MGM 8: Achieving Optimal Sleep
If you are averaging around seven to eight hours of sleep a night, then you are getting the recommended amount of seven to nine hours of sleep. However, if you are someone who is running around in a chaotic life you might wish you could get close to seven hours. Personally, I am lucky if I can get six hours of sleep and I know sleep is something I need to pay more attention too. Which brings us to this week’s Mighty Goal Monday: Achieving Optimal Sleep
This week’s challenge is to go to bed 30 minutes to an hour before the time you normally would go to bed.
Some of you might be thinking, what does sleep have anything to do with nutrition? Especially since my blog focuses mostly on nutrition. I still like to focus on creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall.
How does Sleep affect your health
While you are sleeping, your brain is still working. Your brain is working on creating new pathways which help you learn new skills and remember information you are exposed to during the day. With proper amounts of sleep, you increase your ability to pay attention, think creatively, and make decisions.
Prevention of Diseases
With achieving the recommended amount of sleep, you can help prevent increased risks of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. Like your brain, the rest of your body is still at work while you are sleeping. While you are sleeping, your body is healing and repairing blood vessels and your heart. An important component of helping prevent diseases.
Overall Daily Functions
As many of us already know, when we are running low on sleep we do not function at our best. With a lack of sleep, it can take longer to complete tasks and more mistakes are likely to be made. All things we want to prevent due to the added amount of time it will only add to our busy days.
Sleep & Weight Loss
In a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in 2015, losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day was shown to contribute to long-term consequences with body weight. The studied concluded that after 12 months, for every 30 minutes of lost sleep on the weekdays, the obesity risk increased by 17%. Ultimately, the study provided research to demonstrate the importance of achieving optimal sleep consistently.
There have also been numerous other studies that show the direct correlation of lack of sleep and weight gain. Therefore, when it comes to weight loss, your sleep has more of an impact than you might have thought.
Ways to achieve optimal sleep
Establish a Bedtime Schedule
You make sure you are not late for your meetings you schedule, right? Why not do the same for bedtime. Plan in your schedule when you are going to go to bed that will ensure you get at least seven hours of sleep. Set an hour reminder before your desired time and make sure you start winding down. As many of you know, I live off of Google Calendar and adding a bedtime into my schedule is a great way to take the step in the right direction.
Disconnect from your devices
Getting in the habit of disconnecting from your smartphone, tv, computers, ipads, etc. that put off a light can help your sleep tremendously. The backlighting of many of electronics have been shown to slow down the production of melatonin, which helps us sleep. When you use these devices before bedtime, it can be harder to fall asleep, which is not something we want to do when we plan to only be getting about seven hours of sleep.
Can’t Sleep, Get up
If there are times in the night where you can not fall asleep or get comfortable, get back out of bed. When you are tossing and turning, you most likely will not fall asleep anytime soon. By getting out of bed and doing something relaxing like reading a book or doing a few stretching moves can make a difference.
In the end, this week is all about working on achieving optimal sleep. It is not going to happen overnight if your schedule has been busy for so long. Take the small step to focus on going to bed at least 30 minutes to one hour earlier than your normal time.
MGM #7 Recap – Explore your Cooking Skills
How did everyone do trying to explore their cooking skills?! Did you learn a new skill? Did you make a recipe you have been meaning to make for a month now? I hope you were able to make time to create a delicious meal that allowed you to sit down and enjoy time with some loved ones.
New to Mighty Goal Monday?
Check out other MGM posts and why I choose to start this blog series.
Together we can accomplish small but mighty weekly goals.