep, you can heighten your ability to lose weight.
Sleep Can Enhance Your Mental State.
You may remember your college or high school days when your teacher told you not to pull an all-nighter studying for the exam because you would not retain or really understand the information. Well, that is accurate. Sleep can improve your brain’s ability to process and absorb information. If you absolutely must stay up all night to prepare for something or operate on little to no sleep, some research suggests taking a short nap can help to improve your learning.
Sleep Can Increase Your Level of Awareness.
Studies have shown that driving while operating on a lack of sleep can be compared to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in some cases, be just as or more dangerous. There is now even such an epidemic that there was a Drowsy Driving Prevention Week created by the National Sleep Foundation and many states are looking at prevention.
Muscle Growth & Repair.
After a muscle-draining workout or even just a long day of work, your body must shut down, recharge, and repair. There isn’t really any other way to say this– sleep is KEY to build muscle and allow your muscles to repair themselves.
Did you know you burn calories in your sleep? On average, a person will burn around .42 calories per pound they weigh per hour of sleep. So for example, someone weighing 175 lb. will burn around 73.5 calories each hour of sleep. When that person gets an optimal night’s rest, they could be burning close to 600 calories by simply lying in bed. These calories burned are vital in your body’s process as they maintain activities throughout the night such as pumping blood, controlling your internal temperature, and cell repair.
Less Likely To Become Depressed.
Studies have shown that the amount of sleep and the quality of sleep is directly linked to the way you feel throughout the day. People who do not receive optimal levels of sleep often feel unmotivated and even depressed, resulting in poor performance not only in their body but in all aspects of their life. Think about your kids they need a mom that wants to play with them, laugh with them, and just be happy with them.
Help You Look and Feel Better.
Allowing your body appropriate amounts of sleep each night so it may go through the entire processes needed to recharge has a positive effect on your overall well-being. By getting a good night’s rest, you just feel better. Your back might start to ache less or you might be less prone to headaches as the day goes on. If you don’t believe me, just take a look in the mirror the next time you don’t get a good night’s rest.
A pioneer on sleep research named William Dement said “You’re not healthy unless your sleep is healthy.”
I completely agree! Sleep deprivation has actually been linked to many different diseases and conditions such as diabetes, Cancer, heart disease, depression, Alzheimers, and obesity. While you are awake your body is burning energy and breaking down cells. Sleep is the time when your body heals itself. It is the time it grows and repairs cells in your body. It isn’t necessarily that you need to be in the bed or even asleep longer either it is more about the quality of your sleep which is where the sleeping smarter comes into play.
I’m going to be sharing with you tips and techniques to sleep smarter such as what to avoid, timing, nutrition & exercise, getting your room ready, plus much more. Some of the ideas I have shared or will be sharing is from a book called Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. If you are interested in reading the book yourself just click on my Amazon affiliate link below.
So let’s take today to evaluate your current sleep. How many hours do you get? How many times do you wake up? Do you feel rested in the morning? Tell me in the comment section below. When you are finished implementing these ideas I would love for you to come back and share your progress.