A few weeks ago we had our biannual meeting of our Health Advisory Board at work out in LA. It's two days of "pinch me" moments with some of the most intelligent (and happily, humble and lovely) people on the planet. I wouldn't be surprised if The Wizard of Oz or Yoda strolled in and sat down. "No, surprise me it would not". It's just that kind of surreal.
Anyway, one of the new additions to the team is the brilliant and charming, Dr. James Maas, internationally renown expert and author on all things sleep.
I'm still trying to process and integrate what he told us in just an hour (and I'm going to read his latest book, Sleep for Success) but the bottom line is most of us aren't getting near enough sleep and it's wrecking havoc with pretty much everything in our society.
Everything from mental health, to education, to car accidents to obesity and more can be connected to lack of sleep. All of our social media and electronic addictions are only making matters worse. You know you're sleep deprived if you fall asleep in 5 minutes or less.
Whaaat? Who takes 5 whole minutes to fall asleep?! Come on, Dude! I was really proud of that one.
I know everyone in the room was doing exactly what I was as we listened, trying to figure out just how far off the mark we are in terms of our own sleep hygeine.
So here off the top of my head are some of the keys to getting proper rest that MOSTof us (and by most I mean me) aren't following.
- No caffeine after 2 PM (um....so you're saying a huge iced coffee at 5 PM is bad?!)?
- Same sleep and rise time 7 days per week (bleck, really?! I'm going to pretend I didn't read that one)
- No alcohol (at first I liked this guy...I really did)
- A cool, dark room (Okay, cool. I think I have that -- well, at least until the sun rises)
- No lights in our faces from things like alarm clocks (what am I suppose to look at whenever I turn over?)
- Getting 7-9 hours per night (oh, I get it...he's really a stand-up comedian)
So as depressing as all of this was, I'm going to read the book and find out how badly I'm doing and how it's messing me up.
I'll report back with the bad news (as if the no coffee and booze thing wasn't bad enough).
Geralyn Coopersmith, MA, CSCS is the Senior National Director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, an educator, exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and author of Fit and Female: The Complete Fitness & Nutrition Game Plan for Your Unique Body Type.
Geralyn has been featured many TV shows, including: The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show and Fox and Friends. She has been quoted in:The New York Times, Shape, Self, Fitness, People, Us, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Oprah.com, Yahoo.com and more.