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Jeanette@SolomaFitness.com

Wellness Wednesdays…Getting Your ZZZZZZZZ’s?

I would like you to ask yourself if YOU are getting your zzzzzzz’s?

Some of you may be curious about why a Fitness Trainer is choosing to talk about SLEEP instead of giving a workout to tone your tush or arms.  It’s because our body requires SLEEP to heal and re-energize itself from all of the work it has provided during your day.  Remember, your body works best in balance.

Even though science does not fully understand the full importance of sleep, it has shown that sleep is an essential building process or anabolic process our body requires.  It is a time when science believes that our body refuels itself from our busy day. Some studies are even showing that it may be when our brain sorts and stores information.

It is also been shown that when we sleep our body is repairing muscle tissue, secreting and balancing hormones, and many of the body’s major organ and regulatory systems continue to work actively.  Scientists have isolated chemicals that vary during sleep, like adenosine, which affects metabolism and fatigue. Have you noticed that if you have a hectic week and only get 5 hours of sleep a night your pants fit tighter, and you may feel bloated? It’s not just in your mind. Also, sleep gives the body a chance to replace other tissues and aging or dead cells – we’re talking about fewer wrinkles! It may also have an effect on strengthening the immune system.  These are all important reasons to make sleep a priority.

While sleep requirements vary from person to person, in general adults need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  You may be thinking that there are already more things on your to-do list than there are hours in the day, it just isn’t possible!  If this statement feels true, I understand!  Getting adequate sleep is one of my largest challenges.  I have been told that I have been a “night owl” since I was a toddler.  Unfortunately, I have not created the schedule and life that will allow me to stay up until 1 am and then sleep my 7.5 to 9 hours.  Yet, I continue to strive to get my sleep. I know how much more vibrant I feel and trimmer I look when I get my zzzzz’s.

If you have any Sleep Tips that have been helpful, please share!

Below are some great tips to “stay out of sleep debt” and “Myths and Truths about Sleep” that I thought you may find helpful.

Clips below are taken from http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm

“Tips for getting and staying out of sleep debt”

While you can’t pay off sleep debt in a night or even a weekend, with a little effort and planning, you can get back on track.

    • Aim for at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you don’t fall farther in debt by blocking off enough time for sleep each night. Consistency is the key.
    • Settle short-term sleep debt with an extra hour or two per night. If you lost 10 hours of sleep, pay the debt back in nightly one or two-hour installments.
    • Keep a sleep diary. Record when you go to bed, when you get up, your total hours of sleep, and how you feel during the day. As you keep track of your sleep, you’ll discover your natural patterns and get to know your sleep needs. Click here to download Helpguide’s sleep diary.
    • Take a sleep vacation to pay off a long-term sleep debt. Pick a two-week period when you have a flexible schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and allow yourself to sleep until you wake up naturally. No alarm clocks! If you continue to keep the same bedtime and wake up naturally, you’ll eventually dig your way out of debt and arrive at the sleep schedule that’s ideal for you.
  • Make sleep a priority. Just as you schedule time for work and other commitments, you should schedule enough time for sleep. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list.

Myths and Facts about Sleep

Myth 1: Getting just 1 hour less sleep per night won’t affect your daytime functioning. You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day. But even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly, and compromise your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.

Myth 2: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules. Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed cues—and even then, by 1–2 hours per day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.

Myth 3: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive daytime fatigue. Not only is the quantity of sleep important but also the quality of sleep. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor.

Myth 4: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. Although this sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep. Furthermore, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your sleep-wake cycle so that it is much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday nights and get up early on Monday mornings.

Adapted from: Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF) The National Institutes of Health