Hello all! I hope you are closing up another successful week. In this blog, we are going to talk about Tom Rath’s new book, Eat Move Sleep.
You may recognize Tom’s name from his other best-selling book, StrengthFinder 2.0. This is a book that he wrote through the Gallup organization and I’m sure many of you have already taken Clifton StrengthFinder. If you haven’t, make sure that you contact me because I can help with that. Tom, wrote this book because he was diagnosed at the age of 16 with Von Hippel-Lindau, a genetic disorder often referred to as VHL disease. At this point, he did a ton of research to attempt to figure out how to live a happier, healthier life. Because he knew he knew his time was going to be limited and he knew he needed to figure out a way to live longer and live happier. There was a lot of research that went into this book and Tom continues to do research in these areas covered in Eat Move Sleep. There are 30 chapters in the book and the book starts out by stating that two-thirds of Americans are either obese or overweight. In the 30 chapters, it talks about sleep, movement, and also eating. Here are a couple of key points I pulled out about the sleep section
Are you a family or a team at work?
- Anders Ericson did a human performance study, many of you will know this as the 10,000 hours study. It states that if you work on something for 10,000 hours you become an expert at it. But there is another part of this study that not many people talk about and that is the part on sleep. In his research, Tom found that the top-performing athletes, and top performing people, generally get an average of eight hours and thirty-six minutes of sleep a night. While the average American gets only six hours and fifty-one minutes a night. That means that many of us are actually sleep deprived. Research has shown that 95% of us need 7-9 hours of sleep. One way to get gradually better at sleeping for the allotted time is to add 15 minutes of sleep a night until you wake up in the morning feeling totally rested. There are, of course, different ways to measure that. The first is just general well-being and the happiness that you feel. The second is to get yourself one of those fitness measurement devices, and Iwatch or a Fitbit. (I personally use the Fitbit) These devices will be able to tell you your restful nights because you can be in bed for a long time and not actually get any ‘restful sleep’. You may have to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you found that level of sleep that leaves you feeling restful and ready to take on the day. According to one scientist who has studied sleep extensively. Missing only four hours of sleep is equivalent to drinking a 6-pack of beer. So if you normally get seven hours of sleep and you suddenly get only 4, the next day you would function as if you had just drunk a 6-pack of beer. Sleep can have a huge impact on how you function, how you feel, and how you perform. Tom makes sure to mention that you sleep at cooler temperatures. If you have a house that has different temperature gauges, you could actually make one level of your house cooler than the others.
As far as movement goes, sitting actually increases the risk of heart disease. Sitting is called basically a heart attack maker. Many of us have jobs today that require sitting a lot. What Tom recommends in the book is that every 20 minutes you actually get up and move a little bit. In fact, five minutes of movement can increase your mood dramatically. Many smartwatches today will actually buzz you to get you to move after a certain amount of inactivity. What they have found, which many of you, I’m sure, have read, is that these bands will also go off once you’ve reached 10,000 steps. 10,000 steps is known as the magic number of the least amount of movement one should make in a day. Exercising will improve your mood for the next 12 hours. So a good reason to exercise in the morning or over the lunch hour is that it increases your mood. Physical activity has also been proven to improve sleep. Many who relied on pharmaceuticals to fall asleep or stay asleep found that if they exercised, they would sleep better at night. Another thing that is important to a lot of us is exercising actually slows down the aging process. Scientists have actually proved this.
Now onto the section on eating. Set a goal to eat food that is one gram of carbs for every gram of protein. Also, when you have those good foods put them at eye-level in the pantry or fridge. Put your fruit and vegetables out where you can see them. Easy access is the key. As American, we eat a lot of sugar. To help decrease your sugar intake replace the chips, candies, and other unhealthy snacks with nuts, fruit. Seeds, apples, celery, and carrots. Tom also recommends using smaller plates. People generally tend to fill the plate they are given. So the smaller the plate, the smaller the portion. Also, Tom says to use dark colored dishes. This is because your food will blend into the plate a little more and scientists state that we will eat a little less when the dishes are darker.
A key for leaders, many leaders of organizations will start a wellness program. So we want to make sure that we do is to put your own health and wellbeing first. It goes back to a past blog of mine on taking care of yourself first, where I mentioned the airplane oxygen mask theory. The speed of the leader, speed of the team concept is another one that works with the lessons in this book. If the leader is saying one thing, like eat healthier, but you don’t eat well. The team won’t follow the program as well. They will look to you as the leader to set an example for them to follow. I’d like to end this blog with a quote from Tom Rath.
“Eat right, move more, and sleep better.”
For information on coaching for individuals or for your team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website. You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @coachjeffgarrett, or listen to my podcast The Coach Jeff Garrett Show, coming in mid-September. Remember, Be Great!