Saturday, 26 March 2011

are you getting enough?

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.

food effects

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?

exercise effects

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.

attitude effects

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:

  • Be in a sleep pattern or routine. Get to bed on time and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends. Getting out of routine makes me tired
  • 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.


  1. I HAVE to have at least 8 hrs to be able to cope/function.....I took the tv out of the bedroom, got myself some body shop sleep spray and read for half an hour to make my eyes sleepy....Used to be a terrible insomniac but really good now and much less crabby lol

  2. Yep, I agree! Sleep and exercise keeps me eating less easy to find food (usually not the best choice). I also think that when I am in a good sleep routine I tend to wake up just before the alarm. I also agree that Cynthia needs good sleep - either that or I get a bigger shed. Meyles

  3. Hey 40ishs&s! I am so interested in the body shop sleep spray. sounds excellent. i have just had a few nights of very little sleep (bit up tight about driving to Canberra for big job interview etc) anyway, I took a Valarian (herbal thing) on recommendation from someone else. It was the first time I've ever taken one and I just slept like a dead person for 11 hours straight! Ha ha.

  4. I love the sleep spray...It is probably all in my head but it smells so divine and I drift off so quickly!