The #Nando25 Challenge Idea: I want you to root yourself in the process of sleep. Starting today, you will get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Some of you already got a head start as you passed out after reading that last statement. Remember, your attitude and behaviors are housed in your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you change the conversation. Change the conversation and you transform into a new way of “being.” Why 7 hours of sleep per night? Ah, just wait until you find out—you’re gonna love me for this one.
The Lesson: Sleep = amazing stuff. It’s while we sleep that our brain + body rejuvenates and restores itself and preps itself for the next day. Can you get that? It’s not what you do today that makes today, today. It’s what you did yesterday, that makes today, today. I think that deserves a re-read. It’s not what you do today that makes today, today. It’s what you did yesterday, that makes today, today. A poll by the name of Sleep in America, conducted in 2009 blew the lid off of sleep. Research found that Americans are only sleeping—on average—6 hours and 40 minutes on weekdays. And the rise of people sleeping less than 6 hours have gone up from 12% in 1998 to 20% in 2009. This is why so many people are walking around with bags and circles under their eyes. But wait, it gets better!
Studies show that gain weight is directly related to lack of sleep. What?! And let me tell you, not just weight gain, but obesity! You think you need to lose 5lbs now? Honey, wait 3 more years of not getting 7 hours of sleep and let’s talk. Here’s the magic formula for sleep.
There was a study done, and you can find it in the Annals of Internal Medicine where researchers studied 2 hormones that are created during–you guess it—SLEEP!
Ghrelin and Leptin are regulated by sleep and they’re both involved in appetite. They work together in the function of “I’m hungry” (ghrelin) and I’m full (leptin). When you don’t get 7 hours of sleep, ghrelin levels RISE and signal to the brain, “FEED ME!” And it’s only when you get 7 hours of sleep that your leptin levels rise and flags down the brain to signal, “I’M FULL!” Bottom line, not enough sleep and your ghrelin is telling your brain all day, “I’m hungry” and because of your lack of sleep, your leptin isn’t signaling your brian, “I’m full” so the constant snacking continues. And even if you do manage to keep your Weight Watchers points in check or you do manage do stay on your calorie count, your brain is still getting the signals which makes it so hard for you to be good.
Remember: It’s not what you do today that makes today, today. It’s what you did yesterday, that makes today, today. Did you get your 7 hours of sleep last night? Probably not, and that’s why you’re eating a package of M&Ms as you read this post!
Still not convinced, maybe this will help the voices in your head. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had researchers conduct a study where people were only allowed to sleep for 5.5 hours for 2 weeks. This increased the subjects consumption of carbs by 221 calories. Put the M&Ms DOWN! (You can’t, can you? That’s cause of your ghrelin levels that are running through your body as we speak!)
Sleeping less makes you eat more sugary snacks and makes you eat more calories during your day, which increases the risk of you gaining weight.
Other gifts from your body if you get 7 hours of sleep per night:
Rejuvenated skin: Your cells rejuvenate 24/7 but it’s only at night (7 hours of sleep) that it happens quicker! This might cut down on your Oil of Olay products and save you $$!
Reverse skin damage: While you sleep, your skins repairs itself from daily damage.
Prevent acne: When you sleep, the brain regulates the body’s hormones. And when your hormones are balanced, “sebum” production is regulated which is the hormone that keeps your skin looking clear and smooth. Say goodbye to Noxema, people!
High functioning brain activity: People who get less than 7 hours of sleep have lower activity in the prefrontal cortex + temporal lobes, which are directly involved in memory and learning. You’re also limiting yourself in problem solving, and paying attention. (Did you get that? Probably not, because you didn’t get 7 hours of sleep last night!)
An amazing mood: A study done in 2007 explained that 44% of workers admitted that when sleep deprived, they were more unpleasant at work and in a general “unfriendly” mood all day, which also shows why people had less motivation due to poor sleeping patterns causing them to miss family events, work functions, and other fun stuff.
You get the point and I think you’re sold on the idea of 7 hours of sleep. If you’re not, send me a message on facebook, and let’s discuss. If you do “get it” on the 7 hours of sleep, post it on my facebook page, or tweet me, NOW!
The Homework: Start getting your 7 hours of sleep per night. And for many of you, you will hear the voices telling you “it’s impossible,” and it will be, because remember, life happens in language, and if that’s the language you’re using, then it will be. Change the conversation. For the next week, notice how your body, moods + thoughts change due to 7 hours of sleep. Trust me, you will NEVER be the same again. Who would want to?