You may know I speak to a number of corporations and associations about a range of wellness topics. I also host a Fat Loss Program at FOR called “Fit for Life,” which has been a huge success. The five pillars of these programs include Habits, Sleep, Stress, Food, and Exercise, covering everything one needs to know to get and stay healthy and fit. I plan to write about each program later this month, but in the meantime, over the course of these programs the questions about sleep were so prevalent that I thought I’d address this important topic sooner than later.
Sleep is a primal need. It is essential for fat loss or simply maintaining fitness. With adequate and quality sleep, your fitness has the potential to be at its prime. Without it, it becomes, quite frankly, the reason you may be holding onto an extra 10 pounds. Might I remind you: when you sleep, you not only recover and build muscle, you BURN FAT.
Here are some of the best questions I believe will help you, loyal readers, understand the importance of sleep to your health and fitness.
1. Is it beneficial to nap?
Yes! In fact studies have shown it produces greater cognitive function in our brains.
2. Do we really need 8 hours of sleep each night?
All of the experts point to 7 hours, minimum.
3. Why do I sometimes have trouble falling asleep?
This is so tough. It means something is going on in your mind you can’t erase to get to a relaxed state.
4. What do I do when I wake up at 3am, wide awake?
This is the main issue I find with my Fit for Life and Corporate Wellness clients. Someone once said our sleep is a result of the day we just had. The stress we are walking around with is waking you up. There is a much longer explanation but suffice it to say, come to Fit for Life and learn more! My biggest piece of advice: if you wake up at any time before you planned to awaken, do not look at the clock!
5. Is dreaming good?
Dreaming is fantastic. Recalling your dreams means you achieved the highest level of sleep, the REM sleep! Yay, you!
6. What is the perfect temperature for sleep?
Cold! Our bodies heat as we sleep. They are working really hard. Turn down the temp or put your feet in cold water before bed.
7. Why do I feel hungrier when I am tired?
When our bodies are “starving” for sleep, the hormone ghrelin is boosted and can cause an increase in hunger by at least 20 percent.