Sleep

 

A good night’s sleep is very important for your body.  7-9 hours of good quality sleep where you are not aware of waking up all night long; waking up feeling rested.  As we sleep we are repairing and it is the time when the growth hormone is really being released.  Growth hormone is our youth hormone. Always make time for high quality sleep during the normal rhythm (sleep when it’s dark, awaken when it’s light) and do not nap during the day.  
 
Why do we need a good nights sleep?
  • Anything less than 7 hours causes stress on the body.
  • All of your detoxification occurs while you sleep.  Melatonin is also produced at night which is the most powerful antioxidant.  
  • We go through sleep cycles, the first part of the cycle is where we are raising the human growth hormone, we are rebuilding, repairing and that’s the big anti-aging part (if you are interested in slowing down your aging process).  The 2nd phase, approximately between 2am to 6am, is where we work on our memories, recalibrating and retooling our brain and we also produce prolactin which repairs the body.
 
Links between sleep and food/weight:
  • We know that people who go to bed later tend to eat more throughout the day. 
  • Nothing makes you more hungry like getting a bad nights sleep, even 1 poor night of sleep will make you hungrier the next day.  You will not be as insulin sensitive (ie your insulin levels which come up when you eat stay up more which means you can’t burn off fat as well, the ghrelin hormone, which makes you feel hungry, is higher; serotonin, that helps you not crave sugar and carbs, is lower), everything works against you and you are not hungry for the good stuff – you crave sugar and caffeine.  
  • Even if you are eating well and exercising failing to get the 7-9 hours of sleep puts you at risk for obesity.  
 
Try:
  • Setting an alarm to go off 1 hour before sleep and use that time to get ready and wind down, turn off all electrical equipment, take a bath, dim the lights, read a book (that is good, not a great book which will keep you glued to it all night), do things that are relaxing, not stimulating.