Sleep! I’m sure everyone who picks up this month’s newsletter is NAILING sleep habits, having an amazing uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep each night and springs out of bed each morning full of energy for the day. You’re reading this journal to learn tips to share with your best friend…right? 😆. Whatever your reason is for getting ready to click the link, go ahead and do it. Open the article. See if there's something you can do to improve your sleep today!
Monday, April 4th looked a little different inside our gym walls. A lot of people walked away from the gym a little bit sorer, hands raw, bruised and battered, and a bit more tired than their usual Mondays. That would only make sense regarding the fact that we rope climbed the height of Mount Everest in one day. On April 4th, we partnered with the local nonprofit, Mossy Creek Health Initiative(MCHI), to host the Everest Climb Fundraiser. All-day we climbed up and down our gym ropes alongside athletes from in and outside our location to work toward the 2,9031-foot altitude of Mount Everest.
In order to reach our goal, we needed to climb our 15ft ropes 1,936 times, and each climb would represent at least a dollar being donated to the MCHI. Our community truly came together during this event to tackle this feat and support the MCHI. We had 70+ people participate by climbing the ropes, donating to climbs, sponsoring athletes to climb, or climbing virtually. By the end of the day, we completed all 1,936 rope climbs and scaled Mount Everest. Together, we helped raise $2,359 dollars for the MCHI.
Always Forward Scholarship: provides an opportunity for low-income individuals to improve their health and well-being through exercise programs, health coaching, and access to a community of people who value health and wellness.
Mossy Creek Market: a new farmer's market coming to Downtown Jefferson City this summer. It is not only an opportunity to shop for local, fresh, and organic products; but, it is also an occasion to connect with neighbors, support your local farmers and craftsmen, and enjoy the vibrant and rich culture our local vendors have to offer.
Phoenix : a program coming soon to the MCHI that will support those who are recovering from addiction and will help build a sober active community.
Because of your generous donations, the MCHI can continue to build health, connect community, and restore vitality to the local community and those in need. We mean it when we say, “Mossy Creek Fitness is more than a gym”, and it’s boldly exemplified in moments like the Everest Climb. You all came alongside each other and stepped up to be a part of something bigger. You generously gave your time, energy, and financial contributions to help support a great cause and give to those in need.
We can’t thank you enough!
You can learn more about MCHI's work within the community here as well as continue to support these local programs.
Reclaim Your Right to a Full Night’s Rest
Have you ever experienced embarrassment in admitting you have been sleeping eight hours or more each night? Too many of us have. Have you ever been victim to the all too common phrase, “you can sleep when you’re dead”? A phrase that epitomizes society’s detrimental view on rest and the damaging stigma that a full night’s sleep equates to laziness. It is this very mindset that is severely affecting our overall well-being, and, ironically, it is literally bringing death knocking at our doors sooner. According to neuroscientist, Dr. Matthew Walker, we are “the only species that will deliberately deprive ourselves of sleep without legitimate gain”(Why We Sleep). Unfortunately in the modern day world, if you are sleeping enough at night your life must be too easy, you are not doing enough, or you are lazy for choosing rest over ‘productivity’, which in reality is often just busyness. As individuals, we have been so hyper focused on being more, doing more, and having more that we have lost sight of one of the most key and vital functions to our survival and quality of life.
The following paragraphs are not meant to shame you for your current sleep state (ahem, it would be hypocritical not to say I also struggle with about every topic addressed), but rather to very plainly and bluntly lay out why sleep is so critical and encourage you just one step forward towards better rest.
Where did we go wrong?
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 U.S. adults gets less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Looking at sleep over the past few decades, it is estimated that people sleep 2 hours less a day than they did 60 years ago. What has changed? The two biggest cultural factors that currently affect sleep are work-related stress and technology. We are allowing our devices and jobs to take the place of one of our most essential and vital functions. While it may not seem that we are ‘choosing’ less sleep, but are rather forced into this lifestyle; the hard truth is that most of us prioritize many things over sleep that ultimately do not compare in value. We are not set up for success by living in a world that rewards busyness and stigmatizes rest. But no matter the case, the decision to shorten sleep still comes with repercussions that we have to face the harsh reality of.
Research has shown that frequently sleeping less than 6 hours per night increases the risk for infection, cancer, brain tissue loss, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and infertility. Sleep loss affects appetite regulation by increasing hunger hormones and decreasing satiation hormones. It is a direct link to obesity. Habitual short sleep for just one week can disrupt blood glucose levels so significantly that you can be classified as a pre-diabetic. Poor sleep triggers chronic inflammation, which contributes to plaque formation and hardening of arteries which can in turn cause heart attack or stroke. Sleep loss can also lead to a 4 fold decrease in empathy levels. It makes sense why it’s one of our foundational factors of health, for it significantly affects our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The Rewards of Rest
While the detrimental effects of sleep loss can be intimidating and daunting, they can also be channeled as a wake up call to change our sleep habits in order to reap the benefits of rest. Consistently maintaining quality sleep yields the reward of living smarter, happier, and longer. It is our innate superpower, if we choose it. Up until recently, we did not understand the numerous benefits sleep brings or how essential it is to living. If we do it right, we spend a third of our lives asleep which sets us up for success to live out the other two thirds of our life. Our bodies are extremely complex and require a set amount of time every 24hrs to perform system maintenance, so we can continue to operate optimally. “Sleep dispenses a multitude of health-ensuring benefits, yours to pick up in repeat prescription every twenty-four hours, should you choose”(Why We Sleep).
During this system repair at night, memory storage occurs, logical thinking is improved, and creativity boosted. Ultimately, we are better thinkers when we are sleeping more. Sleep also directly impacts our performance during training and physical activity through its repair of broken down muscle tissue and the release of growth hormone; which, helps build muscle mass and regulates fat storage. Sleep also regulates the hormone levels of leptin and ghrelin; which, are integral to appetite and hunger. During sleep deprivation, these hormones are unregulated and basically run rampant. If overeating and cravings are an issue, it is worth looking into your current state of sleep. Overall, quality sleep supports your psychological health, cardiovascular health, mental health, immune system, and metabolic state.
Basic Sleep Tips
Good quality sleep on a regular basis lets your body get the restorative break it needs, and it improves your overall quality of life. When improving rest, some of the most important steps are to be aware of how essential it is and to debunk any social stigmas of being ashamed of choosing sleep. It is challenging when society pulls us in many different ways; however, we have to start making the difficult but critical choice to choose health and rest over busyness, stress, and our devices.
While shifting our overall approach and view on sleep is the primary goal, there are also very practical and tangible steps we can take to start improving our sleep. Below are very basic ways you can set up an optimal environment for good sleep:
If you’re expected to be ‘always on’, sleep may feel decadent. But for a healthy and productive life, it is on par with eating well and exercising regularly. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity. To live an intentional and full life within our individual, family, work, and community spaces, we have to start allowing ourselves to rest and reset appropriately every 24 hours. As we strive towards health, fullness, and vitality, it’s time to not only start reclaiming our need to sleep but to also be proud of ourselves when we achieve it.
Walker, Matthew. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. 1st ed., Scribner, 2017.
“CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” CDC, www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html. Accessed 20 Apr. 2022.
RN, BSN, CF-L1
Do you even do CrossFit if you don't have gear? While I am joking when I say that, there are actually some pretty useful additives out there that will take your CrossFit game to the next level, and be worthwhile investments across the lifespan. These are in no particular order of importance, but listed as they came to my mind ☺️. I'll include links below. Check them out!
SHOES: There are a wide variety of shoes, and much of this category falls under personal preference. Both of these have become crowd pleasers here at our gym. If you're someone who wants to invest in a shoe that does most everything, go with the Trainer+. If you've got some extra finances, having a shoe particularly for running is a great choice for your feet (and subsequently your ankles, shins, knees, hips, etc.) . You'll want to bring these for WOD's that are primarily running or is a 2-part WOD, and you can change into a CrossFit shoe for the remainder/part B. When you can, support your feet! They're the only ones you get : ).
Phil & Jamison talk through the necessity of spending time wisely and provide their key 3 tips on how to do so.