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“Sleep is perhaps the greatest legal performance-enhancing ‘drug’ that few people are taking advantage of”Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep
Can you remember the last time you woke up without an alarm clock, feeling refreshed and didn’t need a hit of caffeine to get you through the morning?
A consistent 7-9 hours of sleep each night is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health every day.
Trying to survive from less than 7 hours sleep each night, will leave you quite simply trying to survive throughout the following day whilst hijacking your health progress too.
Sleep and your hormones
A poor night’s sleep hikes up your production of the hunger hormone, Ghrelin, which increases the likelihood of overeating and packing on weight.
Poor sleep simultaneously reduces levels of the hormone Leptin which triggers the stop mechanism you experience when you’re full.
The hike in hunger drive and repressed hunger control is a brutal combination if you’re trying to lose or control your weight.
Everyday life in the 21stcentury is working greatly against our body’s natural sleep cycle.
Let me explain…
Your body reacts to the level of sunlight by producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
When light levels drop melatonin release is ramped up, this triggers tiredness and starts the process of your body down-regulating for sleep.
However, our daily exposure to devices such as phones, tablets, computers and T.V’s trick the body into thinking it’s still daylight outside.
This is due to the type of light waves electronic devices emit, known as blue light.
Instead of melatonin being released and our body’s down-regulating ready for sleep we instead block the release of melatonin and offset our own sleep pattern.
It is much harder for the body to progress into the later phases of the sleep cycle and gain benefit from the restorative nature of sleep.
Your sleep is therefore more disrupted and can be classed as being of a lower quality.
But fear not, all is not lost!
Digestible advice to improve sleep
Are you ready to reclaim your right to a good quality night’s sleep?
Here are the digestible steps you can start working on right now;
- Set a consistent bed time each night.
- Set a consistent wake up time each day.
- Reduce caffeine intake to 400 mg per day + no later than 2pm.
- Reduce screen time + Install F.lux software onto computer, tablet and mobile.
- Use ‘Warm’ lighting in your bedroom not L.E.D white lighting.
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