Hey all you primalburgher.com readers! I have a question for you all. Are yunz guys sleeping enough? No seriously, I mean it. Are you sleeping enough?
I keep a training and food log for my workouts and my diet. In my log, I make note of what I eat, how I train, and I also mark the hours I sleep to make sure my body is properly rested and ready for action. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks I noticed a not so good pattern in my own lifestyle.
I haven’t been sleeping right lately.
Now, I don’t want to whine and complain about how undeniably cranky I have been over the past few weeks. I have a lot on my plate lately with promo work, training, YouTubing, networking, and also my day job. I wrote in a previous post about how I am exercising my time management muscles thanks to an awesome book recommended to me by an awesome person. I am still getting my own hectic schedule ironed out, and I know once I get the hang of things, my sleeping patterns will get back into place.
But shoot guys, past few weeks I noticed days (well, nights actually) of getting below 7 hours. I normally sleep about 7.5 to 9 hours a night. Recently, its been more closer to 6, or maybe 6.5 hours, and I haven’t felt rested.
So what gives? Obviously I have been experiencing slightly more pressure lately, and looks like my body’s own adrenaline kick has slowly started to act against me. Stress isn’t something i want to take lightly. I used to have a pretty terrible stress related problem back in the day, so I am familiar with my own patterns of behavior that creep up when deadlines approach. I also know though that sleep deprivation can cause disease. Yes, disease! And that’s something I don’t want for myself, nor anyone else. Just so you know, while I was studying for my Beyond Organic Health Coach Certification, I found a pretty chilling statistic. Did you know that over 60 million Americans are underslept, and because of this, we spen $16 BILLION DOLLARS each year on sleep related illnesses? YOWZA! I think it’s time for some very necessary lifestyle changes, don’t you think?
The solution to this sleep deprived problem is to first, to fess up to the fact that I need sleep and you need sleep. I need sleep. You need sleep. Got it? GOOD! Now let’s make a plan so we can both get more shut eye. First, let’s go over why, if you are like me and have a busy life, need to sleep more and make an adamant plan to work thos e7 to 10 hours of sleep in your schedule.
In her book “Are you Tired and Wired” Dr. Marcelle Pick, talks about the growing epidemic of fatigue among professional woman With the demands of the world pressuring us fitness professionals, business owners, mothers, students, or hey, all of the above, sleep tends to get placed on the back burner. Dr. Pick pinpoints how it all starts slowly over time. More trips to the coffee shop to keep up with the paperwork when you come home evolve into staying up into the wee hours of the night working on projects that you knew should have been done two days ago but somehow lost track of time. Follow this up with more caffeine, which leads to less sleep and possible blood sugar fluctuations that make you, the jittery junky, craving fast acting carbs. In the end, you end up incredibly sleep deprived, overstimulated, on the road towards weight gain and the nasty little bugger we all know as “adrenal exhaustion.”
This isn’t a joke. This is a serious blog post. And that’s real talk, ya heard?
Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blue Print, wrote an incredibly detailed blog post about what happens when sleep deprivation goes beyond what is normal. In short, the blog talks about what happens when your circadian rhythms get jacked up. First of all, your short term memory becomes affected. I have a pretty terrible short term memory as it is anymore due to two major concussions I’ve had in my life. I can’t afford to have my memory get any worse from something I can fix, like like of sleep. Also, sleep promotes the release of human growth hormone, which is essential for regenerating health cells in your body. Finally, sleep keeps your immune system in check. Lack of sleep may actually be a key factor in the development of systemic inflammation and autoimmune disease. Don’t believe me? Read this!
Are you getting my point here? I need to sleep. You need to sleep. We need to sleep!
So, here’s my plan of action to combat this whole lack of sleep thing. If you find any of these tips helpful, be my guest and implement them for yourself as well. This blog is as much about you as it is about me. I mean it! I want to help you get what you deserve, even if that means more Zzzz’s
1) Cut back on caffeine. I don’t want to do this because I truly love all things coffee, but I know by looking at my food log, I’m getting too much. Time to keep it my morning cup of Joe, and that’s it. Just so you know, going above 200 mg of caffeine a day can have adverse effects on your sleep. Many of those coffees to go on your way to work can have double this amount in a 16oz cup. Be weary of you’re caffeine consumption!
2). Set aside time for deep relaxation. Did you guys know that 20 minutes of deep
relaxation exercises can be equal to four hours of sleep? And did you know that meditative practices can actually enhance REM stage sleep? Read about it here! Speaking form personal experience, I know the best times to do this are for about 15-20 minutes prior to your work day, 15-20 minutes on your lunch hour, 15-20 minutes right when you come home from work, or 15-20 minutes before you go to sleep. I plan on doing this in the morning and right during my lunch hour. If you need a resource for breathing exercises, visit this site.
3). Setting aside a day designated as “Mandatory Planning Day”. With all the work I do anymore for this website, I need one day out of the week to plan ahead for my blog posts, YouTube footage, and to get together my ever growing conference calls. Plan a head people. GET A CALANDER!
4,) Allow for 1-2 hours of “wind down time” at the end of the night. No computers in the bed. No iPhone tweeting or facebook updating. Nada. Just me, a book, relaxing with some sleepy time tea. I used to do this quite regularly before my life on the Internet EXPLODED overnight, and well, it’s time to place good habits back in order.
My goal is to turn this 6-7 hours of sleep a night back into a good 7-9 hours of sleep a night. It may take a few weeks to really start feeling better, but I know I can get there. And if are reading this out on the Internet and feel a little sleep deprived like me, I hope this blog post served you well. You’re not alone. You’re not crazy. You just need to turn the lights off and peace out!
Speaking of which, I think it’s time for my wind down time! 🙂 That’s all for me tonight lovelies! Remember to always eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Now really. GO TO BED!