Why Not to Skimp on Sleep!

I had a wonderful night’s sleep last night, which felt amazing considering I was lacking on some good ‘shut eye’ from my weekend!  I can really feel a difference in how my body feels when I get enough sleep vs. not getting enough. On average I get 8-10 hours of sleep a night.  I love to sleep! I go to bed between 9 and 10pm and wake up between 6 and 7am.

Here are 6 reasons to NOT skimp on sleep!

Source

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Some common causes of poor sleep or insomnia:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression or other mental health issues
  • Anorexia or being underweight
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Menopause
  • Age
  • Medication
  • Drug abuse

Tips on Getting Better Sleep

  • Create a better sleep environment
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Get stress and anxiety under control
  • Learn how to get back to sleep
  • Optimize your sleep schedule
  • Improve your diet
  • Get regular Exercise

Click here to read these in more detail

What works for me:

I have never had issues with sleeping (knock on wood!) and I can fall asleep easily every night.

I attribute this with always having a regular sleep schedule. Even when I was younger in high school and college, I always knew getting enough sleep was important and would go to bed at a decent time. I have NEVER pulled an ‘all nighter’ when studying. I definitely used time management to set aside time for school work without it hurting my sleep.

I have also been exercising regularly for a long time and I think that helps with falling asleep, as well as eating a healthy diet and eating enough.

When I do notice I am having a difficult time sleeping I know that it’s most likely due to stress and I try and nip that in the butt as soon as I can and actually make a plan to deal with the stress rather than let it keep eating at me and my sleep.

Breakfast

This morning I jumped right back into my normal routine after my weekend of fun.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be!  I took the pups on our morning stroll and enjoyed the nice weather before it gets in the 90s this afternoon.

For breakfast I had a big ol’ bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries and almond milk.  This combination never gets old!

Fresh Strawberries

Tuesday's Breakfast

I tried a new cereal, which was like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I loved it!

Yumm!

Workout

Today was a cardio day to kick off my workout week.  I had four days off from the gym due to traveling, which was a nice break and I felt a lot more energized today!

I started with 40 minutes on the Arc Trainer and finished with 15 minutes of walking on the treadmill at an 8% incline.

Dinner

I have some chicken cooking in the crock pot today to make shredded chicken tacos tonight.  I can’t wait! I am always in the mood for mexican food!

This morning I roasted up some broccoli and red potatoes to have on the side with my tacos.  I seasoned em’ up with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and drizzled with a tbsp of olive oil.  I baked them at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Broccoli + Red Potatoes

Pre Roasted Veggies

Roasted veggies

Wedding Pics!

Here are a few more pictures from this weekend’s wedding fun!

College Friends!

Some of my best friends from college, we all keep in tough regularly!

Dancing!

Eating Chocolate like a lady 😉

The Bride and Groom had a chocolate fountain, which was amazing.  I had a number of goodies dipped in chocolate including strawberries, marshmellows, rice crispy treats, and pretzels.

Questions:

How much sleep do you typically get each night?

Do you have a regular sleep schedule?

What would you dip into the chocolate fountain?

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24 responses to “Why Not to Skimp on Sleep!

  1. I am a major insomniac. I try to get in bed by 9-9:30 and get up around 6:15. Plenty of time to sleep, but I wake up frequently and often stay awake for an hour or so. My father is the same way (and so was his mother). I’m much more of a night owl, but that doesn’t exactly fit into a normal daily work schedule.

  2. I think I get around 7 to 7 1/2 hours a night. This is usually good for me- but another hour wouldn’t hurt, either!

    I’m also totally one of those people who keeps their bedroom “unplugged”. I got rid of the tv, don’t allow the laptop in the room, and the cellphone is only in my room on the weekends… it makes for a pretty relaxing environment!

  3. I think I get about 6-8!

    Do you think getting to bed that early will be as easy as when you live with Andy? I’m moving in with Sean in July and curious as to how it will affect my sleep routine.

    • I sleep WORSE with Andy and I am worried about that too! But I think that we’ll both adapt over time. I am used to sprawling out in my bed alone lol!

      Plus, he’s a night owl and I’m an early bird…it will be quite the adjustment, I am sure!

  4. I had that Cascadian Farms cereal for breakfast with a big spoonful of peanut butter. Makes me feel like a kid for sure!

    I’m lucky if I get 6.5. I know that’s terrible, but I get up for work at 4 and I have homework to do at night. One day I’ll get enough!

    Hey Linds, do you mind if I ask what you do as a fitness professional?

    • I’m a fitness director for a University Rec Center.

      I’m leaving my job in June though, so I thought I’d label myself ‘fitness professional’ for when I am between jobs lol

  5. i usually get 7-8 hours of sleep.. but i go through these weird cycles of like 3-4 hours.. and then 9-11 hours… it shifts each week it seems like! so strange!

    i go to bed around 11pm routinely.. so at least thats a positive!

    mm id dip bananas, strawberries, and grapes into the chocolate. nom nom nom ❤

  6. Great post! I’m just like you – I have no trouble falling asleep, and I stick to a very regular schedule of 7-8 hours per night.

    The only sleep issue I have is that when I’m stressed I tend to have very vivid dreams. Sometimes they are so vivid that when I wake up I don’t feel totally rested because I feel like I’ve been awake the whole time!

  7. I haven’t slept right in a long long time. Lots of reasons to that.
    You look great Andrea.

  8. I aim for 8 hours a night but I probably get 6. I would LOVE 8. I wake up so often and if The Lover snores, I can’t sleep at all. Blah!

  9. Such cute pictures!! & the dress looks perfect 🙂
    As for sleep- I get between 8 & 10 as well…I try to be in bed by 9/ 10pm..just depending on how I’m feeling. My sleep schedule is very stable- I don’t sleep in on the weekends- keep it the same..and now I don’t even need an alarm to wake up- my body is just so stuck in it’s routine.
    As for a chocolate fountain…mmm…maybe bananas 🙂

  10. I’d say I usually try to get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, but this week has been closer to the 6 end and I can totally feel it…UGHH. I think I need to go take a nap now 😉

    And I LOVE chocolate fountains! We had one at my wedding too, but unfortunately it was GONE by the time I got to it! 😦 I love rice crispy treats, pretzels, and strawberries in it though…YUMM!

  11. I sleep 6-7 hours a night at the moment (I know…not enough!) and then clock in a crazy 12-14hrs one night a week. I definitely need to improve upon this! However, at least I can say that I’m consistent about when I go to bed and when I wake up.

    Into a chocolate fountain. Saltines or pretzels, tart apple slices, and honey grahams.

    Damn you, Linds! Now I want some 😀

  12. I got into my first (and only) car accident after not sleeping a wink the night before. I really like that you emphasize that safety issue!!

    omg my gosh that cereal is like crack to me. I can’t buy it because the box magically disappears in a few days haha

  13. i love the title of your blog. makes me giggle!

    weddings are so much fun, and you definitely look like you’re enjoy yourself.

    i’m lovin’ the veggie combos!

  14. 1) not enough
    2) anything…more chocolate..?

    😉

  15. I would guess I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, but I usually aim for 8. These are great tips! I can def. notice a difference when I don’t get enough sleep (talking about CRANKY lol). I try to shut everything off and get in bed at 10, but it doesn’t always work for me. And I would DIVE into the chocolate fountain 😛

  16. 7 to 8. Around 7 or less and I am GRUMPY. To think that in college I subsisted on 4-5… no wonder I was so cranky! I am such a grandma now. I freak out when I see that the clock is past 10pm and wonder how on earth I am still awake! So depressing. : )

  17. Lindsey, I want to be just like you when I grow up. 😉 Ha. Seriously, though, I really think you have the HEALTHIEST attitude toward food, fitness, and overall well-being than anyone I know. Can you bottle that up and send it to me? Thanks. 🙂

    My sleep schedule is totally out of whack right now, which I attribute to stress. Need to work on that!

    LOVE your informational posts, girl, as well as your musings about health in general. I’m such a researchy-type (and also way too hard on myself), so they’re right up my alley. Of course, I like hearing about your shenanigans, too. 🙂

  18. I never get as much sleep as I want to. I’ve gone through stages where I am regularly sleeping 7 – 8 hours a night…and that’s when I feel my best. However, my sleep schedule has been all over the place lately and it’s awful. I definitely notice a difference in my mood and productivity when I don’t have enough sleep.

    I agree that consistent exercise really helps. I find that the times when I’m not running or taking time off from exercise in general, my sleep really suffers. It might be because running is both my time to relieve stress and to process all the stuff going on in my head…so when I don’t give myself the chance to do it, it all comes up at night when I’m trying to fall asleep.

  19. I eat that same organic Cinnamon Crunch Cereal! It’s sooo good! And fortified with vitamins.

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