Sleep Reward

Last week my trainer was on my case to sleep more than my standard four to six hours per night plus cat naps when I could. (Here’s the whole story:  Go the Eff to Sleep, Said my Trainer)

So I made a concerted effort to get at least seven (7) hours of sleep per night.  To liven things up I preemptively bought myself a really cute pole dance outfit as a reward to motivate me for completing the task.

Sports bra and booty shorts
Prize: Sports bra and booty shorts

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I’ve had bouts of insomnia on and off since I was a kid, so sleeping a full seven hours was a bit of a challenge for me.

My son likes to sneak in bed in the morning

While it’s true that some of my insomnia is due to an overactive brain that doesn’t want to shut off, it’s also fair to say that a big portion of my insomnia is self-inflicted.

Here are some of the reasons I stay up too late:

  • My husband and I will relax by binge watching TV shows until 2 a.m.  (In my defense, we really are in a new golden age of television.)
  • Did I mention that when I watch TV, I also eat buttered popcorn and drink Diet Coke?  Ask me if it’s a good idea to drink caffeine if you are trying to sleep.  (It is not.)
  • After I finish an evening workout with my friend, Obidia, we end up sitting in the sauna and chitchatting for an extra half hour (until after 10 pm.)
  • I procrastinate doing my accounting stuff for my real estate business until after the kids go to bed ’cause, let’s face it, paperwork isn’t fun.
  • Sometimes when I’m checking for one email I somehow get sidetracked and end up taking personality tests on Facebook instead.  (FYI – I’m a Type A with a flair for creativity, apparently.)

Thus I embarked on my seven hours a night quest.  I’m happy to report that I was victorious!  Yay!  Hello cute new outfit!  But I also noticed some direct benefits of more sleep.

  • Weight Loss.  I was stuck in a plateau for most of this month, but getting extra sleep helped me get past this. Lack of bedtime TV carbs, fat and caffeine snacking aside, there is a scientific reason for this weight loss.
    What's my weight again?
    Sleeping makes me lose weight?

    According to WebMD, when you are sleep deprived it effects two hormones called ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin tells your body it’s time to eat.  When you’re sleepy your body makes more of it, causing you to be hungry.  Leptin tells your body when it’s time to stop eating.  When you’re tired your leptin levels plummet, causing you to eat more.  But when you get enough sleep, these hormones balance out.

  • More Work Productivity.  In a study by the BBC, researchers found that participants who gained just one hour of sleep were able to better concentrate.  While you are sleeping your brain is working, shifting items from your short-term memory to your long-term memory.  This allows more space for new short-term memory items, so you don’t have to (hypothetically) write little reminders for yourself on post it notes.  In my own case I was able to get through more paperwork during regular hours, which reduced my stress.  Also, it gave me time to read magazines about becoming more organized.

    Better Homes & Gardens
    Better Homes & Gardens
  • More Muscle Definition.  According to an article about sleep and muscle recovery in LiveStrong, sleep allows more blood and oxygen flow to repair your muscle tears and your pituitary gland releases growth hormone with stimulates muscle growth.  And since I’m in a bicep growth competition with my friend this month, I need all the muscle gain help I can get!


So, yes, my official reward was a new outfit, but the benefits from more sleep were the real reward for the week.

Now go to bed.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Lisa 😉

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two.  Her book, “She’s Losing It!”  is available at Resolution Front Cover.4837209 (c) 2015 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.


4 thoughts on “Sleep Reward

    1. I’ve tried melatonin when my brain just won’t shut off and it has worked for me too. I don’t use every night, just when insomnia lasts for more than two days.

  1. Wow! Thanks, Lisa for sharing! Although I knew that getting insufficient sleep (between 4 – 5 hrs nightly due to work) was impeding my weight loss and muscle growth, I did not realize the true significance or even damage its lack truly caused. Now – thanks to your persuasive blog, our trainer Robin’s patient encouragement and some research I just did, I’m more motivated than ever to finagle more sleep. Wow!
    1. Rest is vital for the brain to recover and repair… its lack ages our skin unduly, causes our bodies to release more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
    2. Lisa, you shared about Ghrelin and Leptin’s assistance in regulating the hunger response. However, not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite, it also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.
    3. Sleep loss also causes our bodies to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.
    4. Studies show that lack of sleep doubles the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
    5. We sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to us. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor and I wore that badge, I’m humbled to admit. But sleep specialists say if we think we’re doing fine on less sleep, we’re probably wrong. And if we work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge our level of functioning, this can be a significant problem.

    For may years, I’ve functioned on negligible sleep… how humbled I am. Humble pie may have no calories, but it is hard to swallow.
    Lisa, I’m grateful for your encouragement to zzzzzzzzz……….

    1. Viv – Great information you found! It can be tough getting enough sleep, but it’s worth the effort. Hope you get some more zzz’s!

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