How and Why to Optimise Your Sleep
Most of us know or have heard that we should be getting between 7-8 hours of sleep per night, but how many of us can actually say that we get a good night’s sleep and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed? Let’s take a deeper look into what happens while we sleep and how we can get a better night’s rest.
Why is sleep important?
We spend over 30% of our life, on average, sleeping. Sleep is crucial in many ways but most notably for the health of our:
Endocrine (Hormone) System
We are aiming to get into the stage of sleep known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) which is where the best repairs happen, it gets its name because our eyes flicker back and forth very fast as if you were looking around quickly…or watching a fast game at Wimbledon! This is also the stage in which our dreams are more vivid. REM sleep happens about 40-60 minutes after you’ve gone to sleep and happens numerous times throughout the night and you stay in this stage for longer each time and you benefit more every time.
What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
If you aren’t getting enough good quality sleep then you won’t be recovering very well from exercise as the tissue repair processes are slowed down, your hormones can become out of balance and your CNS (Central Nervous System) will be put under a lot of stress as it won’t be able to recover properly which will more than likely make you feel run down and reach for the coffee.
Also, there has been a good amount of research linking sleep deprivation and obesity together. We have two main hormones that control appetite, the first one is Ghrelin which is a hunger hormone and tells your brain that you need to eat. The other is Leptin which controls your appetite by telling your brain that you are full. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can raise Ghrelin levels and suppress Leptin which can lead to weight gain and would explain why when you are tired you may feel the urge to go and raid your fridge more often than usual.
Right, now that you know how important sleep really is and what your body can encounter when it doesn’t get enough of it, what can you do to optimise your sleep?
Take the above steps as well as trying to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible and you will sleep better and feel a lot healthier and more energetic. If you would like to know more or discuss how I can help you through diet & exercise then contact me now!