Monday, February 3, 2014


"Motivation is What Gets You Started, Habit is What Keeps You Going!"


Sleep: Another Pillar in Healthful Living

Exercise is the  process of fatiguing the muscles to the point of failure.  Failure in  this case means you cannot do another full repetition of the exercise you're working on.  It also means that you can't even do a part of a repetition; you can't budge the weight (start the movement).  The outcome of this is a catabolic result.  It includes minute tearing of some of the muscle fibers, some minute bleeding may occur and some byproducts are produced.  Some lactic acid, and other breakdown matter are the result of exercising and if you are doing the exercising with high intensity training (HIT) the more tear down results.  Catabolism is the destructive metabolism involving the release of energy and resulting in the breakdown of complex materials.  

The next step is to rebuild the muscle tissue to a newer, healthier condition.  The healed muscles are now stronger, leaner, and enlarged and, although you may not notice the change occurring, it does restore itself if you give the muscles nutrition and rest.  Rest should include sleep for about eight hours without interruption.  

While occasional restless nights are normal, prolonged insomnia can interfere with daytime function, accidents, headaches, and depression.  Surveys indicate that 50% of people suffer from sleep difficulties, and 20 - 36% of them struggle with such difficulties for at least 1 year.  Some studies show that one person out of three in the United States has insomnia, but only 20% tell their doctor about it. 

Signs of insomnia may include:
  • Not feeling refreshed after sleep
  • Inability to sleep despite being tired
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and impaired ability to perform normal activities
  • Anxiety as bedtime approaches
  • Tension headaches
A common term in referring to sleep is the Circadian Rhythm.  It amounts to an internal clock that governs the timing of sleep, hormone production body temperature, and other functions. If you want to improve your sleep pattern you have to develop your sleep time so that it allows you to meet the demands of a desired lifestyle.  It should be compatible with your own circadian rhythm. 

Therapy combines proper sleep hygiene techniques, and considering factors such as lighting in the sleeping quarters, noise, work schedules, traveling to different time zones, age, gender (women are more likely to have insomnia than men), stressful and/or traumatic events, substance abuse, asthma (bronchodilators occasionally cause insomnia), and the amount and quality of exercise as in a sedentary lifestyle (i.e., the couch potato).  If you do exercise strenuously before sleep, your body will probably be "hyped up" and affect your the soundness and quality of your sleep.

As there are many causes of poor sleep you may wish to use the National Sleep Foundation and the American Sleep Association as references to any matter you may have regarding sleep. Sometimes a visit to a sleep doctor is advisable as they specialize in diagnosing and treating sleep problems and your internist or family doctor could recommend one.