A few decades ago, a talk show co-host infamous for his temper bragged that he needed only four hours of sleep. Current research has shown that the two are connected. Inadequate levels of sleep lead to reduced willpower and increased inability to maintain an even temperament. If you find your temper easily frays or that your thinking is sluggish, look to how much you sleep. Sleep deprivation impairs glucose regulation which negatively impacts willpower. The result may be a frayed temper along with a series of poor decisions.
Reduced willpower and sluggish thinking as a result of inadequate sleep may be caused by deterioration of neurons in the brain. These neurons work hard when you are awake and can become over-stressed if there is not enough of a recovery period during sleep. As neurons break down, so does your thinking.
Although the ideal number of hours of sleep vary by individual and by age, research at the National Sleep Foundation suggests that the average adult needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep to achieve optimal physical and mental health results. You can read more about the importance of sleep in the chapter ‘To Sleep…’ in Walking in Sunshine.
Walking in Sunshine: LifeStyle Changes to Make for a Bright, Healthy Future, the book that can change your life, is now available for free download. Click on the link, download the PDF, and
- adaptations matter
- walking is the best exercise
- sunshine is necessary
- proper diet = better health
- natural parenting is effective parenting
The best way to begin the day is awaking after having slept 7 to 9 hours. I will discuss sleep in more detail in a later post, but for now it is important to know that a good night’s sleep is critical to your health and well being.
Once awake, you need to hydrate and stretch. I drink a cup of fruit tea while doing a series of flexibilities. The flexibilities keep my joints loose, get the blood flowing to my brain, and energize me. Click here to access the PDF of the Flexibilities so that you can begin doing them yourself.
Once stretched and hydrated, it is time for a healthy breakfast. A good breakfast makes for a good day. I suggest a two egg omelet (actual eggs, not egg whites) with tomato salsa. I also eat a bowl of blueberries (frozen, but thawed) and a half grapefruit (in season). Eggs provide high-quality protein and are good for the brain. Breakfast must include high-quality protein.
Well-rested, hydrated, stretched, and well-fed: this is the best way to begin the day.