I’ve long thought of a healthy lifestyle consisting of 3 parts.
1- Exercise and physical conditioning
2- Nutritional support and healthy eating
3- Rest and relaxation including sleep
All three of these aspects have their own role to play and it’s almost impossible to make up for a lack in one area by over compensation in another.
Many folks tend to focus on either optimizing their diet or their exercise, but getting enough sleep falls in last place.
It’s a shame, because without enough sleep you could be doing some serious under cutting to your diet and exercise potential.
That’s why this month’s challenge is to try sticking to a normal sleep schedule during the work week. Aim to get to sleep and wake up within the same 1 hour window.
The reason for this challenge is to help establish a consistent sleep schedule. Like diet and exercise, wild swings in consistency often wreak more havoc than good. That and it’s almost impossible to maintain optimal levels of health by skimping in sleep during the work week and then make up for it by sleeping in on Sunday.
Of course, I’m not your mother so I’m not going to tell you when you should hit the sack or wake up. However here are some general ideas to get you started on the right track:
- Try to fall asleep before midnight.
- Needing to always wake up to an alarm clock is a sign you may need to get to be earlier on a regular basis.
- Avoid TV or the computer up to an hour before going to bed.
- Take up a relaxing habit, like reading, that helps relax you before turning in.
A consistent sleep schedule can make both your diet and exercise efforts much easier and fruitful. So get ready to visit Mr. Sandman on regular schedule. You might just find he’s your best friend for health and fitness.