INSIDER STORY: Let’s Talk Healthy Minds, Bodies & Souls

Sleep Number is proud to be on the 2018 Super Bowl Host Committee, and all the talk about exercise, sports and performance, has us excited to remind everyone about the deep connection between physical fitness and sleep.  Whether you’re a pro athlete, or average Joe, quality sleep can help in so many ways.  So, we’re reposting Insider story from guest blogger Janae Jacobs, founder of Hungry Runner Girl.

 

Good morning everyone!  I hope you woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day.  Today we are talking about a part of life for every single one of us—>SLEEP!  I want to share how important sleep is for our health and wellness.

Sleep is kind of a funny thing.  The other night I woke up to my husband Andrew snapping his fingers while asleep.  I think he was having a dream about our dog Beretta because he snaps his fingers at her when he wants her to do something.  I snore, always have, and I don’t know how to stop.  I have a brother that used to sleep run occasionally from the ages of 5 to 9.  He would sleep-run through the house and my dad would have to catch him.  He even went out the front door one night during his sleep run.  When I was a little girl and didn’t fall asleep at the exact time I wanted to for school the next day I would cry to my parents.  I was so stressed that I would not wake up on time for class and get a tardy.  Each night my kids fall asleep holding on to a toy or crayon, sharing the bed with the dog, or with two of their four limbs hanging off of the bed.  Some nights I can’t remember any of my dreams and other nights I wake up thinking that whatever happened in my dreams must have actually happened in real life (I’m mad occasionally at my husband over what happened in my dreams).  Whenever my daughter Brooke wakes up and I ask her what she dreamed about, she replies “Mama” in her most sweet voice (because she knows exactly how to butter me up for the day). While sleep can be kind of strange and unique for each of us, it is so important for every single one of us.

We often focus our health efforts mainly on our nutrition and physical activity but we cannot forget the huge role that sleep plays on overall health and wellness.  We can all make improvements to our sleep, including putting away our to-do lists when we should be resting our bodies from running, playing and working all day long.

Here are a few common side effects for me when I am not sleeping well:

  • My mile splits aren’t what I want them to be, I have a harder time finishing workouts and race day does not go well if I have not been sleeping well.
  • I make poor eating choices.  When I am tired, I reach for sugar all day long hoping it will give me the energy I am missing from not sleeping well.
  • I have lower motivation with work, with taking care of the house, with getting things DONE.
  • It’s hard for me to focus.  I feel like my brain is everywhere except where I want it to be in the moment.
  • Overall, when I am not sleeping well or making sleep a priority I feel like I’m not tapping into my potential as a wife/mom/runner/daughter/blogger/sister etc.

Turns out that when I’m not sleeping well, SO many things in my life are affected negatively.

When I am sleeping well, life goes so much more smoothly.  My overall perspective is better and I eat a lot better.  I notice progress in my running and I can focus on my work, and  I’m a much better wife and mom. The positive things that come from sleeping well are definitely the best motivation to make sure that I take care of myself and my health and go to bed at a good time.  It’s time for us all to make sure that we are sleeping better!

I kind of tricked my future husband, Andrew when we were dating.  I was all about staying up late with him and watching movies or talking until way too late.  And then a little bit into marriage, he realized that sleep means a lot to me.  I look forward to it; I want to be in my bed for as many hours as possible and anytime that I can get in bed early, I do.  Since I first met Andrew, he has gotten a lot better at getting in bed at a good time and making more time for sleeping, BUT our old mattress was killing his back.  We were using my old one and I would wake up some mornings to find him sleeping on the floor because the mattress hurt his back so bad.  When I was single all I had to worry about was how the mattress worked for me (and for my daughter when she climbed into my bed each morning).  When we got married we needed a mattress that was perfect for TWO people.  Between Andrew’s back killing him and the fact that I’m always game for finding more ways to have a better night’s sleep, we were so excited to try a Sleep Number® bed.

Great sleep starts with your mattress.  We went to the Sleep Number® store and had an awesome experience.  We brought the kids and my mom.  The team members were so friendly and helpful! They helped us to really personalize what we needed and what would be the best solution for Andrew’s back problems along with our desire for two very different mattresses.  I prefer a softer mattress and Andrew prefers a firmer mattress.  I think that this has to be my favorite part about our Sleep Number® mattress; it is a win-win situation.  Neither of us has to settle on one type of mattress, we both get what we love!

It is so easy to adjust each side of our Sleep Number® mattress.  You can use the bed remote or your smartphone to get to the exact Sleep Number® setting that is perfect for you (I am at 35 and Andrew is usually around 60 or more – you can choose anywhere from 5 to 100)!   I am SO comfortable on my side at 35 … it feels like I get to have my mattress exactly where my body is its happiest.

We are learning A LOT about our sleep with our Sleep Number® mattress.  Through SleepIQ® technology I get to see exactly how well I sleep each night.  The information that is gathered from the mattress is shown on an app on my phone and it tells me when the best hours of sleep are for me, how many breaths per minute I take, when I am restless and restful and even my average heart rate while I am asleep.  Having all of this information and seeing where I can improve has provided a way for me to challenge myself to get a better night of sleep each night.  Also, Sleep Number® mattresses actually adjust to better fit to your own personal needs; I am excited to see how that continues to help me to sleep better!

Andrew has also been loving adjusting his side of the bed to meet his needs and to make his back happier. Hallelujah for no more floor sleeping!

Overall, we are loving our Sleep Number® mattress and we are really happy to have such a great solution for the two of us.  Now we each get a good night of sleep while sleeping on the same mattress. It is wonderful.

Sleep is so important for everyone but runners really have to make sure they are getting enough sleep each night in order to continue to train hard and recover well.  During the third and fourth stages of a typical sleep cycle the body heals itselfby releasing the human growth hormone (HGH) from the pituitary gland.  Although HGH has gotten notoriety as a performance-enhancing drug, in its natural form it plays a key role in building and repairing muscle tissue and bones, as well as acting as a catalyst for the body to use fat as fuel.  Without the right amount of HGH in the blood, recovery from workouts is hindered, prolonging the time it takes the body to build a strong aerobic engine.” (source)  Don’t let your lack of sleep get in the way of recovering from your workouts.

Time for you to visit a Sleep Number® store near you to help you on your way to sleeping and feeling better.  Locate a store here.  We learned a lot about the importance of sleep and what is best for what each person needs.

This post is sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts are my own.