Where did I put my car keys? I can’t believe I forgot my gym clothes this morning! Hmmm what was it I needed to do? I feel terrible now that I ate those donuts! Am I losing my mind? You might hear yourself ask these questions or say these disempowering statements if your not getting enough sleep.
Research shows that if you don’t get enough sleep, 7-8 hours a night, you have a greater possibility of forgetting things that you might not otherwise. And more importantly you’ll be more likely to make bad decisions on eating properly or exercising, keeping you from reaching your goals of being healthy and fit.
According to Dr Avidan at UCLA Sleep Disorder Center your brain uses the time to organize memories, make repairs hormonally, repair your body physically and metabolize the harmful neurotoxins that can cause brain diseases. Literally without enough sleep your mind and body can not go through it’s rebooting process that will keep you healthy and fit for life.
Almost 70 million adults in the United States have problems sleeping and that can and does cause a lot of trouble including increasing the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, metabolic disease, depression and anxiety. And one of the top 5 reasons for automobile accidents is being tired from lack of sleep.
Contrary to popular belief you can not make up for lost sleep. So don’t think that you’re going to catch up on your Zzz’s this weekend or call out of work sick if you’re not getting adequate sleep. Nope! You need to be consistent and follow the natural circadian sleep wake cycle for humans which is 10pm-6am, give or take 30 minutes. You wouldn’t think twice about keeping your new born child awake for too long. No way! So please don’t do that to yourself! Get to bed on time and you’ll have a better chance at having optimal health and fitness.
Here are some foolproof techniques to help you “Sleep Your Way To Being Healthy and Fit.”
- Stick to a schedule. In bed by 10 or 10:30pm at the latest and wake up at 6 or 6:30am when the sun is rising.
- Keep lights on low using dimmers after 8pm or use candles because most lights used to illuminate homes trick your brain into thinking its daytime.
- Limit TV, computer, Ipad, smartphone use after 8pm for the same reasons as above
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, clean and cozy.
- Avoid exercising after 630pm.
- Avoid having large meals in the evening. If you’re hungry have a light snack or short glass of water.
- Read a good book or magazine without suspenseful plots.
- Take a warm bath or hot shower to relax.
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm.
- Avoid alcohol intake.
Yours in health and fitness,
Steve Jordan, Trainer To The Stars
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