I’ve been reading a book about understanding your own and other people’s personality types in order to give them the right tools to help them stick with good habits.
It begins by talking about prioritising basic needs and top of the list of and often the most neglected is sleep.
Sleep is an absolute must for not just making you feel better the next day but for actual survival-sleep deprivation is not used as a form of torture for nothing you know!
“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker
Basically sleep is when our bodies repairs and restores muscles, organs and cells and brain power. Lack of sleep can cause aches and pains, headaches, inability to concentrate and over time begin to affect the function of your organs etc. as they have not time to adequately regenerate.
Yet, it can often be an incredibly undervalued aspect of our health and wellbeing; in fact the ability to survive on very little sleep has become a badge of honour. Often in the pursuit of weight loss and fitness we forego sleep without realising how this can be a form of self-sabotage. Think crazy early starts to get your workout in, only to be knackered for the rest of the day and not being bothered to cook when you get home so you order a pizza………………..
The key to a successful balance is to understand how your own personality and preference works in order to find a routine that works for you.
If you are naturally an early riser then exercising in the morning may well be for you, but that does mean you need to be extra vigilant about getting to bed early in order to get in 7-8 hours of sleep.
If you are more of a night owl then exercising in the evening will probably work better for you and you can enjoy that extra hour in bed in the morning.
The same applies to eating habits. If you are up early and can eat a hearty breakfast it makes sense to eat a big meal that may well need preparing at this time of day, and then later in the day something prepared ahead or easy to prepare so that you have more time to get that early night in.
Then of course it is the reverse for the late nighter. Breakfast may be quick, light and on the go and then the evening meal may require more cooking and longer to digest before going to bed.
So if you are continuing your pursuit of weight loss, fitness and overall health and well ness put sleep at the top of the list, and then slot your other good habits around it as the will power to stick to them and make them a permanent lifestyle change will be a whole lot easier if your brain is awake enough to make the decisions.