Do you struggle to get to sleep? Is the quality of your slumber as good as it could be?
Are you waking refreshed or dragging yourself out of bed at half tilt?!
Sleep interests me as a Personal Trainer because the LACK of it has so many implications for my clients. We did a workshop recently with CRUSH IT, (Thursdays 6 - 7.15), and nearly all of us needed to improve this important aspect of our lives!
If a client's eating right, (not too many refined carbs, sugar or alcohol), yet present with a bloated tum they can’t shift, ‘sleepy’ questions would be my next port of call!
It is now well established: A shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin. A disaster as hormone Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain, (and suppresses appetite).
Worse: lack of sleep yields cravings for high-carbohydrate foods - as we’re flagging and they give us access to quick, but short lived energy. And as we also know: being tired impairs judgement so that isn’t going to help either!
You can see why managing sleep should be an important consideration of any fat loss programme!
As always with everything we do, we should look to our ancient hunter gatherer ancestors for inspiration.
Back then we were sophisticated enough to relate to what we are now, yet not still swinging off trees.
Still ‘raw’, earthy and working with circadian harmony: We hunted by day, ate our fill, sat around a fire by night (don’t the best parties always end up around a bonfire?!), then slept under the stars, the earth cooling as night fell.
Morning time we’d wake to a rising sun (and temperature) with the light slowly increasing, and start the day again.
It’s how far we deviate from this natural, and evolutionary process that determines how deep and effective our sleep will be.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary in this respect, so keep it calm and unstimulating. Drop the temperature before you go to bed. Open a window. Invest in the best mattress you can afford, and avoid ‘blue screens’ (laptop, smart phones etc).
Avoiding caffeine is obvious but if you’re over 50, avoid from midday! (We cannot deal with caffeine as well as when younger).
Lastly, the need for 8 hours is a myth. If you’d like the formula to work out how much sleep YOU need as an individual, as well as my full fact sheet, on this complex subject, please email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
And as a bonus, I'll attach a link to a video I made which will show you a trick which will put an end to those nights where you can't sleep due to endless mind chatter!