Sleep Your Way to a Healthier You

When is the last time you had a good night's sleep? If you have to think back to your elementary school days, with a blanket in one hand and a teddy bear in the other, chances are you are not getting enough sleep. Like a proper diet and regular exercise, sleep is vital for a healthy lifestyle.

As an athlete you are well accustomed to incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. Unfortunately, sticking to your sound nutrition plan and participating in regular exercise does not guarantee you a high quality lifestyle.

A successful and powerful woman demonstrates productivity not only during the daytime hours, but also when she lies down to sleep.  Amazingly, the body and mind become even stronger when you are counting your sheep at night.  

Sleep allows the brain to organize thoughts, skills and habits acquired during the day. Waking up rested gives you the mental energy to master the day's tasks and fosters the ability to concentrate and remember significant details.

Sleep also helps you prepare for future races. By forgoing even an hour of sleep on a daily basis you are not only sacrificing peak race performance but promising yourself a first place finish for daily errors, mistakes and slip-ups.

Unfortunately, contemporary routines often interfere with sleep time. Because there is too much to do, in far too little time, sleep becomes less of a necessity and more of an inconvenience.  

While no set number of hours works best for everyone, research suggests getting seven to eight hours of sleep during the workweek, and you should keep your sleep cycle consistent during the weekends.  In reality, many adults sleep less than 6.5 hours per night, starving their brain from reaching its full potential.

Try eliminating coffee and soft drinks, and establish a regular sleeping plan. You will begin to recognize how much sleep you need to feel fully rested. 

In order to become the powerful woman that you aspire to be, keep the exercise and healthy diet and give yourself some extra zzzz's.

Nighty night.


Iron Girl's mission is to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle.  Started in 2004 with two 10K/5K events, Iron Girl has grown to 10 events nationwide, consisting of run/walk, duathlon and triathlon. The brand has been featured in USA Today, The New York Times and Women's Health, among others.  Visit www.IronGirl.com.

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