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Sleep is Eight Hours Enough?

Text 2013 By Renee Wiggins, RD.LD/Certified Health and Wellness Coach

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced or transmitted or freely distributed in any form or by any means-graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system- without the written permission of the author. Except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Disclaimer: All information in this book was verified by research. The Author is not liable nor responsible for any injury alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information in this book.

Cover Design: LaShanda Henry- Editor: Gail C. Diggs

To My Readers

I am writing this book to let you know important sleep is to your life. It is as important as eating. Sadly enough, many adults party into the night and work long hours during the day and, as a result, they simply do not get the sleep they need. Some people actually boast about all that theyre able to do with little sleep but thats nothing to be proud of, not at all. It is my hope that you and others will accept the help Im providing in this book today and use it to change your lives for the better.

Table of Contents

What is sleep The Connection Between Your weight and Your sleep Why Should you be concerned? Other Ways to Get Better Sleep Lullaby and Good Night How much is enough? Is Eight Enough? Determining Your Best Sleep Six Reasons to Get Your Proper Amount of Sleep Tips for Developing Better Sleeping Habits The Bottom Line of Sleep Author

5 6 6 7 7 8 9 10 11 11 12 13

What is Sleep?

Sleep, according to Webster Dictionary, means the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. 2: a state of resembling sleep: a state of torpid inactivity b: death: trance, coma.

Time Webster New Deal Dictionary, copyright 1978-by G & C Merriam Company, USA.

The Connection Between Your Weight and Your Sleep

It might surprise you to know that your ability to get rid of those extra pounds could be related to your sleep habits. Sleep can affect cortisol, a hormone that helps to regulate your level of stress and your appetite. An individual who doesnt get an adequate amount of sleep may feel hungry all the time despite being full. This happens because of the bodys inability to digest/metabolize carbohydrates, which can lead to high levels of blood sugar. Then the body releases another hormone, insulin, to lower the high blood sugar and the excess sugar is stored as fat.

Why should you be concerned? Because the excess fat makes us overweight, which can contribute to other sleep problems. One such problem is called sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing during the night. This can happen several times each night, which makes the person wake up the next day feeling tired and fatigued. Shape Up to Get Better Sleep 1. 2. 3. 4. Lose weight Exercise Get tested for sleep apnea Establish a sleep ritual

Other Ways to Get Better Sleep Im often asked if you should you exercise before going to bed. In all honestly, the jury is still out on that question. Some people say exercise makes them feel tired and they, therefore, like to exercise before going to bed. This makes sense because exercise releases endorphins, a hormone that puts the body at rest and calm. It acts like a natural tranquilizer. However, some experts suggest that you not exercise right before bedtime because the exercise will make you hyperactive and make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. In my opinion, stretching is the better thing to do right before bed. Stretching releases the tension in your muscles, making them, and you, more relaxed and at ease.

Lullaby and Good Night The experts say that you should turn off the TV and radio at bedtime. I agree, however sometimes soft music or the soft, quiet recorded sounds of the ocean or rain can help you relax and peacefully drift off to sleep.

How much is enough?

I became interested in this subject because, like millions of American , I do not get enough sleep. Most people dont talk about sleep. We talk about our kids, our bosses, our vacations etc., but we seldom talk about sleep and how much of it we really need. No two researchers agree exactly, but most think that six to eight hours of sleep each night is enough. And most researchers agree that our bodies need sleep on a regular basis to perform routine daily activities. In addition, it is widely accepted that the sleep you lose during a busy week cannot be made up over the weekend. You simply cannot get that sleep back and, if youre not careful, sleep deprivation can set in. When youre sleep deprived, your ability to properly function diminishes. For example: Your body gains weight due to an increase in your appetite There is a decrease in your cognitive behavior, which affects your ability to think clearly There is an increase in irritability and your mood swings increase Feelings of depression more easily set in

Its also interesting to note that when people are not rested, they are more apt to get into car accidents! All of this being said, there is also research to suggest that too much sleep can cause some of these same risks. So, how much sleep do you really need?

Is Eight Enough?

Researchers Shawn Youngstedt and Daniel Kripke reviewed surveys that the American Cancer Society conducted with one million adults. They concluded that 1. Those who slept seven hour have a lower mortality rate than those who slept seven or less. . Their overall conclusion was that people who sleep between six and eight hours a night are healthier than those you sleep longer or shorter than that. All experts agree that sleep affects people differently according to their ages, as illustrated by the chart below: Infants 0- 2months Infants 3-11 months Toddlers 1-3 years Preschoolers (3-5years) 5-10 years Teens (10-17) Adults 12 -18 hours 14- 15 hours 12-14 hours 11-13 hours 10-11hours 8.5 to 9.25 hours 7-9 hours

When determining how much sleep you need to perform at your best, you should ask yourself the following questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Can you function on 7 hours or less of sleep? Am I moody when I get more or less than 7 hours of sleep? Am I overweight? Do I depend on coffee, coke or tea to get me through the day? Do I find myself sleeping during the day? Do I fall asleep while driving?


Six Reasons To Get Your Proper Amount of Sleep 1. Sleep promotes learning and helps your brain to retain information. 2. 3. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain by affecting the way our body stores carbohydrates and altering our hormones. 4. Lack of sleep increases your chances of needing to sleep during the day. This can lead to traffic accidents and errors on the job. Lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. 5. Lack of sleep can lead to stress. Lack of sleep can decrease your immune system.

Tips for Developing Better Sleeping Habits First, evaluate your sleeping habits by asking yourself these questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Do I get up without complaining? How is my mood? Do I need coffee to keep me awake? Do I fall asleep at work? How is my performance at work?

Then test yourself by going to bed earlier than your usual bedime. When you rise the next morning, pay particular attention to how you feel. Do you feel better, worse, or about the same as you do when you go to bed at your usual later time? Then, during the day, try to determine how youre performing. Are you getting as much done as usual? Has the quality of what youre doing changed in any way?


If you find that you performed better and were more alert after a longer night of sleep, I suggest you try to arrange your schedule so that you can go to bed at that time most nights. Here are some simple techniques to help you get a Good Nights Sleep: 1. Be consistent by going to bed at the same time each night. 2. Brush your teeth. 3. Set the room at a comfortable temperature, at about 68 degrees. 4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow. 5. Be sure to eat your last meal at least three hours before you go to bed. 6. Complete your exercises three hours before going to bed. 7. Turn off the TV, radio, and computer at least two hours before bedtime. 8. Dont smoke or drink alcohol right before bedtime. 9. Diffuse the house with a calming essential oil, like lavender oil. 10. Drink green tea or warm milk before going to bed. 11. Dim the lights and play soft music.

If you find yourself having trouble sleeping every night for two weeks or more, consult with your doctor.

The Bottom Line on Sleep The bottom line is that you should make sleep a must in your life. Develop your own sleep schedule, write it down and do your best to stick to it. Realize that you may not accomplish everything you wanted to do in one day, but that working late only increases your risk of making mistakes. Go to bed, dont lose sleep worrying about what you didnt do, it will all be there in the morning. I had a friend who insisted that she and her family were in bed at 9pm. And, believe me, you couldnt call her after 8:30pm. She stuck to her guns, and I encourage you to do the same.



Renee Wiggins is a registered and licensed dietitian, licensed massage therapist, certified health and wellness coach, and a Christian stress relief coach. Her mission is helping people achieve healthier lifestyles. She encourages, motivates, and coaches her clients to a higher level. Renee specializes in developing lifestyle programs for her clients needs and goals. Her services include weight management, diabetes counseling, coaching, and workshops. Renee is the author of Can I Exercise Sitting Down?, Stress Down and Lift Up: Find Joy in Your Journey, Transformations: Give UP The Struggle (a collection of affirmations that can provide a turning point in your life), and her latest, Being Fabulously Fit for Gods Kingdom: A 40-Day Journey to Wellness.

Renee can be reached at And follow Renee on: Pinterest:


E-books by Renee

Beyond Hypertension: A Pinch of Prevention Comfort Foods: Are They Hurting Us? Essentials to Beating Stress: Tools You Can Use to Relax, Release, and Let Go Stuff the Turkey and Not Yourself Unconventional Snacks: Tasty Healthy Guilt-Free Snack Alternatives for Adults and Kids Is 8 Enough? How Sleep Affects Your Weight


Books By Renee Can I Exercise Sitting Down? Stress Down and Lift Up: Find Joy in Your Journey Transformations: Give UP the Struggle Being Fabulously Fit For Gods Kingdom: A 40-Day Journey to Wellness