I’ve had a lot on my plate lately and I’m finding that with my busier schedule and longer task I keep dropping one of the behaviors that are essential to well being. Since my days are full of all things Minute Movement, fitness is at the forefront of my mind and because the program is quick and simple, I’m staying on board with my daily movement. So, what do you think I gave up instead?

Yep, sleep. I’ve always had a little trouble with sleeping enough and it only takes a couple of nights of trying to get a couple more tasks marked off the list after everyone’s in bed for me to be way off schedule – again – and that’s where I am today.

According to this article on WebMD entitled 9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep I am making a big mistake when I don’t make sleep a priority in my life.

‘Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood, your weight, and even your sex life. If you’re getting less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, here are nine reasons that you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.’

  1. Better health. ‘Study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. … One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.
  2. Better sex life. ‘There’s evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels — although the exact nature of the link isn’t clear.’.
  3. Less pain. ‘Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Researchers have found that getting good sleep can supplement medication for pain.’
  4. Lower risk of injury. ‘Sleeping enough might actually keep you safer. The Institute of Medicine estimates that one out of five auto accidents in the U.S. results from drowsy driving — that’s about 1 million crashes a year.
  5. Better mood. “Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation, when you’re overtired, you’re more likely to snap at your boss, or burst into tears, or start laughing uncontrollably.”
  6. Better weight control. ‘Getting enough sleep could help you maintain your weight — and conversely, sleep loss goes along with an increased risk of weight gain.’
  7. Clearer thinking. ‘Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived are substantially worse at solving logic or math problems than when they’re well-rested.’
  8. Better memory. ‘Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate our memories from the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly — and can be lost.’
  9. Stronger immunity. ‘Could getting enough sleep prevent the common cold? [In] one preliminary study … researchers tracked over 150 people and monitored their sleep habits for two weeks. Then they exposed them to a cold virus. People who got seven hours of sleep a night or less were almost three times as likely to get sick as the people who got at least eight hours of sleep a night.’

Okay, I’m convinced! Hopefully I’ll be well rested and back to my old, chatty self in the morning