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The Most Important Exercise Is…..When You’re Not Exercising.
New moms, college students, workaholics, overachievers…I’m talking to you.
The baby cries… it’s 2 AM and you don’t get back to sleep until 5 and you have to be up by 7.
The alarm clock goes off, it’s 4 AM. Meanwhile, you didn’t go to bed until midnight. Your 10-mile training run is looking quite rough.
You’re sitting there staring at the ceiling, you pick up your phone… It’s 3 AM and you must be up at 7 AM.
It’s finals time and you’re writing another final paper…when you realize you’ve been awake for 24+ hours.
Have you ever been in any of these situations?
I sure have…
And according to the CDC, 30% of adults & 66% of adolescents in the United States have, too.
Just a simple reminder (this data can be found here):
- Adults need 7+ hours of sleep per night.
- Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
- School-Age children need 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
- Preschool children need 10-13 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
Based on the statistics and many of my friend’s sleep habits, I’d say we’re living in a pretty sleep-deprived world.
What many people forget is that getting proper sleep helps us to achieve that 1% difference. Whether it be that 1% difference in the office or on the field, it can be your superpower. Why?
Sleep plays a major role in our body’s ability to regulate hormone production. Peaceful slumber is when our bodies repair, restore and re-energize. Without proper sleep, our bodies cannot regulate hormones responsible for stress, muscle growth and repair, and reproductive health. So, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on the human body.
Did you know?
According to the CDC, 24-hour sleep deprivation is the same as having a blood alcohol content of 0.10?
That it can take up to 4 days to recover from one hour of lost sleep?
Sleep deprivation is no joke.
Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you do after not sleeping? Have you ever experienced the “drunk” sensation of sleep deprivation? Let’s chat about how a lack of sleep impacts your health.
Research has shown that sleeping less than 6 hours of sleep a night makes you twice as likely to develop diabetes & poor blood glucose tolerance. It has also shown that sleeping less than 4 hours per night increases your risk for elevated cortisol (stress hormone), illness, and obesity! When sleep-deprived, you will develop increased hunger, unhealthy cravings, and your body will enter a “fat-storage” mode?
So, why do some people still brag about functioning on little to no sleep? I have no clue.
If you’re realizing any of the following symptoms:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Decreased alertness
- Increased stress
- Decreased concentration
- Decreased reaction time and coordination
- Increased appetite and food cravings
- Increased joint achiness
- Extreme fatigue
It may be time to revamp your sleeping habits! From personal experience, I can tell you that sleep deprivation is no fun. It’s also the reason I chose to write this blog!
Recently, I was the physio for a race team during a 24-hour car race…which turned into a 40+ hour escapade. In a total of 40 hours, I slept a broken 3.5 hours. Talk about exhaustion. For the first time, I experienced what true sleep deprivation feels like: brain fog, fatigue, exhaustion, jitters, heart rate changes, food cravings, increased anxiety & stress.. you name it, I had it.
So folks, if you’re not sleeping, your body isn’t healing. It’s not able to repair, re-energize, or re-vitalize. Sleep is the most underrated exercise out there. Why? People often forget about it, meanwhile, it is essential to our existence as functioning human beings.
So, get sleeping & it will make that 1% difference you’ve been looking for!