19. Sleep it off
If you’re doing it right and living with good eating habits, incidental exercise, and some good muslce building or resistance training, what you’re doing is maintaining a healthy metabolism. Now, you just let your metabolism do the work for you and your body does the most work while you’re sound asleep.
Each night, your body is entirely renewed. Your skin cells turn – sluffing the old for the new; your brain cells enlighten and renew, and your muscles work to burn fat during the same process in which they renew their necessary stress and tears by gathering protein and filling in the gaps needed for muslces to grow bigger, stronger. While this isn’t the exact science of th matter, the way I envision it is that essentially your muscles are these living things chomping away at the surrounding fat, getting rid of it as the muscle grows stronger.
Not all of us want to grow muscles. Muscles are indeed bigger, but what we need to be concerned with isn’t so much about our size as it is abou the way we look and feel. That’s precisely why the clothes I wear now are pretty much the exact same clothes I can wear when I’m just a pile of flabby me. The difference is how much better those clothes fit. They are comfortable. I look younger. I’m happier. I have more energy. My goal has rarely ever been to be smaller. Whenever I have told myself I need to lose two inches or go down two sizes, I get so overwhelmingly depressed that the stress I am causing myself backfires all my efforts into something that looks even less appealing than where I started to begin with. That’s why it is mostly about feeling comfortable in my own skin. That is a goal I can get behind, stay behind, and stay on the positive side of without building stress that will keep my body from letting go of unnecessary fats.
Sleep is the number one way of combating stress. Sleep. Meditation. Calm. Stress is one of the major players in why our body doesn’t let go of that flab even when we dilligently try our hardest. You can’t go from 0 to 60 without your body sensing an internal fight or flight response.
What is even more important is getting quality sleep over quantitiy of sleep.
I monitor my sleep very carefuly – measured by devices and apps I have been using for years. The one thing I have noticed over all those years is that I can sleep 7 hours or I can sleep 12 hours, and ultimately my “actual time of sleep” is hardly any different. That is if I am focused on sleeping in the right way.
To sleep well instead of often means that you prepare your body for sleep. Your body needs to know that no matter what, it is time to relax. Have a favorite pillow. Sleep on the same side of the bed. Turn off all lights. Don’t have any clocks in your room. Never have a television in your room. Don’t do any of your work, homework, or general days work in your room. Your room is your haven of calm. Keep it that way.
Other ways I prepare myself for sleep is I use scented oil to Pavlov myself into understnading it is bed time. Even if I don’t feel entirely sleepy, I have a general bed time. Any time between 10:45 and about 11:30, it is time for bed. I rarely survive past then and when I do, it isn’t really worth it. So I maintain a normal schedule. I spray lavendar on my bed each night. I get ready for bed. I turn off all the lights. I often listen to a meditation. And I’m out…
I’m not someone that sleeps well almost ever. I tend to average 5 hours and 45 minutes of actual sleep time, and according to world reknown sleep specialists that I work with, that 5 hour mark is all you need. Now, let’s be clear. This is 5 hours of ACTUAL sleep time which often takes that prime 7-8 ours of in-bed time. Actual sleep time can are captured in your REM cycles, between your restless sleeping moments that just don’t count.
There are some easy ways of improving your sleep time. These things are obvious, but not often practiced. Aside from keeping a consistent schedule you should – not have any caffeine, even small sodas after 1 or 2pm in the afternoon. If you’re tired, that’s ultimately becuase you’re not sleeping well. You have to survive a bit of tired to break that cycle. Just the same, don’t have large dinners or any sort of obvious sugars (sodas, juices, etc. included) with your dinner. If you have a heavy dinner just sitting inside of you, your body has to work a whole lot harder to digest it. As a result, your body temperature will rise, your dreams get a little crazy, and restlessness ensues.
Just relax. Relaxing starts 3-4 hours before bedtime.
(continue to the next post or wait for tomorrow for the next step)
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