There’s no debate - A good nights sleep makes you feel better. Getting enough sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more.
Unfortunately sleep is an element of a healthy lifestyle that is often neglected; it gets in the way of a busy day….how are you going to burn Calories if you’re sleeping?? This type of thought process ignores the fact that our bodies are active machines….especially when we sleep.
The body repairs itself when sleeping, it needs energy to carry this process out and that’s when you start to tap into those fat stores to help fuel the process.
Our bodies are designed to wake and fall asleep at sunrise and sunset. Photoreceptors in the eye pick up light and send signals to the brain, these then pass from the brain to the adrenal glands which then drip feed cortisol and adrenalin into the blood gradually firing up the bodies systems ie the heart rate slowly increases along with increased function of the respiratory system.
Later in the day when the Cortisol and adrenalin levels dip, the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), along with Melatonin, rises, which promote growth and repair.
Back to reality…….The alarm goes off, you hit snooze. When you do gather the ‘Energy’ to get up you feel sluggish and tired. You have a coffee that artificially stimulates cortisol and adrenalin. The coffee wears off after an hour so another hit is needed - A pattern is set for the day where your body is being artificially ‘jacked up’ on a regular basis, as a result HGH and Melatonin struggle to rise. In addition, blue light from TV’s, laptops and phones help adrenaline and cortisol remain at a high level in the body. All of which leads to a bad nights sleep so the repairing process is poor. You then wake up tired, crave and consume bad food to ‘jack’ the body up…..the cycle starts again!
Prioritising sleep is going to make a huge difference to your energy levels, clarity of thought, mood and motivation.
One good nights sleep is not the answer but there will be immediate improvements. Consistency is the key to making a real difference.
There are a few things that you can act upon immediately to get you started. Here’s a few tips:
- Sleeping 8 hours a night is the optimum amount for any individual but in reality it depends on the person and their commitments. Aim for an earlier night to see if you can grab that extra hour
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee from mid-afternoon
- Relax before you go to bed e.g. stretch, read, have a hot bath
- Dim the lights prior to going to bed
- Keep off mobiles / laptops prior to and when in bed. Treat your bedroom as a sleep haven not an extension of the office
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible
- Invest in a clock that slowly brightens in the mornings www.lumie.com