Posts tagged sleep

Sleeping Is Essential For Restoration and Recovery

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Have you had a chance to watch Jon Stewart’s brilliant response to Fox’s news coverage of Ferguson? I rarely post stuff about this sort of situation on my blog, but I really saw a different side of things after watching Jon Stewart and the Daily Show’s take on what is going on. I never really in depth wise too a look at how life is really different for black people — and now, my eyes are open.

Jon Stewart Goes After Fox in Powerful Ferguson Monologue

Sleeping Is Essential For Restoration and Recovery

Sleep Switching gears, I love what this article is recommending: You Can’t Get Too Much Sleep! I love sleeping and taking naps and now I have proof it’s good for me. Essentially, the research shows that…

“The body’s major restorative functions “like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep,” Harvard Medical School explains. It makes sense that athletes who tax their muscles more than the average person need more sleep to fix the damage. It appears that extra, above eight-hour sleep benefits athletes rather than contributing to an early demise. “You can never get ‘too much’ sleep,” University of Pennsylvania sleep researcher Dr. Sigrid Veasey wrote Outside in an email. “When you have had enough sleep you will wake up.” “

The morale of the article is to make sure you are getting enough shut eye to recover and restore. One suggestion I have is to not bring your computer or tablet into bed with you at night. It throws off your circadian rhythms and can cause issues with sleep. And no one has time for that!

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Mobility and Sleep: Keys to Being Healthy

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Title Boxing Club in AshburnI officially joined TItle Boxing Club in Ashburn today. I am really enjoying the workouts and the instructors. Each one is different but all are great. Boxing is going to help me improve my body awareness and connections. Just like anything else, it’s a skill that needs repetition.  The instructor yells out which punches, which side etc –and I have to react. And I also like it’s not all boxing – the first 15 minutes is reserved for a good warmup. Moves to get your heart rate up and your muscles warmed.  So jogging, high knees, heel to butt, lunges, stretching and then depending on the instructor – maybe some agility work. The other day we did shuttle runs using the heavy bags as our ‘cones’. We also weaved in and out of the bags to warm up during one session which was tough but fun.  I realized that I am feeling challenged in a way that doesn’t frustrate me and it’s making me excited again.

I also met a young man who is home from college and is a football player. The guy had little to no mobility in his hips while we were stretching after power boxing. I mentioned the pigeon stretch from my yoga class and he asked me to show it to him. Well, all I will say is that I think I changed his life today! Mobility is key and if he does that move and some of the other stuff I showed him with a lax ball – he will see gains in his sport.

If you want some info on using a lacrosse ball for myofascial release here are some good resources:

SLEEP Another huge aspect of being healthy in addition to myofascial release is getting enough sleep. Yesterday, a study was released that found that lack of sleep can affect young kids’ health: Too little sleep can affect many aspects of young kids’ health

“…children who regularly got too little sleep had worse physical, emotional and social health than those who slept the average amount.

“Sleep is important for a lot of reasons, and can influence health and well-being and cognitive functioning…”

This is really not surprising based on all the studies of how important sleep is in general but it also makes you realize how important it is to the overall cognitive development of our children long term.

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Power Boxing at Title Boxing Club

Sleep: Artificial Light Affects Our Circadian Rhythms

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Weekends come and go way too fast. I know I say that every stinkin’ Monday but it’s true. My mom was in town to see the kids and that meant lots of eating out and off routine. It’s worth it but it can wreak havoc with my system. I totally went way off the deep end with my eating and had too much dairy. My eczema on my hands is back in full force –burning and itching. I need to remember how uncomfortable I am at this moment when I go and reach for ice cream. My memory seems to fail me at the moment of decision.

I am seriously in need of motivation lately. There is nothing inherently wrong with my life but for some reason, I can’t find the inspiration and mojo that I normally have to get shit done. It’s been really frustrating. I am hoping it was a symptom of the Winter blahs and it will start to lift in the weeks to come. I’m also about to head to San Fran with HB, so I am also hopeful that this trip, to a sunnier spot will boost my spirits.

Now, let’s talk about artificial light…

Circadian Rhythm FunctionDid you know that there are a bunch of theories that artificial light is one of the causes of sleep issues? And one of the biggest culprits in the last ten years or so of sleep issues is the use of electronics. How many people out there use their iPad, laptop, or tablet before they go to bed? I bet that a ton of people would raise their hand! Many of those same people suffer from insomnia or sleep that is less than ideal.  Research has shown that blue wavelength light emitted from our electronics can interfere with our circadian rhythm function.

Circadian Rhythms are “physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.”

What can you do to prevent artificial light from wrecking your slumber? Use amber glasses. Do you remember those Blue Blocker infomercials from way back when? Well, now we know what they are good for! You wear them for a few hours before bedtime – letting go of your ego because you will look odd- and continue on with your normal routine reading from your tablet etc — and it is supposed to help prevent the blue light from affecting you. Here’s a link to some inexpensive Amber glasses that can fit over regular glasses for those of us who are visually challenged/four eyed! I’m going to order a pair and will report back on its effectiveness.

Curious to learn more about it?  Blocking Blue Light Helps Sleep

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Monday: It's An Opportunity for Something Special To Happen

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Tracking Your Sleep Habits

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I recently started looking into my sleeping habits by using an app called Sleep Timer by Azumio. Each night, i set the time I am planning on getting up via the app and lay my iPhone down on the bed and it tracks my light vs deep sleep and my awake time.  I’m not sure how uber accurate it is but it uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to sense movements throughout thesleep cycle night and graphs sleep cycles.

One thing that is not clear to me as I am using it is how to tell if my sleep patterns are good. And am I getting quality sleep besides the obviousness of waking up feeling stupendous? So I did some research…

The Importance of Deep Sleep and REM sleep

What is boils down to is that no two people are alike when it comes to their sleeping needs. Some people really are fine with 6-7 hours a day, while others need more than that.  What is clear is how important getting good, quality sleep is because it’s our body’s time to regenerate, repair and renew.

Besides obvious feelings of being tired, lack of quality sleep can also be the trigger for fatigue, depression, weight gain and can lower your immune system defenses – which brings about a whole other set of issues.

If you are struggling with sleeping issues, here are some tips to get a good night’s sleep by Mark Sisson.

And I would also suggest taking a magnesium supplement like Natural Calm before bedtime as well.

Recommended Reading

And if you want to hear some amazing vocals — listen to this a-cappella version of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie singing Under Pressure. These guys could sing and had such amazing talent that I still appreciate today.

Kindness Matters

I love the Feeling of Tabatas in the Morning

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I love going to workout in the AM. It’s like hanging out with your friends for an hour every day — we laugh, support and egg each other on. Today was no exception — and I liked the workout! It was one of those basically using your body weight and going at it hard –a met con.

Do you have problems waking up? You are probably thinking that’s a dumb question — Most people do. Here are some ideas to help you wake up:  33 Tips To Help You Wake Up Early. The only thing that is missing from this list is a real discussion about types of foods  you eat. When I eat sugar or processed foods, I don’t sleep as well. Doesn’t matter what time of day I eat it — my sleep is not as restful and I have issues falling to sleep. Try to skip crap food for a few days to see if your sleep improves and helps you wake up feeling refreshed!

My arms are still somewhat sore –and I have this burning sore feeling from all the burpees and Monday’s workout. Later tonite, the 2nd workout of the Games is announced — everyone likes to give their idea of what its going to be — personally I have no idea. It’s going to be hard – that’s all I know.

Warmup
40 Double Unders
2x–

Ring Rows
Shoot Thrus

Skill
Squat Therapy
OHS

WOD
“Tabata Something Else”

Pull Ups
Push Ups
Sit Ups
Squats

Complete 32 intervals of 20 on 10 off, where the first 8 intervals are pull-ups, the second 8 are push-ups, the third 8 intervals are sit-ups, and finally, the last 8 intervals are squats. There is no rest between exercises.

What is Tabata Training? 

Sleeping In

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I have got to get back on the clean eating program again.  I have had cookies, pie, ice cream, whipped cream, and BREAD! Yes i did — last night when we were out for Scott’s birthday.  I feel like crap though — not sleeping very well, overall fatigued. Shows what crap eating does to your body when you have been away from it for a while —

I am going to go workout tonite. The kids are home and Scott had to work – so since I didn’t get up super early, my only option is to go to the gym tonite.  Boot camp is off this week – so I am giving my body a rest and extra time to sleep in. And let me tell you – it feels good to sleep past 5a!

Sleep does a body good

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In addition to me being a bit under the weather, my real job has been insanely busy. I work for an education company and the time before Back to school is our busiest. We are feverishly working trying to get our ducks in a row ready for the upcoming school year.  It seems that everyone around me is crankier than usual including me. I just don’t even have the slightest bit of patience and it is taking a toll on the people around me.

I did get to see my boy Nate perform in his Kindergarten play today. They did Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes and he was the cat in the fiddle. That did bring my spirits up a bit but in order to make it to the performance, I had to leave an important meeting earlier than I and the participants would have liked.   It’s the pressure of the working parent but moments like those don’t happen forever and they grow up way too fast – I am not willing to miss a thing!

I skipped my usual Thursday workout to get extra sleep since I am not feeling so great. It is somewhat out of character for me but I realized recently that while I love getting exercise and being fit, I can’t get crazy about it.  Sleep does a body good too!

I may go out for a run tomorrow morning depending on how I feel. My goal is some sort of formal exercise 5x a week and sometimes I even go to 6. I know it’s close to an obsession.

Notable News

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Really? – The Claim – Lack of Sleep Increases Weight – Question – NYTimes.com.

I found this article interesting to me because I am living proof that this is really the case. When Nate was born – that little bugger did not sleep. He hated to be alone and Scott and I literally had 4 full nights of sleep in the first 8 months of his life. We both became different people – we snapped at one another, had no patience, walked around in an unmotivated fog and gained weight.  Sleep is important and never underestimate that –I appreciate every Zzzz I can get.

Scientists have known for years that skimping on sleep is associated with weight gain. A good example was a study published in 2005, which looked at 8,000 adults over several years as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Sleeping fewer than seven hours a night corresponded with a greater risk of weight gain and obesity, and the risk increased for every hour of lost sleep.

STRETCH: Hip Flexors « STRETCH EXERCISE EAT.
Flexibility is key to achieving optimal performance so make sure to stretch out your Hip Flexors!

The hip flexors (also known as the iliopsoas or inner hip muscles) are a collection of three muscles: Psoas major, Psoas minor, and Iliacus). When flexed, these muscles work together to pull the femur upward.

I’m not doing that, It Makes Me Feel Silly « BW-PT.com.

We did BOSU balancing a few camps back and boy was it an eye opener. You wouldn’t think it would be that hard but it is. I  practice balancing as much as I can. You don’t even need equipment. My friend Shannon over at AZ Physix suggested simply balancing on one leg as practice.

When someone mentions core strengthening, most people think, “abs.” But, working your core is not simply about making your abs burn with crunches or even doing planks (for what feels like hours). Core training is about total conditioning for all the muscles that attach to you pelvi

Personal Health – ‘Chemo Brain,’ the Fog After Chemotherapy, Gets More Attention – NYTimes.com.

The reason this article/blog got my attention even though it’s not super recent is that I clearly remember Scotty saying he felt like he was in a fog. Not remembering things, feeling just “foggy”. Interesting that they can’t pinpoint who and when chemo patients will experience it. At least it helps to know it’s common.

As more people with cancer survive and try to return to their former lives, a side effect of chemotherapy is getting more and more attention. Its name is apt, if unappealing: chemo brain.

Naptime!

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It’s a silly holiday but I figure I will highlight it anyway:

When is it perfectly acceptable to fall asleep in public? On Public Sleeping Day of course! Every year on February 28, we celebrate the beauty of unrestricted snoozing. Today, take a moment or two to celebrate this holiday by dozing off on buses, trains or even on while you’re on the job!

I personally was born with the gift of napping – so any holiday that tells me to nap – heck that’s my kind of holiday!

Enjoy!

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