SLEEP - 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition


This week, I have heard a plethora of people in classes and trainings mention how tired they are feeling because of an inexpiable lack of sleep. At first, I thought it was a coincidence, but the comments became so prevalent throughout the week, I thought it necessary to give it some thought and do some research as to why people are restless at this time of year. I knew that car accidents were more frequent around the change to Daylight Savings Time, but that’s come and gone and shouldn’t be affecting us any longer. After doing some research though, I discovered that this is quite the common occurrence as the seasons change from Winter to Spring.

The most convincing theory to me is detailed here: In nature, Winter is a time of hibernation, stillness, and sleep. Spring, however, is a time of awakening, activity, rejuvenation. The birds return, the grass grows, the bugs reproduce at an insane rate. Because of this restored action, our bodies kick into overdrive, and the creative juices start flowing in our brains. We become more restless and productive, which can be good, but it can also create disjunction as we transition through the seasons.

Whatever the reason is, this week I would like you to pay attention to your sleep patterns. Do you find yourself more agitated than normal at bedtime? Are you able to fall asleep easily but awake during the night? Everyone has their tips and tricks to treat insomnia, but I have found these to have worked best for me. Hopefully, they help you catch some ZZZ’s as well.

  • Follow a wind-down routine where you set a ritual of 10 minutes to wash your face, brush your teeth, change your clothes, etc. Do your best not to fall asleep on the couch before performing this ritual.
  • Go to bed around the same time every night. Don’t dilly dally. You know you need sleep, so get to it already!
  • Turn off or put away all stimulating devices, including TV, phone, and music.
  • Find a mantra, chant, prayer or song to focus on and repeat to help you drift off.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night and still can’t fall back asleep in 20 minutes, get up and do something. Chances are, you’ll feel pretty sleepy after forcing yourself to get up and do a task.

Getting rid of stubborn belly fat is a daunting task, and even when it’s going well, it can feel remarkably slow. By keeping track of your progress and your daily intake and outtake of calories, you can better determine what’s working and what’s not and have a better perspective on your actual progress.

Tracking isn’t just good at seeing where you’ve been. It’s also useful for setting goals moving forward. Run for 20 minutes yesterday? Go for another couple minutes today. Or better yet, if it took 20 minutes to run two miles yesterday, try running an extra tenth of a mile in the same amount of time today. Keep piling on challenge after challenge as the positive momentum carries you forward. The more data you keep, the better off you’ll be in the end. After all, it’s long-term progress and results that we’re ultimately after.

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