Weighty Matters

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Sleep is Not Over-Rated

on January 14, 2015

Lately I keep seeing reports about the important role that getting enough sleep plays in weight loss and overall health.  I’ve noticed that I am long past the days when I could function on five hours of sleep.  Oh, how I remember the days of my 20s when I’d work all day and then go out about 9:30 p.m. and party until 2 or 3 a.m. before crashing into bed for a few hours of shut eye.  The alarm clock would go off at 8  a.m. and off I’d go to work again.

Those days are so far gone that I can’t imagine keeping that kind of sleep-deprived routine on a regular basis.  I also remember even in my 30s that I’d regularly stay up until 12:30 or 1 am playing on my computer.

These days, I’m lucky if I make it to 11 p.m. on a work night and when I do, there’s probably been some point in the evening when I dozed off for 20 minutes on the couch.

It has become increasingly apparent to me that I need to pay attention to my body and brain and respond to my own sleep cycles.  If I’m tired at 10 p.m., I go to bed.  On the weekends, if I don’t have to get up at 6:30 a.m., I do my best to sleep or at least rest for a little longer before rolling out to start the day.  Getting enough quality sleep is not a luxury.  It’s necessary for me to function at my best.

When I’m too tired, I am less mentally alert and, therefore, less prepared to stay on track with my recovery.  I am far more likely to make crappy decisions about my food, eating, and exercise choices when I’m tired.  There’s more to the sleep and weight loss connection.  Apparently, when our bodies are tired, our metabolisms don’t function as efficiently.  My metabolism is challenged enough with my age, my post-menopausal state, and my years of yo-yo dieting.  If getting enough sleep can help, I’m all for it.

Speaking of which, it’s 11 o’clock and I can actually feel my brain starting to shut down.  That’s more than enough of a clue to tell me it’s time that I logged off for the night and went to bed.

Sweet dreams and good sleep, everyone!

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