I used to think it was all about food and exercise, but it’s not. There is a third key in keeping my healthy behaviours consistent and in balance. It is a key so simple yet so easily overlooked. Without it I find healthy eating and regular exercise becomes 10 times harder than it currently is. Without it my motivation disappears quicker than a rat up a drainpipe, I will have less concentration and focus, and a tendency to be (even more) irritable. I’m talking about sleep.
Being tired from lack of sleep results in me feeling hungrier. This means I will either eat more, or look for easy quick-fix foods which don’t take much effort to prepare. Do I choose to prepare vegetables and wait for them to cook? Or will I just have toast, because I’m too tired to cook properly and I’m so hungry now?
Contrary to what you might think, tiredness from lack of sleep does not mean I can’t do cardio exercise. Unfortunately. What it does impact, is my desire and motivation to exercise. So I become less likely to exercise and more likely to either roll over in bed and press the ‘snooze’ button, or sit on the lounge and talk myself into another rest day.
Tiredness changes the way I think. I get more negative. I see the world through different lenses and they are usually darker and a bit fearful. Not good.
good sleep recipe
This is what I try to do to get good sleep. And unless I’m worried about something, this works for me:
- Get a good dose of sunlight through the day. Sounds weird, but sunlight helps produce a chemical in the brain called melatonin (I’m told) that helps you sleep
- Turn off the light and control noise
- Don’t get too hot at night. Being too hot wakes me up in the night and stops me going back to sleep, plus I feel like crap the next day
- Exercise regularly. If I don’t, my body won’t feel tired enough to sleep
- Eat lightly at night. Going to bed on a full stomach is a surefire way of giving me weird dreams and not getting deep sleep
So with less motivation to eat well and exercise and a higher tendency towards irritability, lack of sleep will undermine my health goals quicker than you can blink. A good sleep is very important in keeping my exercise and food levels in balance. I know that for me, being tired is the enemy of wellbeing.
So. Are you getting enough? Any thoughts or comments? Click ‘here’ and talk in your sleep.