What if I told you that there was a miracle drug that helps you live longer, improves your memory, boosts your creativity, and makes you more attractive. This miracle drug also keeps you lean while lowering those annoying food cravings.
What if I told you that this miracle drug lowers the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes. You’ll feel less depressed and anxious, have more energy and confidence
What if I told you this miracle drug was completely free of charge available on tap and YOU had the power over its effectiveness.
What is it?
Sleep is essential to a fit body and mind, and one of the most important factors in maintaining optimal health. In our busy lives, with deadlines, long working hours, family obligations, workouts to get in, and socialising to do, it can be very tempting to add a few extra hours to your days by stealing a few from your sleep schedule. Doing this occasionally, won’t be a problem. Doing it regularly will decrease your effectiveness all around – your metabolism will slow down, your appetite will increase, your ability to concentrate will decrease, you’ll have less energy to truly reach high intensity in your workouts, you’ll start to feel like you need a coffee to get through the day etc. All this will further tempt you to rob precious hours from your sleep, as you try to catch up with everything else!
Nobody cares that you are tired………
……It’s just an excuse to cover up the fact that you’re not looking after yourself.
Your daily sleep cycles involve a delicate balance between the hormones cortisol and melatonin. Ideally, your cortisol levels should start to increase during the early hours of the morning, peak sometime around mid-day, and slowly start to decline throughout the rest of the day. As darkness falls and you hit the sack, your body is primed to release melatonin to trigger sleep and restoration.
If your cortisol curve is off, your sleep patterns will be thrown out of whack and you won’t get the full benefits of deep and healthy sleep.
Image originally appears on Wikipedia
why these times?
Your body works on a hormonal clock (circadian rhythm).
From sunset onwards are bodies are designed to wind down and our bodies will increase the production of growth and repair hormones. Around 10:30 at night your body releases melatonin, your hormone to help you relax and fall asleep. The hormone melatonin also acts as an antioxidant in your body to help heal and fight off disease. It’s known as the phase of physical repair. This is a very important, especially for those that have been doing any kind of physical exercise throughout the day. The physical repair cycle is from about 10-2am. Your muscles need this time to get the best results for repair and growth. So if you are someone that goes to bed at 12 then you will only get 2 hours of physical repair. Not ideal!
In addition around 12-3am your body releases Growth hormone (your anti-aging hormone) to help build lean muscle mass, burn FAT, and promote healing of the skin, joints, organs etc.
From 2-6am most of our immune/ repair energies are used for psychological repair. This has a lot to do with brain function and neurological repair and a loss of sleep in this time can result in increased headaches, personality and neurological disorders and musculoskeletal injuries.
Numerous studies show that when we stay up late, and get too little sleep, or have restless sleep, we are far more likely to GAIN weight. Why?
- When we are tired we crave sugars and caffeine. Thus we throw our hormones out of whack and increase our body fat
- Our growth hormone becomes suppressed, thus its fat metabolizing effects decrease
- Melatonin is suppressed, our body does not heal properly thus we can become sluggish and weak
- Our workouts suffer
- Our minds are slower and we get less done so we stay up late again to finish our job
So do these simple tasks to immediately improve your sleep and take control of your health
- Turn off electronics 60-90 minutes before bed ( including the TV, tablets and phones). Those bright lights piercing into your eyes right before bed mess with your brain waves, significantly reducing high-quality sleep.
- Strategise your last meal. Heavy meals and overeating, in general, require a lot of digestion energy and interfere with high-quality sleep.
- Develop a bedtime ritual. Our bodies like predictability when it comes to resting
- Meditate Stress in the right amounts is beneficial, but when there’s too much of it, recovery lowers
- Exercise. The brain compensates for the physical stress by increasing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep
- Give your caffeine a curfew