" "blank

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Challenge #17: Stop Sleepwalking through Life!

Let's talk sleep. Not "does your baby sleep through the night?" and not "what is your kids' bedtime?" but YOUR sleep. Are you getting enough? My guess is the answer is a resounding NO.

Sleep deprivation makes you less productive. It increases your stress and irritability. Chronic lack of sleep can lead to depression. There are other repercussions as well: If we sleep less than our body needs to feel refreshed and don’t catch up we might experience:

•Daytime sleepiness
•Difficulty concentrating
•Poor thinking
•Increased risk of accidents
•Other health complications (i.e., weight gain)

Did I catch you with that last one? Yep, that's right - not getting enough sleep can lead to WEIGHT GAIN.

We sleep as much as one-quarter less than our ancestors did, with average total sleep time decreasing from 9 hours in 1900 to less than 7 hours over the past 10 years. In 2001, researchers found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night and remaining awake past midnight increased the likelihood of obesity. In 2002, a study of 1.1 million people found that increasing body mass index (BMI) occurred when habitual sleep amounts fell below 7 to 8 hours.

A study done in Virginia in 2005 showed that overweight and obese individuals slept less than subjects of normal weight. Another study in Wisconsin in 2004 showed that when sleeping less than 8 hours, the increase in BMI was proportional to the amount of decreased sleep.

This week's challenge: Get enough SLEEP!

How much is enough? It is different for every person, but the average adult needs an average of 8 hours of sleep every day. You might need a little more, but you probably can't easily get by on less.

Take a minute right now to look at your calendar for a week, and be sure you arrange it to allow yourself some sleep. Your mind and body (and maybe your boss, family and friends!) will love you for it.


No comments: