Sleep is THE KEY to health success!
Let's talk about Vitamin S.... SLEEP!!
If you've been following along in our Foundations of Health Series, you know that we're talking about the 6 key areas in your life where you can begin to make tiny changes and see big results: Nourishment, Stress, Sleep, Relationships, Exercise, and Environment. Be sure to go back and read the previous three posts to get even more great info!!
Sleep is arguably THE most important lifestyle factor for your best health.
It’s really a pretty bizarre and magical thing that we do. I mean, just consider trying to explain to someone from another planet what “sleep” is exactly. “Wellllll, you lay down and close your eyes and pretend you’re dead. But you aren’t.” Sleep is an ANABOLIC state. That means tissue is being built. Wakefulness, however, is CATABOLIC. That means tissue is being broken down. With just that information, we can get an idea of just how critical sleep really is for our health! Think about it…. Let’s say you sleep for 8 hours every night. That means that 16 hours a day your tissue is being broken down, rather than repaired and rebuilt! But what if you only average 5 hours a night? 4 hours? You can start to see the math on that right?!?
Most people don’t realize that their continuous sleep problems are also a catalyst for the diseases and appearance issues they’re dealing with...
These include weight gain or stubborn belly fat, diabetes, low muscle tone, depression, memory loss, cancer, wrinkles, and more. Studies show that just ONE NIGHT of sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a Type 2 Diabetic! And you know that feeling…. You haven’t slept well, you crave carbs, you crash, you carb, you crash, etc. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that sleep deprivation is directly related to an inability to lose weight. Test subjects were put on the same exercise and diet program, but those who were in the sleep deprivation group (less than 6 hours per night) consistently lost less weight and body fat than the control group who slept for 8+ hours a night. Other studies show that poor sleep encourages cancer growth, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Mental Illness.
You CAN get better rest but you have to make it a priority, just as you would for a baby. You can take tiny steps, one at a time, and repeat them consistently, and before you know it you’ll be sleeping like a baby! Here’s some suggestions…
- Make your room DARK! I’m talking about REALLLLLY dark. You actually have photoreceptors on your skin that receive any light and signal the body out of sleep. No nightlights, tv’s, or even bright alarm clocks!
- Set a bedtime…. And stick to it!
- Shut off technology at least one hour before your bedtime. The blue light is THE MOST disruptive type of light.
- Try a magnesium soak (Epsom salt) or a magnesium supplement before bed.