Why is sleep so important?
“There is no better recovery than sleep” –LeBron James
Remember the days when you would sleep for as long as you wanted –sometimes past noon?
Sigh. I barely remember those days, but I realize now how important that sleep was to my overall being!
Why is sleep important, especially for those of us who love to work hard in the gym?
This infographic from Purple helps point out the essentials–>
I tell my kids all the time, (because they refuse to sleep!), that your body grows and recovers while you are sleeping.
If you are a busy mom like myself, you probably put sleep last on your “to-do” list. I know I am guilty of staying up too late because that is usually the only quiet time in my house. This however is so counterproductive to all my hard work in the gym. Your body needs sleep for full muscle recovery. Not only that, but when I am sleep deprived, I am just generally miserable the next day. Research has also shown sleep deprivation can elevate levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Now that we know why is sleep so important, here is how to get better sleep:
- If you are caffeine sensitive, cut it off right around lunch.
- Get your body into a rhythm of going to sleep at the same time each night. You should aim for at least 7-8 hours, so plan accordingly. If possible, take a short power nap in the afternoon to recharge your battery.
- Sleep in a completely dark room. Do not sleep with a nightlight or the TV on as that disturbs your sleep cycles. I invested in black out shades and curtains, and it has made a huge difference in sleep quality. My bedroom is like a cave , someimes I cannot even tell if it’s daylight yet!
- Invest in a fan or sound machine. This also has helped me stay asleep as the gentle sound of the fan drowns out all background noise. My kids also have learned to sleep with box fans and no longer wake up in the middle of the night, which makes me extremely thankful! When we travel, we use the fan app on our phones—which is a lifesaver when you are in loud hotels.
- Make your bed as comfortable as possible! Invest in a quality mattress and some soft sheets. Check out the ones over on Purple, they have some amazing soft, stretchy sheets that will call your name each night!
- Sleep in a cooler environment. I use my ceiling fan all year long and just cannot sleep in the heat. Bundle up in the blankets if necessary but do not make the room too hot.
- Make sleep a priority. Set a schedule and stick to it. The laundry and kitchen clean up can wait until tomorrow!