For some reason, I have found myself thinking a lot about the things I’ve blogged about more than thinking about new things to blog about. Maybe I’m lazy or maybe I feel l like some entries have more staying power. The one I have been thinking about most recently has to do with sleep. Working as much as I do and pulling the occasional double with work at 7am the next day pretty much guarantees that I’m not getting enough sleep. I still try to get as much of it as I can. Still, I find myself awake at times I know I should be sleeping. Its not that I can’t sleep because I know full well I’d fall asleep if I would just choose to go to bed. But I never make that choice. I could likely stay awake all night just because I never choose to just go to bed.
A very bad habit, I know.
So I thought I would repost something I worked on for another blog that is now long defunct but was actually posted on this date a couple years ago:
Did you know that people who tend to sleep less weigh more?
This Hottie was shocked to hear this! But… after this initial shock subsided, the leafy bombshell did some more research on the subject.
Well, the key target of sleep is 7-8 hours. (Isn’t that what all those sleep aid commercials say?) but the National Sleep Foundation finds that the average woman gets 6 hours and 40 minutes of sleep. Everyone requires varying target sleep amounts. Some experts recommend to aim for 7 and a half hours and adjust going to bed time accordingly if you find yourself waking too early or feeling as if you aren’t sleeping enough. In fact, just 15 minutes either way can make all the difference in the world. Test yourself out to find the magic sleep number (and no, we’re not talking mattresses here!)
Now, one of the first things this leafy bombshell did for her new Hottie lifestyle was set a regular bedtime (now set for 11:30PM EST). I have a sliding work schedule that rules with a window of availability. So I just have to approximately be awake with enough time to have breakfast before work. I know that I require something like 8hrs to keep me happy and functioning. But I was just doing it so that less chocolate and more working out wouldn’t turn me into a rampaging grouchy bitch because I was sleepy and cranky too. Seriously, I can wallow and turn into a temper tantrum throwing Hottie in no time flat if I’m sleepy.
But, sleeping to get thin?
Could it be for real?
There’s actually some science behind it!
Let’s see if I learned this right…
Our bodies work on a 24 hour clock(well, duh!) and every cell in our body is guided by circadian rhythms. These circadian rhythms are alternating body functions that cycle in our body according to light/dark and/or sleep/awake patterns. Basically, our bodies are all synchronized to be all digesting and working when awake, and all about cell repair and secreting the growth hormone that tells your body how to break down fat for fuel when sleeping.
So, the less time you sleep, the more your hormones will be all out of synch for when you need them. Not to mention that you will be lagging your booty because you’re tired… which makes you want to scarf down on simple carbohydrates to give you quick energy boosts. A research from the University of Chicago said that people on the days they slept about 5 and a half hours of sleep, compared to those days they slept 8 hours, consumed 221 more calories a day, which equates to 1 lb of fat after 2 weeks. But those are averages! Think about how much snacking you do by comparison! (yes, the leafy bombshell gave a yikes when she thought of the calorie numbers too)
There are even varying studies on when is the best time of day to work out. But I’m sure that busy Hotties that we are, we just fit it in as best we can, whenever we can. Though they say that while exercise can help you sleep better, you shouldn’t do it so late at night that it affects your circadian rhythms and won’t let you sleep. Then again, you also can’t be cutting into your sleep time every morning just to get your workouts in. Sometimes its best to hit the snooze button than cut into those precious hours.
We also can’t forget as to why they call it beauty sleep! Your skin has increased blood flow and the cells regenerate while you sleep. So you get to look all refreshed and glowing. Not to mention that if you are sleeping right, you won’t get those icky dark circles.
Overall, everywhere seemed to give the following steps to ensure a good night’s rest:
- Create a schedule: wake up and go to sleep at around the same time every day. While lack of sleep accumulates, oversleeping does no one any good. It’s a sort of sloth and gluttony that is most unbefitting of a Healthy Hottie lifestyle.
- Have a pre-sleep routine: Try to wind down from your day; turn off the tv; take a nice relaxing bath; put on lotion; et al to wind down and not have your brain all stimulated.
- Abstain from alcohol/ cigarettes/ caffeine: Here thebombshell read varying reports… anywhere from nothing after 2:30PM to nothing 3 hours before bed.
- Beds are for sleeping! Try to keep other activities, like reading, tv, playing games, to a minimum and keep your bed for what it was made for.
I know a few of the Hotties have been pondering fixing their sleep schedules.
Health is not all about calorie counts, hitting the gym and stepping onto scales….
No time like the present, this bombshell advises, to get on the right track.