The importance of sleep, relaxation and creating rituals before bed.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of recovery, weight management and muscle build and yet we rarely afford sleep the same attention as nutrition or training.
During sleep your body is working hard to repair, recover, build, strengthen, grow and defend. While you rest:
· Cerebral spinal fluid flushes through the brain, cleaning out waste products from cells.
· Breathing and heart rates slow and blood pressure decreases.
· Hormones are released that aid in repairing tissues
Most research indicates that less than 7 hours of sleep correlates with being heavier, gaining weight, risk of disease, cancer and struggling to lose weight. Sleep is the foundation needed to support exercise and healthy eating habits.
When people don't get enough sleep, it can become more challenging to control behaviour and inhibitions. They might be more likely to seek pleasure in foods and replace exercise-related activities with those that offer a "quick fix" reward, such as surfing the Internet or watching television.
Cortisol spikes in the morning, providing energy for the day, and reduces at night, encouraging sleep. When sleep habits are poor, and stress is high, cortisol levels remain elevated, which may inhibit weight loss and disrupt sleep.
If you are having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, try the following tactics:
· Rise within 30 minutes of the same time every day.
· Get into bed with the lights out at the same time each night.
· Prioritise relaxing, stress-free evening activities that help wind you down to rest.
· Avoid stimulating evening activities until you get into a sleep rhythm.
· Avoid electronics and blue spectrum light exposure one hour before bed.
· Reduce or, ideally, eliminate alcohol and caffeine.
· Aim to finish dinner two to three hours before you get into bed.
· Experiment with eight hours of sleep per night, plus or minus 15 minutes, to establish how much sleep you truly need.
If you are concerned at all about your sleeping patterns, or would just like some additional information, please contact me to see how I can help.