Have you ever just said out loud “gosh, I’m tired!” and somebody within ear shot tries to give you advice for how to combat that? Everybody seems to be an expert on combatting fatigue.
With well meaning advice such as “well take a nap!” or “you sit at a desk too much! You need more exercise” or “Well, eat an apple! That gives you energy!”
And you just want to say, “Okay, thanks for that. It wasn’t helpful.”
Now, while I’m sure these folks are well meaning in their advice, do they really know what they’re talking about?
This is where learning and knowing your body inside and out.
It’s about knowing when your sleepiness is caused from your one year old going through the 18 month sleep regression 4 months early. Or your three year old deciding that it’s time to party at 3:30am and you actually need sleep.
Or on the flip side,
Your sleepiness might be caused by lack of activity because you’re in front of your desk for hours and hours at a time with not a lot of walking around time or you haven’t gotten your workouts in for the week.
It can be hard to tell and only you can figure it out, but learning your body and thinking about the circumstances at hand can really help, mama.
The University of Pennsylvania did a study recently where they studied 48,000 adults. These 48,000 individuals participated in the American Time Use Survey from the years 2003-2016 and their results were published in the October 2018 issue of Sleep Health Journal.
Here is their conclusion and this is a quote from the Sleep Journal
“These results confirm that exercise and sleep compete with each other for time. However, exercise regimens that follow current guidelines are unlikely to curtail sleep substantially, especially since exercise has been shown to positively affect sleep structure and quality. Public health efforts should nevertheless emphasize the importance of both exercise and sleep and of not sacrificing one activity for the other.”Sleep Health Journal, October 2018 Issue
What do I take away from this?
Personally and as a coach, I think it’s a brilliant study. Because it confirms what I’ve thought for quite some time that workouts are important, but rest and sleep can be just as important as your workouts.
These results emphasize the importance of balance in a person’s life.
Let’s take you, the working mama for example. You work, have kiddos/family, and want to lead a healthy lifestyle which includes working out and eating well.
This might lead to sometimes having to make the decision of do I workout? Or do I need to go to bed early?
Which is where learning and knowing your body inside and out comes in.
But how can you tell the difference?
How about I tell you how I can tell the difference for me? Then you can draw your own conclusions.
Here’s how I know if I need a good workout or if I need to get some rest/sleep.
When I am feeling sleepy or tired, I take into account how many times I have worked out that week and how much sleep I have gotten.
If I have gotten 7-9 hours of sleep per night but not my normal workouts? Time for a good workout.
Now, to flip it around, if I haven’t slept well and gotten in my workouts? Time for sleep.
But here’s the hard one:
What about if I have gotten the 7-9 hours per night and my workouts and I’m still feeling tired?
In that case, I rest. Whether it be trying to go to sleep earlier that night, or settling in to watch a movie with the hubs right after putting little man down for bed, I take a rest.
See where I’m going with this? It’s a balance and it can be really hard to learn that balance.
Here’s another hard scenario that lots of mamas are face with…
“On paper” they’ve had enough sleep and worked out “enough” but they’re just feeling kind of like, blah. How’s that for a scientific word? Ha!
But, I know you know what I’m talking about.
How about putting the kiddos in the stroller and walking around the block? Get the blood flowing again and then seeing how you feel.
If you’re feeling good and ready to roll again, then you’ve just gotten in a LISS workout and you’re all set. But if you’re still feeling drowsy… Probably time for a rest.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
We can’t just automatically assume that we need more sleep or we need to workout more. Each of us have to take into account all factors that are at play in our own specific lives.
Each mama is different and her needs are different.
This is where I try to teach you how to learn your body and what it needs.
Nobody can tell you exactly what your body needs, but you. This is where you have to learn your body and how you react to things and your schedule and even adjusting your schedule as necessary.
So many mamas that I’ve talked to feel like their calendars are overwhelming and that there’s so many things to do and the kids have this activity or that activity and they don’t have time to think about working out or sleeping.
But you have goals, right? Your goals are important too. Believe me when I say I completely understand an overwhelming calendar. I’m a wife and mama who runs her own business that is both an online business and face to face client business.
My calendar gets more than overwhelming, it gets downright scary!
Take charge of your calendar.
Take charge of your schedule, because when you take charge of your schedule and your life, it in turn will help you be able to make decisions like whether you need sleep or a workout.