There's three distinct areas that all work together to help obtain a solid healthy lifestyle. Activity, diet, and sleep. Our world doesn't make it easy to accomplish any of them in a stress-free fashion.
To be active, you have to do things over and above, when you really just want to relax after a long day's work. The employer expects a certain level of effort which can be draining on its own.
Eating healthy costs more than eating unhealthy and it takes longer to prepare meals – eating into that after-work relaxation even more.
And, sleep. A vigorous work day, a busy home life, and an environment not conducive to fully restful hours makes it tough to get into a deep, restorative state. But, just like you have to make active decisions about exercise and eating, you have to make conscious improvements to sleep. I doubt there's too many people that think about sleep when they think about an overall fitness improvement plan, but it's just as important as that extra mile or that last rep. Restful sleep should be the goal, but few rarely obtain it.
I'm a highly active person. I lift weights three times a week and run about 50 miles a week. And, I definitely have the healthy eating habits, swearing off sugar and salt and digging into a diet of mainly vegetables. But, until I bought the Microsoft Band, I had no clue as to my sleeping habits. And, I can now clearly see that my sleep function needs work. Granted, I'm just now coming through the other side of the flu bug, but my sleep habits aren't good.
I'm clearly waking up too much, spending too much time falling asleep, and really never get into a fully restful state.
I track everything that I can. Mileage, reps, lifting gains, and food. But, this is the first time that I've been able to get a direct portal inside my sleeping habits. And, like I do with the data I glean from exercise and diet, I'm now motivated to improve.
So, this is an intro to a series as I'll be working to improve my sleep and sharing things that work and gains and losses with all of you.