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Much Needed R&R

Lately it seems like my husband and I have been so stinking busy. Sometimes life just piles up and it is hard to find time to rest and pull away and rejuvenate. I have come to realize and truly understand how beneficial and necessary rest and relaxation is to overall health. I am one of those people that automatically feels the negative effects of less than 7 hours of sleep a night. My body hates me the next day and I simply do not have energy to do all of the things I want to do. Add to a lack of sleep any type of stress and my throat will start to hurt and I can tell if I don’t stop, slow down, and relax I will get sick. This is why I was exhausted and sick all throughout college.

I never want to relive that constant exhaustion again.

Thankfully, my husband and I have such flexible jobs that we were able to pull away Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon to Dallas for a little get-away. It was much needed. My husband has been working like a dog on the annual fundraising banquet for Young Life the past couple of months and it was held this past Monday night. It was a huge success and we are so grateful and humbled by all who showed up and gave to continue the ministry here in Paris, but the aftermath left us both drained and needing some “us” time. I woke up at 5 am Monday morning like usual to train my clients at the gym and did not stop going until about 12:30 that night. It was a LONG day to say the least.

Neither of us have anything on the schedule Thursday mornings so we got away Wednesday night after I trained around 5 pm and headed to Dallas. I didn’t have to be back until 4 pm Thursday to train so we booked us a hotel, slept in, and enjoyed a nice afternoon just the two of us away from the business of everyday life. It was wonderful. Just what the doctor ordered.

I know everyone is busy and has completely different schedules, but finding time to pull-away whether that’s once a week, once a month, or a small window within each day,can do wonders for your health and well being. This will look different for everyone and you might need to actually plan it to make sure you do it. It’s sad that we have to actually plan down time, but reality is if we don’t, “business” takes over. There are not only psychological benefits to getting adequate sleep and rest, but physical benefits as well especially if you are trying to lose weight.

These are a few of the things that go on in your body when you consistently get less than 5-6 hours of sleep a night.

  • Insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance decreases leading to obesity and diabetes risk
  • Cortisol levels increase which stimulates glucose release (sugar), glucose stimulates insulin release and insulin stimulates fat storage (aka. increase in body fat!!)
  • Thyroid hormones are reduced which are responsible for metabolism
  • Leptin levels decrease which is the hormone that is responsible for feelings of fullness and ghrelin levels increase which is the hormone that is responsible for feelings of hunger. This can lead to food cravings or overeating

Crazy huh? Not to mention, sleep deprivation will naturally leave you feeling more tired with less energy to workout and lowers your body’s ability to handle stress well. Stress also raises cortisol levels and leads to a long list of other negative health effects. So, all in all, we need our rest and relaxation to not only feel good, but to maintain a healthy weight and body fat percentage. If you have been struggling to lose weight or decrease body fat this might be an area of your health you can improve in to help you reach your goals. Sleep is definitely not overrated. If I only knew this as a child when I was forced to take naps. I would have appreciated them so much more.

I found this quote on pinterest I thought some of you might be able to relate to. It’s kind of funny, but not really at all at the same time. I know there are days I definitely feel like this. What a miserable way to live!! We were made for so much more than that. We were made to feel alive not just think about wanting to sleep! Don’t underestimate your sleep people.

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Ya’ll take care and have a wonderful weekend wherever that may be!!

 

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