I love sleep. I love to just curl up in my blankets and wrap the pillows around me and just lay in a cloud of blanket pillow marshmallow wonderfulness. Not only does it feel great, it is amazing recovery. So if your focus is, healthy eating and working out, making sure you get the right amount of rest is super important also.
I think I was over doing it a little recently: Waking up at 430am, hitting the hay past ten; then there's hot yoga 9X per week, running twice per week and riding twice a week. Oh yea, then there's life.
I had a lot of injuries in my forty years: ACL, sciatica, pulled muscles, wrist issues. Because of all that I feel like I need to keep moving and working out - just exercise and eating healthy. The riding helps my knees stay in shape so I can walk without pain or fear of my knees popping out, I can even run despite the fact the doctors said I never would or should again. But those things - running and riding - tighten up my hamstrings and glutes and hips. Not to mention, I think when I was having one or three children way back when it did something to cause my vertebrae to become dysfunctional and there have been a few times, even up into my thirties where my back would go out. And I dont mean just some pain. I mean immobility. Once I was in yoga and got stuck in the splits for about 20 minutes. I think I freaked out the teacher - Still sorry about that, Kelly, where ever you are. Another time when my youngest was about 18 months old, I was laid out flat on my back on the floor. My other two kids were just 2 1/2 and four. Not such a good situation. That time I think I was unable to get my body up off the ground for a few hours. This is what I mean by immobile. If you have this, you know what I mean!
When you sleep, you allow your body and mind to recover from ... well... everything you do! Check out this awesome chart.... this is about deep sleep where you get all those great dreams and allow your subconscious to unwind ...mmmmm . I like that.
And also about not so deep sleep. There are a variety of ailments that cause people to not sleep deeply. They barely touch that dream state... waking themselves up often.
But lately I have found myself napping since my schedule is so varied - up late, up early... So more often than normal I have been tapping into that space of calm as I feel myself gently realizing Im resting in my room in the daylight while the dream is still with me almost to the point of lucidity in the dream state until finally I am fully emerged the lump of groggy flesh and clothes under my sheets. How great it feels to turn and stretch out and experience every cell in my skin brand new and enlivened.
Have you ever tried lucid dreaming?
Just set your alarm clock to wake you about every 30 or 45 minutes... It may take some practice...
Make sure you are pretty sleepy so you can get there pretty fast - maybe even develop a method to get into deep meditative state easily. Also, keep a journal at your bedside.
Then just have at it. Plan two to three awakenings per session at first and see what happens. You can use a sleep cycle or natural sounds alarm to wake up gradually if that helps. Write down your dreams... you should be able to get some of them if you try this.
Now, get some rest, recover and go on out and enjoy the rest of your life!