Sleep To Thrive, Not Just Survive

We know getting your zzz’s can be challenging. It’s especially difficult when you have 4 people on a bus, and you’ve driven 30+ hours in 3 days.

A few days into the 2018 Open Road Tour, Barbells for Boobs crew member, Sarah had this to say about the [lack of] sleep on tour:

On the road… Your daytime home, work place, and transportation all become the place you end your day as well. We get our sleep in as soon as the team agrees it is time to stop driving… no later than 2am. The most important thing about the amount of sleep we’re getting is to make sure we are rested enough to show up to the next stop with a smiling face and happy to see our supporters. No one likes a grump!

Other than not being a grump, here are a few other reasons why you might want to consider catching some quality shut eye every night:

  • Be a problem solver. Good sleep enhances your problem-solving skills and memory. Poor sleep can impair brain function.
  • Crush your gym sessions. Sleep is your body’s rebuilding time. Better recovery means improved performance in your workouts.
  • Be a superhuman. Sleeping 7–8 hours per night boosts your immune system. This prevents you from getting acute illnesses like the cold and also reduces your risk of chronic disease like heart disease and cancer.
  • Be a social butterfly. Sleep deprivation can reduce your social skills and ability to recognize people’s emotional expressions.

And here’s the kicker: If you’re a breast cancer survivor, sleep is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT! 

Insomnia is a frequent symptom of many breast cancer treatments, but improving the quality of sleep improves survivorship rates by 1.5 times. It also improves the quality of your life for all of the reasons shown above.

So here are a few simple ways to get better quality sleep (whether you’re Sarah on the road, or a survivor dealing with sleepless nights):

  • Put down the phone and other tech for an hour before bed. These devices make our bodies think it’s still daytime and we won’t get naturally sleepy. Try reading a book by candlelight or hanging out around the campfire if you’re on the road.
  • Make it dark. Even the smallest bit of light can disturb sleep. The Barbells For Boobs road team is taking this advice to heart and covering up all the little lights inside the van with post it notes.
  • Cool it (your sleeping space, that is). Some breast cancer treatments cause night sweats which make it difficult to sleep. Hot and crowded sleeping spaces do that too. Turn on a fan and try sleeping naked before you reach for the thermostat.
  • Get some exercise. Let off some energy during the day and fall asleep easier at night. Something as simple as getting 10,000 steps a day can make a huge difference in health and sleep.

Happy snoozing! Let us know in the comments how you’re working on your sleep.

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