Importance Of Sleep For Health & Body Fat Reduction
How often do we forego quality sleep to focus on other areas of our health and lifestyle? Perhaps we spend late night hours answering emails rather than getting a solid night’s sleep? Or do we slog out that before/after work training session in lieu of getting some quality Z’s? Maybe even we stay out late eating and drinking things we know we shouldn’t…? Or we just say "I can catch up sleep later.."
Regardless of our reasoning, sacrificing sleep is not the best choice for our body fat reduction and overall health. Did you know that a lack of sleep can lead to an increased chance of:
- Weight gain
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
And these just a few health issues that it can effect.
Furthermore, inadequate amounts of sleep, or poor-quality sleep may stop the brain from restoring properly overnight (hello unproductive work day) and can affect the amount of growth hormone produced (rendering that gruelling session you did that day not as efficient).
Ok, so you get the gist of it by now, sleep is very important for our health and wellbeing. But how can we know if we’re getting our sleep right? Well if you answer ‘yes’ to two or more of the below questions, it is safe to say you have some work to do on your sleep!
- Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?
- Difficulty waking in the morning?
- Do you sleep less than 8-9hrs per night?
- Do you wake up more than once per night?
- Do you sleep in a room with light or noise?
- Do you wake up feeling tired?
- Do you wake up only with an alarm?
- Do you go to bed later than 11pm?
- Do you get up earlier than 6am?
- Do you use medication to go to sleep?
If you answered yes to more than two of the above, then you could definitely benefit from implementing some of these valuable hacks to help improve your sleep.
- Lower your cortisol – reduce your stress levels at least two hours before bed (no emails, arguments with others, action/horror films).
- Ensure you are properly hydrated throughout the day (0.04L per kg of body weight should do the job).
- Turn off screens, wifi, phones and computers a minimum of two hours before bed
- Try journaling and writing a grateful log (on paper preferably).
- Optimise your digestion. Avoid food two hours prior to bed. You may need digestive support supplementation, such as digestive enzymes, probiotics or glutamine. Poor digestion means you can’t sleep properly AND won’t have the right nutrients to induce a proper sleep.
- Incorporate sleep supplements. Magnesium is the easiest sleep supplement to incorporate (get any type ending in ‘ate’), Theonine or Inositol may also be useful.
- Lastly, a small amount of red wine may help sleep. Yes, you heard right! Red wine helps with melatonin production, which is key for sleep. Try a glass of good quality red wine in the evening to enhance your sleep. That's one glass and not half a bottle in the glass!
Try these tips and tricks to enhance your sleep, and feel the amazing benefits of quality sleep to your body, mind and physique!
Yours in health