Just recently I was thinking about this nursery rhyme:
Early to bed,
Early to rise.
Makes a man,
Wealthy and Wise.
I guess I was thinking about it because I have a very bad habit of going to bed late at night and struggling to get up early in the morning. Sometimes I feel as if I am sleepwalking. I am so tired. I keep promising myself that I will turn in early but I end up going on the computer and spend hours on it (another habit I need to break). For someone who loves sleep I am just not getting enough of it.
What happens when we get enough sleep?
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer (http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health).
A new study, derived from novel sleep research conducted by University of California, San Diego researchers 14 years earlier, suggests that the secret to a long life may come with just enough sleep. Less than five hours a night is probably not enough; eight hours is probably too much. Read more. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930161837.htm.
Sleep is important to create a healthy life and maintaining appropriate weight. If you want to have a healthy life and perfect weight for your body you have to create consistent lifestyle behaviors to support health. It means looking at what you eat, when you eat, exercise, sleep and lifestyle habits (http://www.empowher.com/healthy-eating/content/weight-gain-not-getting-enough-sleep-can-make-you-fat?page=0,0).
I generally try not to eat late but there are times when we get home after seven and have to prepare dinner and eat after 9. Then we turn in around mid-night. And then we have to get up at 5:30 to get ready for work. This schedule is not only affecting our sleep but our weight. We have to stop this vicious cycle and start making changes.
Growing up I used to get more sleep and I felt great! I was full of energy and more active. Now I am tired and don’t feel like doing much. And I get irritable. There’s a solution to all of this. Go to bed early. Make sure I finish eating dinner and snacks 3 to 4 hours before I call it a night.
Ladies, let’s make an effort to get our beauty rest. Our weight, health and overall well-being depend on it.