A new client came to see me today. She wanted to lose some weight and get back to running again. Having talked about her current levels of exercise and nutrition, I discovered a very well-motivated, possibly almost driven, lady who had a good handle on the nutrition side and an intelligent understanding of what was needed from the physical fitness angle.
Then I just casually asked her whether she was sleeping well. “I rarely sleep more than 3 hours a night” was her answer – she was working late at night on devices etc. – a major cause of sleep deprivation today. It was like a casual, isn’t that normal? kind of response – like ‘there’s not much I can do about that’.
I immediately suggested that her first priority should be to establish a proper bedtime routine, before everything else and then the other pieces might start to fall into place.
This is the most important element of any training programme or fitness regime.
This is absolutely non-negotiable. You cannot sleep for 3 hours a night and function anything like normally. Indeed you risk very serious consequences to your health if it continues for long. Certainly you will be in no fit state to train.
NOBODY can survive beyond 14 nights without sleeping – you will die! Even missing out on good sleep for a few days can have very serious risks. Read Matthew Walker’s comprehensive book, “Why we sleep” if you are in any doubt about this.
When your sleep improves, everything in your life gets better. You have more energy so want to exercise more. You make better food choices. You are more focused in your work. Your relationships with others improve. All of which makes you sleep even better!
So before you even begin to think about exercise routines or nutrition plans, make sure you get 8 hours or more of quality sleep every night.
This is more important than your work or that TV programme or that social event. This is your life at stake!
Get into a routine of proper sleep before EVERYTHING else and see how much better you feel and function.
Coming soon – How to ensure proper, restorative sleep.