10
Apr
11

Sleep, per chance to dream…

Sleep, per chance to dream…

My sweet sixteen felt more like The Dirty Dozen yesterday.  I worked my butt off — with lots of right to the body, left to the body, straight right combinations during my pad work with Lennox, but was I ever ragged.  I’m not sure how I made it through the fourth round of the that set, but I managed it with some pretty pitiful arm punches, but, hey … I got through it.

The double-ended bag was also pretty pathetic, but I rallied for the speedbag and had really nice rhythm through most of it.  What helped was peering at some pretty great sparring in the two rings in my line of sight — along with my inner Gonna have a funky good time beat (thanks James Brown) and “legs don’t fail me now” entreaties.

What did work yesterday was upping my sit-up chair time to three rounds.  So all in all I was 16 + 3 for the day, if in limp mode for half of it.

In analyzing why my energy was so low, however, I had a true “duh!” epiphany.  Yep, the missing ingredient: Sleep!

From no less a source than Harvard Medical School Women’s Health Watch (link here), six important reasons for getting enough sleep include:

1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.

4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Oy.  Who knew.

I mean, yes, I knew, but like many of us, I continue to blow-off the importance of getting those zzzz’s in favor of all the seeming have-to’s, not to mention the dumb want-to’s (like watching really bad TV) that get in the way of a decent night’s rest.

Put another way, getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is no less important to health than eating a balanced diet and doing all that cardio in the first place — and may in fact, help with curbing the pounds and upping your energy in the process.  Least ways I sure hope so!


3 Responses to “Sleep, per chance to dream…”


  1. April 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    The “17-Day Diet” is definitely a cyber brush fire and there is some sound medical science behind it. However, limiting one’s self to a near starvation diet of 1,200 calories for initial fast results is a form of self abuse. It is a monumental task requiring a strong support system or social isolation. There could well be unintended consequences to overwhelming the mind-body with rapid major correction in metabolism, such as chronic fatigue, dangerous drops in blood sugar, traumatic injury from passing out and damage to the brain and other vital organs from a sudden loss of nutrition. Accordingly, we cannot afford to throw caution to the wind and suddenly cut our caloric intake by 50% or more without serious repercussions. Even if it is for a short time, the sudden drop in blood sugar and albumin can be catastrophic, especially if there are any undiagnosed heart conditions or other ailments brewing in the mind-body. Therefore, I strongly recommend that people pause for a moment and think about the consequences of prolonged fasting. Before you make a quantum leap over the abyss, check out the other side and see where you are going to land. Consult a physician and/or nutritionist and explore what works for you. Weight loss programs have to be tailored to the individual. Cookie cutter diets don’t work the same for everybody and for many the 17-Day Diet can be 17 days to disaster. More at http://moshesharon.wordpress.com

  2. April 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m finding my sleep habits are changing, most likely due to changing hormone levels. The past few nights I dreamed crazy dreams that had me more tired than before I went to sleep. I’m also noticing that I need a nap on my heavier work-out days. Keeping a journal of all these things so I can whip it all into balance again. Sigh, it never ends.

    • April 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Yep. The hormone thing is the killer!!! And dare I say it, I actually started to nod out at work on a lunch break. Talk about embarrassing.

      I didn’t quite want to get into it (save for another blog entry!) but sleep can get pretty whacky when you’re hot flashing like crazy! 😉


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