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July 25, 2007

First off.I'm sorry about last week

I wrote a blog entry for last week. It was pretty good too. Funny pictures, pithy story, humorous ending...it looked good. However, while reviewing it I realized that it has some personal information about me that I didn't really feel comfortable posting on the Internet. And I couldn't figure out a way to remove it without completely messing up the rest of the content. So I just trashed it.

This week I'd like to talk about a subject that often gets neglected when thinking about weight loss and overall health..sleep.

My lovely wife, Heather and I bought a brand new mattress back when we first got together. And now, over ten years later, we are starting to feel that our faithful mattress is ready to retire. Which sounds about right as a normal mattress lifespan is between 8 - 15 years.

yellowmite-758444  FACTIOD: I know that dust mites live in mattresses. They consume the skin flakes that we lose when we sleep. Now I've heard a rumor that a mattress will actually double in weight from the time it is brand new to the time it reaches its 10th year of use. This is supposedly due to the dust mites and the waist they leave behind. My first impulse was to believe this.my second was to see if it was actually true. Finally I found a site that quoted Larry Arlian, professor of biological sciences, microbiology, and immunology at Wright State University, "It's nonsense. I don't know where that originated. They're not that prolific."

When you calm down and actually think this out, it doesn't make sense that mites would fill up a mattress like that. They live off our skin flakes..so they should be found on the top part of the mattress. It is theorized that some one probably took a sample from that top portion of the mattress and used the high amount of dust mites and mite dung to extrapolate what the rest of the mattress would contain.

Another theory about this is that some one noticed that when they lifted an old mattress, it would bow in the middle like it could no longer support its own weight. While this is true of old mattresses it is actually due to the fact that the structure of mattress has been weakened by age and constant use.

Not that dust mites aren't a problem. To people that have allergies, these dust mites can cause a multitude of issues. END FACTOID

Anyway, we load up and go look at mattresses. Heather suggested an outlet in Gastonia. So we went to have a look. I've never been in a mattress outlet before. Its sort of a weird way to shop. Unlike a furniture store, all they sell is mattresses. So the whole showroom floor is wall to wall mattresses. And it is weird hoping from bed to bed checking each one of our sleeping positions. In the end we found what we wanted and got it delivered to the house.

sleep1-726419 You might be thinking, "How does this relate to weight loss?"

My smartass answer would be, "When do you think actual weight loss happens?"

The answer of course is when you sleep. You DON'T loss weight when you workout. You DON'T loss weight when you watch TV. You do it when you sleep.

This is the time when your body repairs the damage you did to your muscles while weight lifting as growth hormones levels increase. It is when we process memory, energy is restored, and we build up cortisol (the stress hormone) so we will wake up alert.

homesleep-710143 NOTE: If you don't get enough sleep, you will not have enough cortisol built up in your system to help you achieve alertness when you wake up.

And it is the ONLY time of day when you are allowed to go 8 - 9 hours without eating.

Speaking of eating, one of the other things that sleep does is it helps us to balance our appetites (by regulating other hormones). This is why when you don't get enough sleep, you have a tendency to eat more and gain weight.

Lack of Progress Report

I haven't been doing so well with this challenge. I seem to be stalled. And what is worse, I am stalled at 11 pounds up from my lowest weight.

So I'm reviewing and cleaning up my diet. Which will probably go a long way as my diet has been anything but clean.

rings-755275 My muscle mass has increased and my strength has been growing pretty rapidly. I can bench press in the same level as when I was a gymnast back in high school.

Not too shabby.

So I'll keep plugging away at it. In the meantime, you can all get off my web site!

Oh.and speaking of the website, I'm working on making changes on it again. So you might notice some of the pictures are offline. It will all get switched over to the new look soon. Thanks for your patience.

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