Posts Tagged ‘sleep’



Here’s something pretty interesting.

If you take a group of people who are normally sound sleepers, give them a test, then keep them awake an additional 4 hours past their bedtime, then compare their abilities at both a mental and physical test the next morning — they do MUCH WORSE.  Similar to being intoxicated.

If you keep on keeping these people up past their bedtime every day for several days — about 11 — eventually they start THINKING they are doing better with getting by with less sleep, but actually their mental and physical ability CONTINUES to progressively decline.

You know that feeling that you’re finding out you can survive pretty well on less sleep?  It’s not true.  What’s happening is you’re just getting used to to the fog of surviving on less.  Actually you’ve gone from sleep deprivation into sleep debt — the chronic problem of being way behind on your sleep.

Now, combine that with what happens when you have a child.  Did you know — by the time your child is two years old, you will have racked up SIX MONTHS of sleep debt.  Six months of sleep you missed.

The same goes for providing pretty much round the clock acute care to a family member for any other situation they have.

No wonder we’re grumpy!

A lack of sleep may be the primary medical issue responsible for so many of our performance issues and general poor health.

What to do?  You can’t work off a six month sleep debt by sleeping for six months straight, because if you laze around the house all the time, your metabolic need goes down, causing your hormonal balance to change, causing you to slow down in general.

Much better way to resolve a sleep debt — get 2 extra hours of sleep each day.  For example, go to bed an hour earlier, having prepared for the next day such that you can sleep an hour later.

It may take several weeks, but eventually you’ll start feeling more with-it and healthy.


Sleeping less than six hours a night skews activity of hundreds of genes | Science |

English: sleeping Japanese macaques in Kanba f...

Getting too little sleep for several nights in a row disrupts hundreds of genes that are essential for good health, including those linked to stress and fighting disease.Tests on people who slept less than six hours a night for a week revealed substantial changes in the activity of genes that govern the immune system, metabolism, sleep and wake cycles, and the body’s response to stress, suggesting that poor sleep could have a broad impact on long-term well-being.

via Sleeping less than six hours a night skews activity of hundreds of genes | Science |

Is your Bedtime Making you Fat? – The Insomnia Blog – Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, PhD

(if) you still need your morning alarm to wake up, then move your bedtime alarm back by 15 minutes every three days until you wake up just before your morning alarm.  When you wake up before your morning alarm, you have found your perfect bedtime.

via Is your Bedtime Making you Fat? – The Insomnia Blog – Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, PhD.

This sounds pretty interesting.  Ideally, says the author, you should wake up on your own before the alarm clock rings.  So work backward.  Start by going to bed 7.5 hours before your alarm clock rings.  If you don’t wake up on your own before the ring, the next night go to bed 15 minutes earlier, then repeat till you do wake up before the ring.

Is the Snooze button the biggest threat to your morning exercise?

English: The face of a black windup alarm clock

Maybe you’re not like me at all.  Maybe you don’t set the alarm for 5:30 knowing you’ll snooze till 5:50 or 6:10 or even later.

It goes without saying that if you snooze-button away a half hour, you (1) deprive yourself of whatever nice deep sleep you’d have gotten in that half hour (2) are eating up a half hour out of BOTH your sleep AND the productive part of your day while you desperately try to pretend it’s not morning.

Let’s do this — make this a SNOOZE BUTTON FREE WEEK. This morning, for only one week, set your alarm to your ideal wake-up time and just get up when it rings, the first time, and go on with your day.  Then evaluate at the end of the week.  I bet we’ll feel much better about how our time is being used and will feel better in general.  Give it a try.

Motivation Friday: Graciously enjoying the new you

There’s so much involved in a life transformation project — especially a fitness-increasing, weight-decreasing project, that really often we get so totally caught up in process issues and our daily compliance that we forget to enjoy the journey itself.

Look back today on how much you’ve grown as a person thus far in your journey.  As you become externally more like the person you want to see in the mirror, have you internally become the person you were meant to be?  Do you wake up in the morning, and go to bed at night, knowing you’re on the right path?

Here are some factors that positively influence how you feel about your life  transformation project:

1. You have the ability to feel good tomorrow about how you did today.  Today you’re choosing how you’ll feel about today, tomorrow.  Do today what you will feel good about tomorrow.   And do today what you can do again tomorrow.

2. When you wake up tomorrow knowing today was a GOOD day, tomorrow’s good thing will be slightly less of a struggle than today’s.

3. As an adult, you already know that no good deed goes unopposed, no good project is either fast or free of setbacks, and no worthy activity shows instant results.  Simply stated, the only people who make it through to the completion of a worthy goal are the ones who stick with it no matter what.  Staying with a project develops your perseverance, and perseverance feels good.

4.  Lest we beat the same issue over and over — if you feel down about your progress, and you’re not hurt or sick, and your progress really hasn’t been too awful — let go of the anxiety, take some extra Me time, get some extra sleep, recharge your batteries, and life will look better by morning.

5. Don’t allow self-criticism.  You’d never allow someone to berate your children, saying they’re no good, they’re never going to make it, they’re hopeless.  Because you know what that kind of repeated, hurtful talk does to people.  Well, the person who talks to you the most, is YOU.  All day long, you converse with yourself about yourself.  Don’t let that conversation take on a tone you would not use on someone you like.

6. You’re actually an interesting person, going through pretty amazing changes, and your story is, and will be, wonderful.  Instead of self-criticism about lack of success, have the same gentle grace with yourself you display to others.  Allow yourself endless opportunity to begin each day as the first day of the rest of your revitalization of your life.

7.  Have at least one true friend.  In the older, more complete definition of friend from when life was slower.  Confide in them.  Trust them.  Allow them to encourage you.  Allow yourself to be served by them in this way.    Allow them to see the real you, whom they already know and enjoy.