The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important, I’m sure you know this… but many people do not understand why. Yes, lack of sleep might leave us feeling overtired and under recovered but it actually comes with some pretty bad news health wise if we don’t get enough of it!
Unfortunately, stress causes lack of sleep and lack of sleep causes stress. This vicious cycle can lead to lots of hormonal disruption. This can include lower testosterone, a potential reduction in metabolism, increased capacity for muscle loss and increased fat gain and a whole host of other disruptions to our normal physiology which can have serious implications for health, including increased risk of cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
There are some basic rules to follow to make sure we can switch off and hopefully get a good night’s sleep:
- No TV or electronic devices for at least half an hour before bed time.
- Get into bed at least half an hour before you need to sleep.
- Make sure your room is TOTALLY dark and all displays for phones, LED’s on TV’s are turned off and your phone is face down.
- Make a to do list on paper for the next day before you go to bed to organise your thoughts. Thinking about the next day’s stresses is one of the leading causes of struggling to get to sleep, writing down your ideas to create a plan of attack will help to take away your worries.
- Eating a nutrient dense meal before bed can also help the body power down, reduce stress and release our feel good and relaxation hormone serotonin as well as support recovery from exercise.
Even with all of this some people struggle to switch off, in this case there are some supplements like 5-HTP and melatonin which help trigger relaxation and the sleeping process.
I am a personal trainer based in Poole, Dorset that also specialises in stroke and exercise rehabilitation and strength & conditioning.