Hey, Dragons! I’ve spent a good portion of my life resisting the idea that sleep is important. I used to game into the early hours of the morning. I’ve pulled all-nighters consistently since high school. “Late to bed, early to rise,” has always been a mantra for me. I didn’t want to read all the evidence that proved that just because a person has adjusted to being sleep deprived, doesn’t mean that that person is getting enough sleep and functioning at full capacity.
Enter my husband…the sleep bully. When my husband and I started living together, he became very concerned with the amount of sleep I got. He made sure he got at least 8 hours a night and it horrified him that I didn’t shoot for the same. He nagged me about not getting enough sleep. He sent me articles about the benefits of sleep. He quoted case studies and sleep experiments. It became a bit of a point of contention between the two of us.
Fast forward to the end of 2016. I was experiencing a lot of stress and frustration and I was looking for ways to be healthier and happier. All right, fine. Let’s try to get more sleep. Apparently, I didn’t realize what I was missing. For several months I made a much stronger effort to get more sleep. And honestly, I could really tell the difference. I have more patience when I get more sleep. I get more stuff done when I’m fully rested. I even tend to cheat less on my diets.
Keeping a Full Charge
I live a very busy life. I don’t always have the luxury of getting a full 8 hours. Most of the time I’m lucky to get 7. But I’m a lot better than I used to be. The past week, our new puppy had a major accident at 3:30 in the morning. Not fun. I couldn’t get back to sleep after what we now refer to as “The Event” and so I commuted 90 minutes to work, put in a 9 ½ hour work day, and drove 2 hours back home on only 5 hours sleep. I could feel the difference and it was awful.
I’ve talked a lot about different little changes you can make when trying to improve fitness. The amount of sleep we get affects focus, self-control, workout recovery, diet, weight loss, and dozens of other things. Increasing the amount sleep is one of the smallest changes you can make, yet the impact it can make is substantial.
With a new puppy in the house and a busy work schedule, sleep is at a premium for me right now. I increased my sleep over the last few months of 2016, so my goal moving forward is going to be to get back to a better sleep schedule to give myself every advantage I can in reaching my other goals.
What are your goals for this week? Let me know! If you want to follow me on a more regular basis, if you need someone to be accountable to, or if you want to share your own journey, you can reply to this post or you can follow me on twitter @EpicGrays. Until next time, remember to #WorkOutNerdOut!