Archive for August, 2016

Sleep, the important stuff!

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Sleep is a wonderful thing, it helps you rest, regenerate and be healthy. The average adults needs 7-8 hours of sleep a night and the proper amount of sleep can be an essential piece to any fitness routine. After all, you need energy to workout. Food fuels the body in a different way than sleep provides you the needed energy in a day. The issue is that sleep habits often get overlooked as necessary parts of your fitness routine. We are going to cover some tips to help you get more sleep!

First tip, make sleep a priority. Yes, you probably have 1,000 other things to go, but you need to make sure you have focus and energy to do those things. This reminds us of a good story:

Once upon a time there was a very strong wood-cutter. He asked for a job from a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was very good and so were the work conditions and for that reason the wood-cutter was determined to do his very best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area in the forest where he was to work. The first day the wood-cutter cut down 18 trees. His boss was extremely impressed and said, “Well done. Keep it up. You are our best wood-cutter yet.” Motivated by his boss’s words, the wood-cutter tried even harder the next day, but he only cut down 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder but only cut down 10 trees.

Day after day the woodcutter cut down fewer and fewer trees. His boss came to him and told him that if he did not chop down more trees each day he would lose his job. The wood-cutter needed the job, so he tried harder and harder. He worked during his lunch breaks and tea breaks, but still he could not cut down enough trees. “I must be losing my strength” the wood-cutter thought to himself. He worked over-time, but still it was not enough. Eventually his boss came to him and told him he was fired. The wood-cutter was really upset, but he knew that he had worked as hard as he could and just did not have enough time to chop more trees. He sadly handed his axe back. The boss took one look at the axe and asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” “Sharpen my axe?” the wood-cutter replied. “I have never sharpened my axe. I have been too busy trying to cut down enough trees.”

You need to sharpen your axe! Get some more sleep!

Second tip, get rid of the things in your bedroom that detract from your sleep. This means, tvs, computers, books, work-related material and other distractions. The bedroom should be for sleeping, it is an important part of your healthy lifestyle.

Third tip, invest in a good bed. A good bed will help you get the rest you need. Just like it is important to wear the right shoe when you are working out or running, it is important to have a good bed to sleep in. If you are going to spend 7-8 hours in something 7 days a week, it is a worthwhile investment.

Fourth tip, don’t skimp on the sleep to fit in things. For example, if you like to wake up early to workout, make sure you go to bed early so you can get a good workout in. When you are tired, you can make mistakes. Also, don’t skimp on sleep to make other things happen.

Fifth and final tip. Get a routine going! Routines aren’t just for kids. Plan to wind your day down about 30 minutes before bed. Try to keep consistent bed times and wake times. Also, do things to calm yourself. Drink tea, listen to relaxing music, read a relaxing book on the couch (or read the kids a story).

Overall our lesson here is clear. Sleep is right below eating healthy and exercising. You need it to feed your body. Take this as a sign, if you are reading this, you need to get more sleep.