Book Review: The Year of Simple Living

The Year of Simple Living is written by Steph Parrell

She is the creator of ScaleitSimple.com. She wrote this book as a guide to living a more simple life over the course of one year.

The book starts off with the author listing the benefits beyond financial to living a more simple, back to nature lifestyle. She also goes into how her grandparents lived and how she started exploring their way of life a little more.

The concept of the book are working through 12 different areas in the span of 12 months. The challenge is to take the full month and do every part with an open mind, so I cannot tell you how much of an impact it has had already, I’m just getting started with month one but I will update over the course of the 12 months.

If you’re feeling stressed, frazzled and you’re wanting to live a less stressful, simpler and more natural life, this book is definitely worth the read. Remember, nothing happens literally overnight- so how this book is broken down month by month and all the aspects of your life are laid out, this makes it easier for beginners to the lifestyle to ease into the change.

Book Review: The Whole30 Day by Day

The Whole30 Day by Day is a journal. It’s best to buy than check out so you can write in the book.

It gives you a day by day on what to expect, possible symptoms and gives you a place to write encouraging thoughts as well as record your feelings, cravings and thoughts.

It’s a very helpful guide that helps track cravings and helps you get through the challenge easier- because it warns you how you will possibly feel, you can get an action plan started and continue on the journey.

Anyone else doing Blogtober?

I totally forgot this was a thing, but decided to do this with 4 websites.

Since I’m letting my “primary” site expire (it was an experiment and it filled it’s need, so the special extras are expiring), I’m going to use this challenge this month to up my content on all four niche sites.

I’m going to try to keep with the fall/Halloween theme but also thinking winter/Christmas/Thanksgiving- crafts and of course, allergy friendly recipes.

 

This will coinside with a major holiday promotion I’m starting today as well as prep for Campnano next month, so I’ll be leaving one challenge to enter another.

If anyone is doing Blogtober, I’d love to see some links in the comments

 

Why is Sleep Such an Important but Neglected Resource?

This post does contain an affiliate link, so I will be paid a small commission for any purchase of the book but I am NOT affiliated with the book itself, I just found the book extremely useful and want to recommend it.

In our society and age, the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is used quite often. People don’t think twice about sleep when they have work to get done and sleep is often sacrificed. Our society is sicker than ever with heavy caffeine dependencies. I was constantly joking about being sleep deprived, then I found the book, “Sleep Smarter” and it’s changing how I’m looking at the most valuable resource to health, weight loss/healthy weight, younger looking skin and productivity.

According to Medical News Today’s website

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2015 recommendations for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups are:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day

  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours

  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours

  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours

  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours

  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours

  • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours

  • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

Here in our current overwork/workaholic state, we deem working more important than sleeping but there have been studies showing that sleep deprivation is as bad for your brain as a night of binge drinking. As you lose sleep, part of your brain starts to shut down- it causes you to lose impulse control, slows your reflexes, slows your mind down and you also lose focus. It causes changes in moods and cuts off sugar to the brain- which powers it and is why you start craving junk food- and lose the will power to resist.

Sleep repairs your mental state as well as helps your body heal and grow. It is impossible to work your best, be your best and look your best if you’re running on little sleep.

If you suffer any of these symptoms, you could be suffering sleep deprivation

  1. Excessive yawning
  2. Mood swings
  3. Trouble grasping even simple new concepts
  4. Feelings of zoning out and even losing touch with reality
  5. Forgetting
  6. Fatigue- constant
  7. Feeling excessively tired, even after sleeping for longer periods
  8. Trouble with concentration
  9. Clumsiness
  10. Craving sweet and junk foods
  11. No motivation for anything

Sleep deprivation has many effects on the body

  1. Lowered immune system
  2. Weight gain
  3. Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases
  4. Hormone production (sleep helps growth in children)

If you feel that you’re being affected by sleep deprivation, there are plenty of steps to take to fix it. The book I’m reading, “Sleep Smarter,” by Shawn Stevenson outlines 21 ways and the science to back them up. If you haven’t read it, I suggest reading it.

You can get it here.

 

Some of the ways listed (that have scientific backing)

  1. Set a schedule to always go to bed and wake up around the same time.
  2. Turn off all electronics 2 hours before bedtime
  3. Sleep with a cooler room temperature
  4. Don’t consume caffeine too late in the afternoon
  5. Keep in mind that we sleep in cycles- each full cycle is 90 minutes (1 1/2 hours) so try to set an alarm at the end of a cycle (2 full is 3 hours, 4 is six hours and 5 would be 71/2). If you wake up in the middle of a cycle, that is why you’re tired and groggy. In order to fully function and feel refreshed, you need full cycles.

The book goes in depth about the importance of the steps and has another 16 tips but those are the ones I am personally working on and have found to be of particular use in my home.

As you can see, sleep is a very important resource that we do not get near enough of. There is no use to stay up all night working on a project- you might “finish” the project, but it will not be your best if you’re too tired, the two hours after you wake up are said to be the most productive hours of your day- so that is the best time to work on important projects.

If anyone feels like I did, like no matter how much sleep you get you are never functionally awake, read this book. Just a few days after reading it and working on changing a few things, I feel more energetic and don’t take as long to get out of bed as I used to.