As someone who has an extremely difficult time sleeping, I've long been aware of what sleep loss does to my mood, appetite and overall productivity.
When I'm well-rested, I'm all about vegetables, quinoa and the occasional square of dark chocolate. When I'm tired, on the other hand, all I want to eat is pizza. I'm also less productive, emotional and cranky.
Sadly, when most people think about health, weight loss and happiness, they don't think about sleep. They think about exercise, calorie restriction and making sure they go to the doctor every once in a while.
So I was thrilled when Arianna Huffington's book, "The Sleep Revolution," came out. Now number two on the New York Times best seller list, Huffington's book has a lot to say about how sleep impacts our jobs, relationships and overall health.
If you think this sounds like a snooze fest, don't let that deter you. I chatted with Huffington last week, and she assured me if I fell asleep reading her book, she would take it as a huge compliment.
I encourage you to read on, though, as Huffington provided me with some interesting insight into how sleep can help you reach your weight loss goals and what sleep deprivation does to your sex life.
This is what you should know if you're waking up early to work out.
While research shows you're more likely to exercise if you do it first thing in the morning, you have to make sure you're still getting your solid seven to eight hours of sleep in at night.
According to Huffington, if you're sacrificing sleep to exercise so you can lose weight, you're doing it wrong.
She tells Elite Daily,
I'm pretty religious about my exercise, but if I have to give up one of the two [sleep or exercise] for whatever reason… Life is never entirely predictable, right?… I think it is very clear that you need to prioritize sleep. Otherwise, you're going to wake up sleep-deprived and your body is going to crave all the wrong things to eat. You're going to crave carbs and sugar. Your impulse control will be down. So if you're managing your weight, sleep deprivation is the fastest way to put on weight or make it hard to lose weight.
If you exercise to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, that's great -- as long as you're also getting enough sleep.
If you're not managing your weight and you're just managing your energy, you're going to be dragging yourself through the day, be less productive, be less joyful about your life — I don't know about you, but I get irritable and cranky when I'm sleep-deprived. [Sleep] is the first essential leg of the stool… the negative chain reaction from lack of sleep effects nutrition. And if you're sleep-deprived, your exercise isn't going to be as effective because you won't have as much energy toward it.
Want some tips on other ways to get more energy? Check out the graphic below!
It's tragic to see how many executives collapsed on the treadmill in 2015... because you have all these exhausted executives with Type A, driven personalities who think they have to drag themselves out of bed and get on the treadmill because that seems like taking action.
While I'm all about working out most days of the week, if you just can't seem to fit in both sleep and exercise, I think it's pretty clear which one you should choose.
Lack of sleep can destroy your sex life.
Do you love keeping electronics and all things stressful out of your bedroom? Does your SO scroll through his or her Instagram feed until 2 am and keep you awake?
You guys are going to have to do something about that.
Protecting your sleep is going to make your relationship much better. The worst thing is to wake up and be exhausted and resentful of your partner because [his or her] snoring or dog kept you awake at night. It's going to effect everything, including sex.
In fact, Huffington actually encourages couples to sleep in separate bedrooms if they have different sleeping habits.
She tells Elite Daily,
I think we need to break the illusion that couples have to sleep together every night to prove to the world and themselves that they have a great relationship and are having sex. The chances of having sex increase when you've had enough sleep. There's a study that states that for women especially, each additional hour of sleep leads to a 14 percent greater likelihood of sex.
If that isn't a reason to get some solid sleep in tonight, I don't know what is.