Feeling a Little Sleepy?

Feeling a Little Sleepy?

Sleep’s Important

We all know this.  We all know nutrition is important and exercise is important too. I see people dial in the nutrition and exercise, but sleep suffers.  Why is this?

I love seeing people’s dedication to their workouts.  They won’t miss them……ever.  It’s even better when someone flips the switch on nutrition and someone gets how important it is.  Sleep takes a hit usually, and has in my life over the years.  Why is this?  In part I believe it’s cultural as well as personal.

I’m aware of the culture that views sleep as “lazy” or “un-motivated.”  I’ve heard people say, “There’ll be time to sleep when you’re dead” or “While you’re busy sleeping, I’m hustling!”  (Seriously??)

If We All Know Sleep Matters

Then why do we not take our sleep habits seriously?  I think a lot of it has to do with fear.  If I’m sleeping and somebody else isn’t, I’m afraid that they might get more done than me, or become smarter than me, and be better than me.

Another part of it is behavioral awareness.  By this I mean what are the habits you’ve adopted, and how do they affect our sleep habits.

If You’re Not Convinced of Sleep’s Importance

Read this article:

Sleep: An Undervalued Ergogenic Aid

Check out this video:

These two make excellent points.  Specifically:

  • We all know we need more sleep, but do nothing
  • Sleep deprivation can mess with your metabolic system
  • Sleep deprivation will mess with your hormones
  • Regardless of who you are, sleep relates to performance (gym & life)

I won’t go into the nitty gritty about sleeping and its effects on the body and body’s systems.  Dallas did a great job in his article and I hope you check it out.

I want to talk about habits.

Our Minds Love Habit

Do you think about sitting down in a chair?  How many times do you sit down and get up in one day?  I have no idea, because I’ve done it so many times I no longer have to think about it when I do it.  The way I perform that movement is a conditioned habit.

The same is true of our sleep habits.  Do you know what your habits in the evening are?  If not, try being mindful of them to make yourself aware.  You could do this by jotting down what you do between the hours of 9pm and bedtime for 1 week.  I’ll bet you notice a pattern.

I’ll Share Some Habits I Had to Develop

And which I’ve found helpful in getting the restful, restorative sleep my body needs.

Habit 1: Read for 30 minutes or at least 10 pages immediately before bed.
Turn the tv off.  Silence the phone and plug it into a charger.  Read whatever interests you, there is not shortage of good material available.

Habit 2: Stretch out
Before my reading, I’ve found it helpful to spend some time with my foam roller or the lacrosse ball.  Show the body some love, loosen those stiff muscles up, and relax with some down dog.

Habit 3: Drink 2 Glasses of Water
At no other point in my day do I go 8+ hours without drinking any water.  I drink 2 glasses of water before going to bed, and at least 1 glass when I wake up.

I’ve got a few other habits that I want to form before going to bed, and I’ll share those with you too

Wishful Habit 1: Meditate immediately before going to bed.
I did this a couple of times last week.  I slept better.  Since I started meditating over a month ago, I’ve logged 8 hours of total meditation.  I’ve noticed I’m a lot calmer and more present in everything I’m doing.  The quieting of the mind with meditation puts the mind and body at ease.  If you’re mind is especially noisy, definitely try 10 of 15 minutes of meditation before bed:
http://www.calm.com/
https://www.headspace.com/  (this is what I use)

Wishful Habit 2: No electronics in the bedroom
I don’t have a tv in my bedroom, but I am guilty of bringing my phone and laptop in there. First thing in the morning, I shut off my alarm and pick up my phone to see what notifications I have.  Psychologically I don’t find this healthy.  Sleeping is about removing stimuli.  The phone is a stimuli (stimulus really :).  I want to be in the habit of leaving the iPhone in the living room charging and use a good old fashioned alarm clock again.

Wishful Habit 3: Black it out
I had this habit accomplished for a long time.  I bought black out curtains and removed all sources of light from my room in my last couple of apartments.  It made a significant difference in my sleep.  Light is an enemy of restful sleep.  Blackout curtains, analog alarm clocks, and pitch black are sleeps friends.

Sleep Well

If you have trouble with sleep, investigate what your habits are.  When you understand or are aware of the behavior, change it to help sleep.  I can’t recommend the article linked above enough.  To be the best human you can be, you must sleep well.

You’ll need a good slumber for this workout:

 

The O-Board Says…

A. 0:00 to 15:00
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Heaviest Goblet Squat Possible
200m run between

B. 15:00 to 28:00
As Many Rounds Possible
10 Knees 2 Elbow
12 HR Pushpus
48 Double Unders

Posted by: Stets