I battle with this one a lot! In fact, my least favorite part of the day is when my alarm goes off. I looooove sleep. And seem to need a lot! I know I know, you haters who love mornings, who jump with joy out of bed the minute your alarm sounds, who can run full steam ahead with as little as six hours of sleep, in many ways I’m envious. I’ve never been a morning person. But sometimes you have to do the things you don’t like to get better at the things you love. Like get out of bed every morning when it’s still dark outside to get in a blood-pumping workout before your 9-5. But with everything else vying for your attention in this world, we can’t fit it all in all the time. So how do you choose between sleep and getting up to get the workout in?
You’d think the right answer would be to rise, shine, and sweat. But truly, it’s not always the best thing for you. When we don’t get enough sleep, a cycle of weight gain and fatigue is triggered, even if we are sacrificing sleep to workout. And every once in a while or on nonconsecutive nights it’s ok; it becomes a problem when it becomes a habit. It’s when you repeatedly aren’t getting enough sleep and continue with the up-and-at-em routine that I’d encourage a change. Don’t counteract your efforts by continuing to cut your sleep time short, then downing cup after cup of coffee! Remember, caffeine is just masking your tired spirit – your body is still experiencing the effects of being TIRED!
My chiropractor reminded me that our bodies have a natural way of telling us when we need the rest – we shouldn’t always rely on our training schedules to tell us when we should put heavier focus on recovery and R&R. I encourage you to reflect on whether or not we are better off just taking it easy and recovering/resting when our bodies are tired, versus pushing through and not being able to hit those hard efforts the workout required. If we don’t listen, our bodies will just tell us louder that we need to rest. And sometimes that louder version means injury, chronic fatigue, extreme moodiness, or cravings of nothing but chocolate, donuts, and cake.
Sleep needs vary by individual so experiment with how much makes you feel your best. No need to be a hero by always trying to fit it all in. Give yourself a little break every once in a while so your body can thoroughly repair and then the next time you hit it hard, your body will be fresh, your spirit will be rejuvenated, and your mind will be focused! And this leads to a future blog about time saving techniques I’ve inherited over the years! –Maybe using some of these will help you save time in your day so that you can get the sleep you need AND get up and workout!