- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Why We Need Our Eight Hours of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital to your health. There are so many functions that your body performs while you are sleeping. Yet many people do not get enough sleep, and show pride in the fact that they get by on four or five hours of snoozing time. It is not something to brag about, rather something that you should be concerned about.
I have always loved that sleepy, weepy, feeling when your eyes have a hard time staying open. That is a feeling that I never try and fight. I love sleep, and always have. When I have gotten less than seven hours, I felt off the next day. Five hours or less, I feel spaced out and disoriented.
Sleep is important for the brain to function optimally. Without enough sleep the neurons in the brain begin to malfunction. This can effect your behavior and decision making process. Prolonged sleep deprivation will cause speech to be slurred and an inability to make logical decisions.
Not getting enough sleep will effect your ability to maintain a healthy immune system. Your body will not be able to fight off certain virus's and infections that it would normally be able to with enough sleep.
Learning becomes significantly reduced when you are sleep deprived. Research shows kids who sleep less have a much lower grade average than those who get eight to nine hours. In some studies lack of sleep has proven to be a source of depression and ADHD in adolescent teens. If you want to be at your peak for learning, GET YOUR EIGHT PLUS HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT.
Accidents and emotional problems can be exacerbated by not getting enough sleep. Being able to concentrate is radically reduced as well.
Do you want to lose weight? If you are not getting enough sleep, you will have a hard time losing weight, and will most likely gain it instead. Sleep is another key factor in staying lean.
Important hormone production is regulated in sleep. Without sleep your hormones can become imbalanced.
Sleep is where our bodies heal and repair our tissues that have been damaged. For instance, when you work out, it is during the rest and sleep process that the body repairs itself and makes you stronger.
There are things you can do to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. A comfortable bed is important for a good nights sleep. Watching Television or being on a computer will stop your sleep hormone "Melatonin" production due to the light emitted from the screens. So turning off the lights is a good thing to help promote sleep.
Turning off the mind chatter, and worried thoughts is important to for sleep. Many times at night, our minds go off into worry land and keep us awake. Try to "not think" of things you have to do, or things that worry you. Think good thoughts.
If you want to be at your best, be healthy of body and mind, make sure you get eight to nine hours of sleep. There is nothing better than a good nights sleep, except another good nights sleep!