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Bed Time Blog

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Today I want to talk about sleep. How much sleep you get a night plays the biggest factor in your overall health. Getting enough will boost your performance is all areas of life. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, sleep will help get you there faster. The average person gets around 6 hours of sleep a night. This is definitely not enough! You may think that’s all you need but you are short changing yourself.

One of the best analogies I’ve heard comes from Dr. Kirk Parsley. Imagine yourself in a bar and you’ve had one drink. You think to yourself,” I better not have anymore, I need to drive soon.” Then peer pressure happens and you end up having a few more. You then start thinking a cab will be in order. After that fourth drink you suddenly say, “I feel fine! I can drive home.” What happened here was you lost your self-awareness. Sleep deprivation happens in the same manner!

So what are the side effects of not getting enough sleep? Lets say a loss of around 2 hours. A reduction in testosterone is one. Studies show that one night of poor sleep can reduce testosterone levels by 30%. Talk about a hit on performance. Insulin and leptin sensitivity decreases, leading to increased hunger throughout the day. Let’s face it, you won’t be craving veggies. What you will be craving is sugar. This will obviously lead to weight gain. For those of you wanting to lose a few pounds, the best place to start is sleep. Possibly the scariest detriment to sleep deprivation is a decrease in brain myelination. This can lead to a decrease in cognitive function. Leading to possible poor decision making. I think it’s safe to say that our brains fairly important. Sleep is when our bodies repair, when imprint new things that we’ve learned, and when our bodies de-stress.

How much sleep should we be getting? For an adult the average amount of sleep they should be getting is 7.5 hours a night. This may vary depending on daily stress, whether they are physical or mental. The more stress you have, the more sleep you need.

So let’s look at some things you can do to get the ZZZ.

·         Shut off all electronics at least an hour before bed. This means anything that emits a blue light (A melatonin suppressor). You can get cool blue blocking glasses to help with this.

·         Avoid stimulants like caffeine

·         Sleep in a cool environment

·         Wear a sleep mask and ear plugs

·         Associate your bed with sleep. Meaning don’t read or watch TV there.

I hope this helps some of you out there.

Sleep well,