Monday, June 25, 2012

MakePeaceMonday: 6 Week Challenge- Sleep

Hi guys,

I just want to update you on the week since I posted my intro video for the Make Peace Monday Six Weeks to Your Best You Challenge.  This past week I have tried to be more aware of my habits and make a conscious effort to choose healthier options and to take better care of myself. I focused overall on all six changes shown in the video and realized that it really has to start with sleep.  I have noticed in the past two years I have really let sleep as a priority fall to the wayside.  Actually, sleeping has never been a priority for me and while I've been in college I've really noticed the negative effects of getting inadequate amounts of rest. 

Here's the thing, leading a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of focus, patience, energy, and will power.  To be prepared for the difficulties of changing your lifestyle you need to be well rested.  Not getting enough sleep will sabotage your efforts because your body will crave foods that give instant energy like sugar and carbs which will make it more difficult to eat healthily.  Also, you will not have the energy or willpower after a long day or bright and early in the morning before work to do a workout if you are dead tired.

Another negative side effect of lack of sleep is the fact that it doesn't give your body time to repair.  Mainly, I'm talking about the damaging effects this will have on your skin.  I think you all know what it feels like to wake up after an all nighter in the library (or elsewhere) and look in the mirror- really, it can just be horrifying.  If you notice, no amount of makeup really helps this as your eyes will still be tinged with redness and puffiness and your skin will look dull. Also, every person you run into seems to say, " look...tired."(Which I tend to take as, you look pretty rough). This happens because your skin uses sleeping time to make new, bright, fresh skin cells and if you cut that time short then you will be stuck with the dead skin which will leave you with a dull complexion among other things.

The amount of sleep you get will probably play a big role in whether or not you can accomplish this six week challenge.  Now, I will say that there is no magic number of hours you need to sleep to guarantee you wake up feeling well rested.  Every person is different.  I can feel great with seven hours of sleep (although I'm pushing for 8) but some people really do need ten, so figure out what your body needs to feel great!

Now, if you are staying up until two in the morning every night and waking up at eight to go to work don't be surprised if you can't get to sleep at a decent time the first few nights.  Changing a sleeping schedule is really difficult but try to train your body and I promise you will feel happier, healthier, and even more beautiful!

PS.  I tend to get really anxious at night and I've heard from a lot of people that before bed they start planning their next day or they replay the events of the current day.  This causes restless sleep or your anxiety can make it impossible to actually fall asleep. (Trust me, been there!) The best tip I can give you is to count backward in your head from 20 taking deep breaths with each number.  I used it all this week and it has worked like a charm!

Need a refresher on what our six goals are for the next few weeks? Check out Six Weeks to Your Best You

Until next Monday- Get some sleep!


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