Sleep Your Way To Success

by Kate O'Leary

April 30, 2014 // Category: Fitness Advisor

SleepYourWayToSuccess.jpgI get it. Sure, it’s 11:00 pm on a Wednesday, but you’re not tired yet, you have more work to do, and the next episode of such-and-such is on. Listen – there are all manner of justifiable excuses for not getting the necessary shuteye (7-9 hours for adults). But the truth of the matter is this:

Sleep is a do-it-all antidote for many of your health and wellness concerns. Check out why.

  • Memory and Attention – getting the sleep you need boosts memory, aids in learning and helps you focus. So whether you’re studying new fitness routines or training on the job, the route toward memory retention leads right into your pillow.
  • Improve Stamina – boosting your REM cycle will increase your stamina and reduce your fatigue during the day, reports a Stanford University study. If you’re an athlete or a consistent exerciser, this is the key to a better performance when it counts. 
  • Lose Fat – a University of Chicago study reported that individuals seeking weight loss dropped more fat when they got more sleep. The people who didn’t sleep as much? They lost more muscle. 
  • Better Mood – That’s right, closing your eyes long enough will open them to a whole new world of well-being. Not enough can lead to anxiety and depression.

Okay, you say. There are many benefits to retiring at night. But that still doesn’t help the people who can’t go to sleep in the first place, or worse – don’t have time. Well, I’ve got solutions for that, too.

  • Exclude Extremes – don’t go to bed too hungry or too full. Hunger makes you uncomfortable and sends your brain into hunter gatherer mode, while being too full means you’ll have excess calories (and a lack of comfort). Find a middle ground and you’ll rest easier at night.
  • Expend Energy – get in a good workout in during the day. Besides the myriad of other benefits a fitness session brings, exercise will make you tired when you’re supposed to be.
  • Create a Buffer – don’t go directly from your work laptop to the bedroom, as it’s too drastic a psychological switch. Create some mental space (at least 15 minutes) between your last nightly activity and when you finally close your eyes.
  • Bag of Tricks – everyone’s got them – chamomile tea, a warm bath, the drone of the television, or some light reading from your book.

Find a tactic you enjoy and go for it!

 
Kate O'Leary
 

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