I have been focused on my health and performance for almost 20 years. Over this time I have learned a lot of lessons along the way by doing. When I first started I was fat. I just wanted to get rid of the fat. Eventually, that changed into wanting to add muscle to my frame and to become bigger and stronger. Then, it changed into wanting to be lean. I wanted to get rid of all the fat on my body and keep the muscle I had built over the years. Along the way I have learned so many lessons (the hard way btw, I’m very stubborn) about nutrition, sleep, stress, etc… With all that being said I am no expert on these things. I can tell you how they all affect your health and fat loss goals but I can’t give you all the reasons why. Even more effective I can tell you how each one of these things affect myself and my goals.
Today, I want to talk about sleep and give you a few resources to help you. Personally, I have realized the importance of sleep over the years through my own experience. I have never had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Where I have trouble is getting enough sleep, taking the time for it. I have worked 50-80 hours a week over 6-7 days a week since I was 23, I am now 36. There are two things that I’m very particular about, my sleep and my nutrition. If these two things aren’t right, i’m not happy. I feel fat and miserable if these two things are off. I look at myself in the mirror every morning when I get up, I have issues with body image, I understand that and embrace it. I am this way because I was fat growing up, this is something that with always affect me. For me to be happy I have to be in shape. Along the way I have realized how important sleep is through my experiences for two reasons. Number one, I am always leaner in the morning if I get more sleep. If I sleep four hours I have not allowed my body enough time to repair itself and get rid of fluid and waste. Which brings me to my second self discovery, if I don’t get enough sleep I don’t have normal bowel movements. Sometimes I may not even go to the bathroom that day if I don’t get enough sleep. Talk about miserable, I am now tired and bloated. On top of this, over the years I have studied sleep and come to the conclusion that sleep is one of the most important health factors that we can manipulate and use to positively affect our life, but is often over-looked. I truly believe sleep is one of our most important health markers, and I believe the recommended 8 hours isn’t enough. I say that because we can all sleep more but we artificially wake ourselves up every morning to rush off to work. What if we had no responsibilities, what if you woke up when you woke up? How many hours do you think you would sleep? THAT, is what I think is optimal.
Today, I want to give you a few resources to educate and to hear it from someone other than me and a guy that is an expert on sleep. His name is Shawn Stevenson and in the link below he is a guest on Andy Frisella’s Podcast the MFCEO Project. I will warn you Andy cusses a lot but the guy is very intelligent and you won’t regret the time spent listening to him, I promise. Also, it’s about an hour long, take the time to listen to it if you care about your health.
Also, here is a link to Shawn’s book on sleep.
Shawn also has a podcast, you can find it here.
P.S. After week 2 of our Spring Break Transformation Challenge we are down a total of 280 pounds! We have two couples currently battling it out for the top spot with a total loss of 16 pounds per couple. Keep up the great work everyone, and as always don’t hesitate to ask myself or one of the trainers if you need anything or have any questions.
Make it a great day!