How Sleep Affects Your Wellness | My Tips

How Sleep Affects Your Wellness | My Tips

Like most people who include fitness as a part of their lifestyle, my routine fluctuates - sometimes I’m strictly strength training, sometimes I’m more into yoga, sometimes I go three months training consistently 6x/week and others I train 3-4 times/week. It all depends on my goals at the time, my workload, personal life, vacation schedule (need vacation ASAP) and what my body is telling me at the moment.

The past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of boxing, strength training and yoga. This combination coupled with a diet low in sugar and processed foods has made me feel kind of like Superwoman (minus the cold that swept in and took over for a week).

I’ve seen a change in my body (no, I’m not tracking my weight or body fat right now) and feel super energetic. One component that made a huge difference is the amount of sleep I’ve been getting. Miraculously I’ve been racking up the hours each night (AT LEAST 8!) even though I’m currently the busiest I’ve been in months. I’ve made it a huge priority and my body, mind and soul are all reaping the benefits.

Five Reasons to Get More Sleep:

  1. You can think more clearly. When you lose sleep your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies have shown that if you’re sleep deprived, you might have trouble controlling your emotions or making decisions (TOTALLY been there before.)

  2. It helps to reduce your risk of weight gain. When you’re stressed, your body wants serotonin to calm you down, so we tend to reach for high fat, high carb and high sugar foods.

  3. Repair the damage you did during that killer workout. As you sleep, your body is working to repair and restore itself.

  4. Faster reaction time. This means you perform better at work, school, during your workout and in your relationships.

  5. Helps to reduce inflammation.  


How I Sleep More

  1. Exercise. Period. Even if it’s just a quick 30 minute session at the gym or walk with your family you’re reaping benefits. Plus, it makes you tired! Need I say more?

  2. Turn off the TV. I know it can be hard to do, and trust me - I’m guilty of falling asleep to the TV every once in awhile too. With our busy schedules, sometimes watching an episode of Survivor (dear God I never thought I’d say that) in the horizontal position is the only thing we have time or energy for on a Tuesday night. But for the most part, I try to keep the TV and electronics turned off right before bed.

  3. Create your own nighttime routine. For me it includes preparing my gym bag and clothes for the next morning and indulging in my skin care routine.

  4. Be more productive during the day! I swear by my Passion Planner and keep my to do list and goals outlined there. It helps me achieve a lot more throughout the day so I don’t feel as stressed at night when I want to relax. I also like to keep it by my bed so I can write any “to-do’s” that pop in my head while I’m laying in bed. Less stress = more sleep.

  5. Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before bed. If I eat a big meal right before bed I tend to toss and turn. To play it safe, I’ve been scheduling my dinners earlier.

I hope some of these tips work for you!

Laura Varney