Monday Motivation 3/25/13

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Mine was spent working out (13.3 kicked my rear), cleaning the house, making protein bars, and adding rhinestones to my figure suit!  It is starting to look better and I really don’t mind the tedious task.

Weekend nights I often go to bed later than normal–not really sure why, I just get involved in whatever I’m doing and since I know I don’t have to get up early, I tend to not care.  However, I forget my body will still get up anywhere from 7:30-8:30am which results in me not getting over 8-9 hours of sleep (I like to play catch-up on weekends).  I know some of you are thinking “she thinks going to bed around midnight is late?!”  But the problem comes Sunday night.  10pm rolls around and I am slowly starting the process of going to bed, with multiple distractions, which leads to being in bed an hour later.  Since I am used to going to bed at this hour Friday and Saturday night, my body isn’t telling me to get my butt to bed.  But come 5:15am, my alarm goes off and I think–this is why I need to try and go to bed at 9:30pm.  This realization becomes even more apparent when I step on the scale and tell myself “well you know you are always lighter when you get those extra hours of sleep”.

Other than obviously being lighter the longer you sleep, sleep is crucial for a number of things outside of weight loss!  A lack of sleep leads to weight retention/gain, lack of recovery, decreases brain function, and irritability/emotional sensitivity, etc.

I ran across this article this morning and it was a great reminder.  The article talks about a study that was done with 16 men and women with half of them getting about 5 hours of sleep the first week while the other half got 9 hours and then the following week they switched. Throughout the study they kept the subjects in special rooms so they could measure food intake, impose strict sleep schedules, and measure metabolism by how much oxygen they took in as well as how much carbon dioxide they produced.  The group that got 5 hours of sleep the first week had an increase in metabolism and burned an average of 111 more calories a day, but they also ate more food and gained an average of 2lbs by the end of the week.  At the conclusion of the second week, the 5 hour group that just spent a week getting 9 hours started losing the weight they put on the previous week, but they hadn’t removed all of it.  The 9 hour group that completed a week of 5 hours of sleep had gained weight.  The article also stated that the lack of sleep aged the fat cells metabolically by 20 years!

So why am I sharing this with you on Motivational Monday?  Well other than it being a good article and a reminder for all of us to get sleep, if we are trying to set ourselves up for success in order to do our best, it is important that we don’t start the week sleep deprived!

I know we all have busy schedules, but I am sure there are ways to make our lives easier so we can get to bed a little earlier every night.  Here are some tips that may be useful:

  • Set an alarm for when you need to start getting ready for bed
  • Mass cook food so it is easy to store and pack so you aren’t cooking every night
  • Start the night with doing what needs to be done before bed so when alarm goes off, you have no choice but to catch up on what you wanted to do the next day (social media/surfing the net)
  • Create a list of tasks for the week so you can stay focused throughout the day and can move swiftly from one task to the next without having to waste time wondering what else you were supposed to do
  • I know some days you won’t be able to control your late schedule, but if your lunch is pre-packed or you have your work/gym bag ready to go the day before, you can set your alarm a little later the next morning to get a little more sleep.

Hopefully one of these tips is useful!  Just remember sleep is an important piece in reaching your goals.  I challenge you to try to get 7-8 hours a night for a week and see if you feel a difference!  Let me know if you do and how it goes 🙂

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