Five Fun Facts for Friday!

Hey friends!

I’m kinda late for a Friday post, buuuut there was so much alliteration possible I just had to.

Guess what happened to me today.

I SLEPT IN. About an hour. Until 6:50. Whaaaat?

More on giraffes sleeping later.

My theory on this is that my double 6 milers took a lot out of me. Currently I’m still feeling tired – I only ran 5 today, but I also lifted.

In college, I feel a lot of people try to get away with ignoring one of our body’s most important cycles – sleep.

Sleep is important, especially when you’re active. You need to get the right amount though – too much can do harm, and too little definitely does do harm.

Not the best motto, unfortunately.

So, here are five fun facts about why sleep is important:

1. Sleep is when your brain and body recharge, which is especially important for people who exercise and want to see gains. When you don’t sleep enough, your body doesn’t have time to repair your damaged cells from exercise, leaving you prone to injuries and slow recovery. Sleep is also when your body reduces most inflammation, which can lead to faster recovery as well.

2. When you sleep more, your bodies hormones stay at healthier levels, and higher levels of good hormones are present. This is what we want.

3. Sleep is when your immune system is in its top form. So, if you don’t sleep enough, you’ll be more vulnerable to daily viruses and bacteria, and possibly get sick more often/for longer.

4. Sleeping more reduces the amount of cortisol your body produces. Cortisol is a stress hormone which can lead to bad things. Who really wants to be stressed all the time? Not me. Less stress = happy me.

5. Studies have linked more sleep to less heart disease, diabetes, improved memory, longer lifespan, less mental illness, and healthier weights.

Okay, so now you agree with me that sleep is important, right? Here’s five ways to get better sleep:

1. Drink less caffeine, especially after noon.

2. Exercise!

3. Turn the thermostat down. It’s good for the environment, too!

4. Don’t go to bed hungry.

5. Unplug. Don’t do anything that you couldn’t do in the 1800’s for about 30 minutes before bed. Instead of emailing and blogging, turn down the lights and read a book, or study for an upcoming test. It’ll chill you out and signal to your brain that it’s bedtime.

Did you know that a koala sleeps 22 hours a day? A giraffe only sleeps about 2, taken in 10-20 minute naps.

Are you a giraffe or a koala? What helps you fall asleep? Any fun weekend plans?

It's so fluffy I'm gonna die! NAME THAT MOVIE.

Anyways, since I was a koala in a past life, I’m off to bed! I know it’s Friday, but I have a rock nerd field trip tomorrow and I have to get up early to get out on the road before it. I hope you all have a great weekend, and sleep well tonight!



Monday Smarticles

Hello friends!

I do a lot of reading articles on science, because I’m one of those people who enjoys that. You know what that means? I’m introducing a new series on my blog called Monday Smarticles. On Mondays, I’ll post a list of interesting articles I found having to do with running and nutrition (generally), with a little blurb about them.

But first, an update on life!

I’m back at school now, and it’s booooring. But, I only have 18 days until I go home again! I have a lot of work to do, but remember that essay that I didn’t do before break? Apparently, half of my class didn’t do it either, SO we all have a one week extension. Wahoo! It’s mostly done now, but it’s a huge relief to see I’m not the only lazy one. 🙂

I can’t believe the year is almost over! I only have two more weeks of class, and then finals. I only have one final, but I have two papers and a presentation due during finals week. BLAH. Dislike. Before then, I have one paper to finish, one paper to rewrite, a sample quiz in mineralogy, a lab practical, and two other presentations. It’s ridiculous. I’m going to try to post as much as I can, but forgive me if I chose to sleep!!

Today, I had a really great workout. I did HIIT seriously for the first time, and got in about 2 miles of it as a part of my normal workout.It was great! I felt sooo tired afterwards, and much more fulfilled and satisfied with my workout than I do normally. Wahoo!

Here’s a random picture of my outfit for today:

Dunno why this is necessary.. But I'm getting less awkward!!

And.. Smarticles time!

1. Carbs are important. Get them in. I am notorious for not getting enough carbs because I can’t eat gluten and most dairy, which are typical carb sources. It can really hinder your performance mentally and physically! Here’s an article on the importance of carbs. A thing that shocked me in this article? We need 130g of carbs per day for proper brain function, but some low carb diets advocated as little as 20g/day. Wtf? WRONG.

2. Some support for barefoot running. I know some people are against it, but I personally am an advocate of barefoot running. While I do many of my miles in my “minimalist” Kinvara 2’s, I do like to run in my Vibrams. I ran in them exclusively over the summer and most of the fall, and they really strengthened my feet. In laboratory tests, it was shown that there was a 4% save in energy expenditure while running barefoot, meaning it’s more efficient. Also, generally barefoot runners seem to get injured less. Who knows? It works for me. Here’s the article.

3. Why coffee is good for you. Well. Maybe not. BUT, apparently it isn’t as horrible as my grandma would like me to think it is. YES, I am in love with coffee. NO, I will not stop drinking it. Why? Because according to this article, it increases alertness and may put me at less risk for depression, suicide, and liver disease. BOOYA.

Okay! So those are my first smarticles. It’s not a long list.. But I wouldn’t want to run out of smarticles, would I? Nope! So, I’ll see you guys soonish! I hope you had a great Monday! Also, thanks so much for the support on my last post! You guys are great. 🙂

How’s your Monday? Do you like to nerd out and read scientific related articles?