Tag Archives: sleep

Sex and Sleep: Start With S

2013 Summer 603With the busyness of the school year upon me, I find myself needing to get back to the basics, and I’m starting with the S in Sex: sleep.

Research shows that people who consistently get a full night’s sleep lose more body fat on a diet than those who don’t. (Fat is what I want to lose! Not my hard-earned muscle.) Science has also confirmed that when we’re tired, we not only eat more, but we crave high calorie foods. We all know the equation Tired = Want Sugar² to be true, but it’s nice when scientists agree with us. The emotional food craving part of our brain actually takes charge and the logical decision making part of our brain takes a back seat.

If you don’t trust the experts, do your own research.  Ready?  Get eight hours of sleep two nights in a row.  Does a salad sound appetizing?  Do you have the energy to make one?  Good.  Okay, now get six hours of sleep two nights in a row.  What are the chances you’ll exercise today?  Are fat and sugar your new best friends?  Bingo.

2013 Summer 600So how do we get more sleep? For many of us, we simply haven’t made sleep a priority. Have you ever noticed how early you go to bed when the power is out or you’re camping? (i.e. When it’s dark, you’re bored.) Screens, be they television, ivision, or webvision, have a way of making us feel more awake than we are or should be. If you turn them off, you will increase your chances of going to bed on time by 200%. That was a scientific study done by yours truly. I aced 9th grade Biology, so you know my results are accurate.

The more I research the affects of sleep on the body, the more convinced I’m becoming that few things are more important for your health. Now, some of you reading this work the night shift, or have newborns, or other situations in life that interrupt your sleep and are beyond your control. I know you’re sleeping the best you can and you have my sympathy and a pillow if you ever stop by to visit. I’m talking to myself and all of the other idiots out there who don’t know how lucky we are that if we choose to, we can be well rested.

2013 Summer 598Ladies, maybe you don’t have the will power to turn off the TV and get yourself into bed at a decent hour. But you have at your disposal one of the most powerful forces in nature: your husband’s desire for intimacy.  Here’s how you tap into that power.  Pick a night (or several nights) of the week and say this: “Husband, I want you to seduce me at nine o’clock tonight.  I will say yes.  I need to be asleep by ten.”  Your husband will remember.  He might be incredulous (after all, it sounds too good to be true) but he will remember.  Nine o’clock rolls around and badda-bing, badda-boom – a good night’s sleep! (And exercise to boot! What a deal!)

Psalm 127:2 says that God “grants sleep to those he loves”.  Sleep is a blessing!  A gift!  Not a necessary evil.

 

Science stuff pulled from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/how-sleep-loss-adds-to-weight-gain/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

My Yellow Brick Resolution

yellow-brick-roadOur society has things backwards.  The day that we’re expected to begin a self-improving, habit-breaking, life transforming New Year’s Resolution is the day after we stay up way too late and arrives at the end of one of the busiest and most calorie rich seasons of the year.  If you searched the calendar for the one day that we are the most physically, emotionally, and motivationally drained, it would be New Year’s Day.  It’s like asking me to start a low carb diet the day I tour a bakery. Not going to happen!  

If one week into the New Year you’ve already lost your way, I invite you to travel with me down the Healthy Body Yellow Brick Road.  We’re going to begin our year the same way we began with this blog: with SEX every day.   If God has blessed you with enough mc² to take this suggestion literally, go for it!  For the rest of us, remember that SEX reminds us to get plenty of Sleep and EXercise. (To read the first post of this blog and learn how to use your spouse to get yourself to bed on time, click HERE.)

This week we’re going to focus on sleep.

Ready, Dorothy?  Let’s collect our traveling companions and get back to Kansas!

imagesHey Scarecrow!  Did you know that sleep cleans your brain?  When you sleep, your brain cells contract, leaving extra space between them.  Spinocerebral fluid then flows around the cells, flushing away the proteins that build up there when you’re awake.  Protein build up has been linked to alzheimers and dementia.  When you get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night), your brain gets detoxed.  I got so little sleep in college, I think I built protein palaces. http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/october2013/10282013clear.htm Another new study just announced that missed sleep results in an increase in certain chemicals in the brain – the same type of chemical increases that occur after a head injury.  http://msnvideo.msn.com/?channelindex=10&from=en-us_msnhpvidmod#/video/7d94de3e-03fa-4090-aa8a-331b3c311c1e

Annex - Garland, Judy (Wizard of Oz, The)_01“If I only had a heart” and if I only slept enough to keep it strong!  Tin Man, a new study came out this past summer which links sleep and heart health.  There are four factors that significantly affect one’s risk for cardiovascular disease: smoking, diet, exercise, and alcohol. New research has added a fifth: sleep.  If you don’t get enough sleep, it adversely affects your heart just as much as smoking does.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2353692/Lack-sleep-increases-risk-heart-disease-SMOKING.html

images (3)Lion, your courage to face the day and change your bad habits into good ones is also linked to sleep.  Mood is affected by sleep.  If you or someone you know has worked night shift, you don’t need science to tell you that lack of sleep makes a person more irritable, less patient, and well, not someone you want to be caged up with.  Some studies have linked sleep deprivation with depression and other studies show that lack of sleep causes your amygdala (the part of the brain associated with negative emotions) to act up more and be less connected to the part of your brain that regulates emotion (and keeps the crazies in check).  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/between-you-and-me/201308/all-night-the-effects-sleep-loss-mood

images (2)images (1)Last, but not least, we can’t forget the Good Witch Leptin and the Wicked Witch Ghrelin.  Well rested bodies produce lots of the hormone leptin which tells your body to stop eating.  Sleep starved bodies produce more ghrelin hormones which tell your body to eat more.  So in this metaphor, the Munchkins actually work for Wicked Witch Ghrelin.  (Dunkin Donut holes, get it?)  Come on, Lollipop Guild, you’re not helping us get to Kansas. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

Join me in celebrating the New Year by resolving to get more sleep: rest for our brain, our heart, and our mood.  On our Yellow Brick Road, the best thing Dorothy can do is lie down in the field of poppies and take a nap.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2,3a
images (4)

 

Images are from:

http://www.doctormacro.com/movie%20summaries/w/wizard%20of%20oz,%20the%20(1939).htm

http://www.fanpop.com

http://www.hrcsuite.com/strategic-planning/manufacturing-metrics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Witch_of_the_West

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm846889984/ch0004330

http://www.queen-of-theme-party-games.com/wizard-of-oz-games.html#axzz39fndneOL