Sleep First, “Fitness” Later

Sleep disorders.

  • insomnia
  • sleep apnea
  • narcolepsy
  • restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)

Just to name a few. There are a few others I left off my list, but are just as important as these five, but for today, we will discuss these TOP 5 sleep disorders and how we can benefit from good sleep that will then indeed carry over to a good workout session & vice versa, how having a good workout will carry over to a better sleep pattern in the long term.

Its no news to us that many people fail to get the optimal amount of sleep necessary each night due to the ever increasing needs of our jobs, families, social life/ night life, school, and other activities that become priority over our sleep schedule. For many “I’ll sleep when I am dead” is the outlook you live by and to be honest, while I understand much can be done when we aren’t sleeping, I still believe that this saying does more harm than help in the long term when it comes to health and well-being. I will start by saying that as a kid, I was up VERY late almost nightly on the weekends with my sibling playing video games, outside, and didn’t think twice about it when it came to getting up for school the next morning because I was willing to make that lack of sleep sacrifice and my body was capable of handling it — whereas my brother was not a morning person, so his lack of sleep only made him more irritable in the morning & harder to wake (I do not miss being late for school due to him, LOL). My mom was definitely strict about bedtimes, but as you know, kids are rebels at times and prefer to break rules than follow them, so while I did have a “bedtime” schedule, it was more or less me hopping into bed staring at my ceiling or sneaking on my electronic(s) at the time and falling asleep hours later. Never been great at falling asleep, nor staying asleep. As I have aged, and grown to have more responsibilities, and hormonal changes, I have now realized how much I value having a decent amount of rest at night.

How many of you were young once, and sleep was optional? LOL

I’ve had both, jobs that required me to work 3rd shift (night til morning) and 1st shift (morning til midday shift) so my sleep changed constantly due to college, work, social outings, etc. and I never really got to a point where my sleep was stable. Even now. I literally have a bedtime during the week that I tell myself to follow in hopes I will be tired by then, but normally, I am laying in bed on my phone or having troubles falling asleep because my body isn’t quite ready to shut down. Yes, there are methods I can take/ have taken and they did work, but again, laziness to make it a habit or I would rather do something else instead impedes my judgement. Which as humans, if we do something, it is because “we feel like doing it”, so if I don’t feel like doing it, then I won’t and same goes for you. However, getting a good night’s rest is very important — it can make or break a workout the next day, it can cause one to become self-reliant on caffeinated beverages, it can cause more stress with lack of sleep, the chances of heart attack increases with lack of sleep, we don’t recover well from workouts when we don’t get ample amount of sleep and we fall victim to moodiness, fatigue, and our brain functions rely heavily on good sleep patterns.

How many of you struggle with falling asleep? What do you do when you lay in bed wide awake?

Sleep Insomnia (I do believe I have this disorder) – persistent difficulty initiation, duration or quality of sleep (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia)

so basically insomnia is when we have troubles falling asleep — there are many different breakdowns to insomnia in which we will not discuss in this post but do know that for those of us who struggle with insomnia, we definitely can make things a tad bit easier for ourselves if we follow through with some nifty tips: restricting use of alcohol/caffeine and nicotine in the evenings, limiting the amount of screen-time before bed, avoid stimulating activities while using your bed (besides sex) — these are just a small few ways to help but most importantly speak with your doctor or a specialist in sleep to better help you!

Sleep apnea – a condition where you repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep. (https://www.sleepapnea.org/learn/sleep-apnea/)

Sleep apnea is linked to health conditions such as diabetes type 2, depression, stroke and high blood pressure to name a few. There a few treatments one can use: CPAP therapy, lifestyle change (weight loss, the positioning of your body while you sleep), dental work, and possible surgery. Keep in mind, that if you believe you are someone who struggles with sleep apnea, seek medical advice from a doctor for further options because if left untreated can hinder your daytime activities (falling asleep while driving or operating machinery, etc) both putting you at risk for injury or death.

Narcolepsy – excessive daytime sleepiness. (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/narcolepsy)

There are different type of narcolepsy in which we will not discuss in this post but even though a rare condition, many people suffer from this disorder. The treatment options for narcolepsy are not cures, but rather a form of treatment to increase the quality of life and help with the improving safety and reducing symptoms. Medication is one form of treatment for some, while others will do behavioral therapy (exercise, nutrition, practicing healthy sleep hygiene, etc) things that will improve their lives. If you believe you suffer from a form of narcolepsy, please seek medical assistance from a doctor.

Restless leg syndrome – An intense, irresistible urge to move your legs (arms and body as well) and occurs with other sensations in your limbs such as creeping, throbbing, tugging, itching, burning, crawling.. etc. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9497-restless-legs-syndrome)’

Treatments range from good exercise habits, following good sleep habits, again avoiding caffeinated beverages or alcohol before bedtime, for others, it may lead to having to take a form of medication prescribed by a doctor. For the limbs, applying a heat pad or cold pack or massaging the legs for temporary leg relief from discomfort. Please speak with a medical professional if you believe you suffer from this disorder.

REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) – Sudden body movements and vocalizations while a person experiences vivid dreams during REM sleep. (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/parasomnias/rem-sleep-behavior-disorder)

Treatments vary with each individual pending on their needs. It can be anything from medications (melatonin) being first of the many, helping one to avoid triggers (using alcohol or certain prescription drugs), and injury prevention techniques (removing sharp objects, placing padding on the floor around the bed, possibly putting mattress on the floor, removing furniture and clutter away from the bed, among many other things that will be helpful to those who suffer from this disorder). If you are experiencing this sleep disorder, please seek medical advice from a doctor.

Now that we have had the breakdown of five different sleep disorders, and all of which we discussed healthy methods to help with each — from this information I shared alone, it definitely gives you a perspective of how important sleep can be and all the health problems that can stem from poor sleeping patterns. We have become accustom to the everyday on the go society that we don’t manage to put our sleep first, and the consequences of doing so start to catch up to us overtime; making things more difficult when we do finally do something about it. Habits are important to instill when it comes to practicing good sleep hygiene and healthy behaviors that allow for us to live a lifestyle that is safe, healthy and brings forth our best selves. It doesn’t mean, we should quit our jobs, leave our families and become hermits, BUT instead, we need to think about how we want to contribute to our jobs, families, friends and activities we enjoy and the best way we can start is by sleeping (allowing our bodies to rest fully) and addition to sleep, getting a good exercise regimen started. Longevity is KEY!

What methods do you use to fall asleep at night?

Do you suffer from any of the above sleep disorders, share your experiences in the comment section.

What is your bedtime ritual that helps you stay on top of good sleeping patterns?

Anyone that wants to share their experiences with sleep.. leave comments! love to hear them!

Thanks for reading

Shay-lon Moss

The #FitnessWonderWoman

need a trainer to keep you accountable? — contact me!

Published by WonderWoman & Fit

You can assume I have a love for fitness & a love for Wonderwoman -- both assumptions are correct. I am an ACSM certified personal trainer of 8+ years -- I currently reside in Ohio and live a simplistic life at the age of 29. If I am not lifting, I am eating, sleeping, traveling, exploring, or movie watching. I recently moved during a pandemic, now I am focused on self care (self love), building a business of my own in personal training, becoming a professional blogger, starting a podcast and doing things that make me happy! I am a sister, daughter, and loyal friend --- I love everyone's dog and I am on a mission to pet as many dogs as possible everywhere I go! LOL. My mission is to talk health (physical/mental), design programming, motivational speak, learn, grow, prosper, build others and make as many people smile as possible because I want nothing more than to be the change I seek in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: