Sleeping

4 Nov

I have had in my head for a long time that I only needed 6 hours sleep a night, however recently I’ve been feeling a bit tired and just haven’t felt properly awake.   The thing I do now that I never used to, is want to do something about the things that might jeopardise my health and fitness.

sleep

Image by Sean MacEntee via Flickr

I do suffer from a degree of SAD too so the beginning of the darker winter months is a good time to reassess, I’m up for anything that may alleviate some of the symptoms for me. At the moment my life is quite flexible but I wanted to start looking at ways to manage stress etc if I do go back to a more structured work pattern.

This week I decided to conduct a little experiment – what would happen if I sustained getting 7.5 hours sleep a night?  Would I see any difference?

Last night was night 5 and I do feel so much better, I feel more awake, my activity in the gym and the pool has been easier and importantly I feel more engaged with my brain, in an interview yesterday I felt far more focused.

The benefits of getting enough sleep are well documented, it helps with memory, reduces stress, can help you lose weight and importantly we need it to allow our bodies to repair themselves.  I found a good article which looks at some of the key benefits but there are numerous ones!, if you’re interested google away, it’s really interesting.

Benefits of Sleep

I’m going to carry on with my 7.5 hour plan to see what happens, will be initial benefits for example continue and as the nights grow longer will it help me to manage the lack of light in a better way?

So if you’re struggling with losing weight or you find you’re eating because you’re stressed and tired try seeing if a little more sleep may help?  It may help you get things done faster and more effectively so you can find the time you need to be able to get more sleep. I also find that if I’ve done some exercise, my next stage of the experiment is combing late night exercise with the extra sleep!

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