If child rearing is anything like puppy rearing, we may not be cut out for procreation. The phrases “I ought to break your !*@&#^$ neck!” and “THIS !*@&#^$ DOG…..” have become the most frequently used phrases in the Riley household in recent weeks.
Her affinity for eating sticks and her determination to dig to China in our garden are just some of the antics that keep her prisoner to her kennel. She also likes to play these “cute” tricks on us where she acts like she’s got this potty training thing down…then leaves unbeknownst presents for us in the basement. You know how I know that she deep down knows better? because she hides when she’s doing it. Like this…chewing my nasty post WOD shorts…and trying to hid under the bed while doing so (or at least thinks she is hidden.)
All I’m saying is I don’t want our kid to be the one that parents say, “There’s that damn kid that poops his/her pants and eats crap off the ground” about-when they are in 3rd grade.
Anyways, that’s the puppy update. I dread becoming one of those people who obsess over their dog and talk about them 24/7, so I promise this is relevant info. One thing Emom has mastered is sleeping through the night. In fact last weekend she was quite in her crate from 6pm to 8am! It was crazy! This young, hip couple was out getting our party on at our friends’ wedding, so sleeping in in the morning was a MUST. I don’t know about you guys, but I am a Sensitive Sally when it comes to getting enough sleep. If I get less than 8 hours, I might as well just give up on life for that day. Yet, I have friends that literally sleep 3 hours in 2 days WILLINGLY. WTF is that about!? Sick people. Truly though, nsufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. American’s average about 6.8 hours of sleep a night, which isn’t too bad considering the recommendations for adults is 7-8 hours.
Generally speaking, those that aren’t meeting these recommendations regularly are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, and increased mortality. Yikes.
More specifically, let’s look at athletes. When people approach me for nutrition assistance one of the first questions I ask is “what’s your sleep pattern like?” Fitness/health is a 3 legged tripod: diet, exercise, and sleep. If one of these legs is shorter than the other 3, you are not going to have a very sturdy platform of health upon which to achieve your goals.
Think I’m jockin’ ya? Bare with this nerdy science talk, but this study is LEGIT:
Over three seasons, from 2005 to 2008, scientists looked at 11 Stanford basketball players. For two to four weeks, the Cardinals kept to their normal schedules. Then for five to seven weeks, they watched what they drank, took daytime naps and tried to sleep for 10 hours every night. After increasing their daily rest, the players sprinted faster and said they felt better in practices and games. Their aim got better too: Their three-point shooting jumped 9.2 percentage points, and their free throw percentage increased by nine points.
Woah! More sleep please! But if you’re kinda a geek like me, you might wonder “HOW? What makes this happen?” Answer: Some of our genes act as internal clocks and release hormones according to cycles (aka circadian rhythms,) which are triggered by darkness and light. When we mess with these rhythms by not getting enough sleep, our metabolism of glucose/sugar (which gives us energy) declines, and our level of cortisol (which causes stress) increases.
MORE GREAT NEWS: sleeping for long stretches is naturally anabolic! THAT’S RIGHT KIDS! During deep sleep, our bodies release growth hormone, which stimulates the healing and growth of muscle and bone. People pay money to ingest/inject these sorts of hormones…the answer is simply SLEEP MORE to get SWOLE!
So, all in all, while it’s possible to push through a lack of sleep during any one day, getting adequate sleep on the regular is what is more beneficial to you than you know. Pair that with solid nutrition and you’ll be a PRing, WOD killing machine-and probably a more pleasant human and a better overall contribution to society.
That being said…I’m gonna go pass out…