Let’s talk about WHY sleep is so important.
Sleep is the foundation for wellness. Without sufficient and quality sleep, all other aspects of our wellness suffer. Food choices, stress levels, motivation to exercise, ability to manage our time, and bigger considerations like the ability to fend off illness and other dangerous conditions are all more difficult when we lack sleep.
Sleep is how our bodies recover and regenerate from all that we ask of it each day. When we sleep, our brains are working hard to store new information and retain the things we learn for use in the following days, weeks, months, and years. Sleep experts believe it impacts our intelligence, and I can assure you it determines how we navigate our days.
Sleep affects EVERYTHING! Yes, even your waistline.
If you’re someone who thinks sleep doesn’t matter and that diet and exercise are what determines your weight, think again.
When we don’t get adequate sleep (seven to eight hours each night), our cravings for carbohydrate-heavy foods increase as our brains are “starving” for that quick “burst” of energy. We also tend to overeat when we are running on little sleep. Both are the result of a hormonal shift that makes us falsely hungrier and less full even when our body is satiated.
Sleep influences our ability to respond calmly to stressful situations instead of reacting to them. We are likely to be more irritable, less patient, and generally just in a “bad mood” when we don’t get our necessary seven to eight hours.
Without sleep, we lack the energy and motivation to exercise. If we do exercise on minimal sleep, our bodies will not be able to perform optimally or recover as quickly and efficiently. And even worse, we risk injuring ourselves by 20 percent more than if we got that primal seven.
Poor sleep reduces our productivity and ability to concentrate and focus on tasks. This means tasks will take longer, and we may make silly mistakes, causing even more stress and work for ourselves.
I’ll say it again… sleep is everything!
So why do so many women have trouble sleeping? It comes down to three things:
- Chronic and unaddressed stress. It is no secret that stress wreaks havoc on sleep. How can we rest and relax if we are fretting in the middle of the night? Practicing stress resilience and developing habits during the daytime will go a long way toward reducing your stress and leads directly to the sleep we get at night. Shredding the daytime stress is KEY to getting quality and adequate sleep at night. Simple practices like deliberate breathing, self-care activities and experiences, and shrinking your to-do list are just a few ways you can get better sleep.
- Trouble falling asleep OR waking up in the middle of the night. Some people struggle to fall asleep while others – and many more – wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep troubles can stem from overexposure to technology/screens later in the night and, yes, from our beloved hormones. For some, it can be a result of worrying over things or simply a lack of a consistent bedtime routine. If you want your sleep to improve, try reducing screen time at night, limiting water intake before bed, setting a regular and consistent bedtime, and breathing when those worries creep into your mind.
- Sleep is not a top priority. As a wellness coach, I’ve heard it all: “I don’t have time for that much sleep,” “I only need five hours each night,” or “I can’t possibly lose weight when I’m doing… NOTHING.” When sleep is not something we prioritize or value, it can wreak havoc on our moods, productivity, immunity, and much more. Many of us simply need to shift our mindset and recognize the importance of sleep as a necessary and vital part of our wellness.
Did you know there are proven steps you can take to change your daily habits, like sleep, that will transform your relationship with wellness and your body? Download my FREE Menopause Blueprint PDF today and join thousands of thriving women who have learned how to make small-yet-impactful habit changes that produce HUGE RESULTS.