Sitting Too Much, Not Sleeping Enough

Photo by Úrsula Madariaga on

Have you heard sitting is the new smoking? Our bodies are designed to move, not sit all day. In fact we should be moving for five minutes for every hour we are sitting. Moving every hour actually maintains our energy. You can read more about the effects of a sedentary lifestyle here.

Over day 9 and 10 Deepak explains the importance of movement, rest and reducing stress. For a long time I sacrificed sleep. It’s still my default go-to short cut for fitting everything in, but now I’m much more aware and catch myself before I fall into any destructive patterns. I wasn’t one to stay up too late, though occasionally I’m guilty of that. For me it was choosing to get up at 4:30am or 4:45am on days where I should have slept a little longer to get those 7 hours. Typically, I sleep 6.5 – 7 hours a night. My body RARELY needs 8 hours. I have to be sick or sleep deprived for that to happen. Remember, I’m a fairly high energy person, so lying around in bed doesn’t sound appealing to me. But now I know that when we are sleeping our brains are actually getting rid of toxins. Like a big clean up. This is incredibly important to prevent alzheimer’s, as sleep deprivation can lead to memory problems just for this reason. Read more here.

Photo by Jaymantri on

I decided that sleep was going to become a priority for me. Like most of us, in my twenties, sacrificing sleep for partying or studying was the norm. I saw zero consequences of this behavior and didn’t see it as important at all. In my thirties, I sacrificed sleep for my babies and though I DID feel that, I still just thought that is just part of motherhood and caught naps here and there, but still did not take care of myself. And in my forties, well, you know, this was the reckoning of all my behavior to this point, along with the injuries that followed. Right now, my typical routine is to wake up between 4:30am -5:00am depending on which yoga class I’m headed to. I have my morning routine of tea, reading and writing then out the door I go. On the other days I still get up at the same time, have more time for my routine then head to yoga, strengthening class, a walk or a hike. My bedtime is ideally is 9:30pm. This gives me a solid 7 hours and life is good. But, 10pm happens more than I’d like mostly due to chores around the house, chatting with the family, picking someone up or we are actually just out doing something fun! If I go to bed at 10pm for more than a couple nights in a row, I start getting that cloudy head and meditation becomes more difficult because my body wants to fall asleep instead of meditate. By the way, if you find you are falling asleep during meditation that is a huge clue that you aren’t getting enough sleep.

Do you want to increase your physical energy or hours of sleep? Try the following:

Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to move every hour that you have been sitting.

Set a bedtime alarm along with a wake up alarm. This is a Gretchen Rubin tip that I love. The bedtime alarm forces you to start that bedtime routine and stick to it! I can’t wait to read your comments! Thanks for being here!

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