Point #3 – Sleep
Continuing our series on the 7 Points of health.
We believe living a healthy lifestyle is about balance. We’ve build our programs and coaching around 7 main Points of Health. It is important to develop each one of these seven areas in order to achieve and maintain optimal health:
7) Support System
The topic we will be discussing today is point #3, which is SLEEP.
Proper and adequate sleep is something we all know we need, but often neglect. The more/better that you sleep, the more efficient your metabolism becomes, making it easier to build muscle, burn fat, and get stronger. Sleep is essential to optimize hormone levels, lower stress and anxiety, and improve cognitive function.
A lack of sleep slows the metabolism, increases blood pressure, increases ghrelin (hunger hormone), causes insulin resistance and increases cortisol. All of these can be detrimental to you reaching your health and fitness goals! Lack of sleep is like going to run a marathon without shoes! Sleep is so important and influences so much in our day.
Think about this; you only get 4 hours sleep. How do you think your going to react when the baby spills her milk? Or when your boss asks you for the report that is due! Practically everything in our lives is impacted by the amount of sleep we get. And not just the time in bed, we need deep restful sleep.
Do you feel guilty for sleeping? I bet most of us don’t allow ourselves to get enough sleep because we feel guilty about it. We may feel that our partner will think we are lazy, or we have too many deadlines and stressors in our lives that we cannot afford ourselves a good night sleep.
If you are not getting the recommended 7+ hours of sleep a night, try allowing yourself to add incremental time to your night. Adding in 20 additional minutes for a week, and then another 20 the next week and see how it impacts your livelihood. A little extra can go a long way.
Here’s some important, and practical sleep tips:
- Sleep according to circadian rhythms. 10pm-6am or 11pm-7am
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
- Sleep in a pitch black room (light inhibits the production of melatonin, which helps you fall and stay asleep). Get black out blinds if necessary
- Avoid stimulants at least several hours before bed
- Avoid using electronics before bed such as TV, cell phone, computer, etc. Blue light prevents melatonin secretion
- Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day
Sleep is one of the easiest and most important things to improve in order to optimize recovery and overall health. Apply these points to improve your sleep hygiene and pay attention to how much better you feel.
Derek Reasch & Ronda Green – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialists, 7 Point Nutrition Coach
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7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program.