Sleep: 7 things you SHOULD be doing!

Sleep. We spend roughly 1/3 of our lives sleeping, it's quite magical if you ask me. For 15 to 19 hours a day, we spend our days running ragged. By the end of them, we are happy to jump into bed and rest. Only for us to rest, run and repeat 365 a year.

Too little sleep can cause us to overeat. This is due to decreased growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormones and increased cortisol levels. Chronic sleep restriction will elevate your sympathetic nerve activity and will slow your insulin response. This results in the chemical equation which can cause obesity if we aren't careful. 

If you overeat (a common cause when we are sleep deprived)  you have the potential of gaining twice as much weight as our acquaintances who sleep an average of 7 hours a night over the course of a 7 year period. If you sleep 9 plus hours, congratulations. You just so happen to be in the near same boat as your 6 or less hours of sleep group.

The sweet spot we are looking for is 7 to 8 hours per night. That can be a chore for many of us, especially the ones who put in 50 plus hours of work a week. That is a priority for some and I get it, we have to keep a roof over heads and provide for our families. If you want to keep a specific lifestyle, you could be prioritizing your income over your health. If that's worth it to you, I think I understand. Yet, how are you able to enjoy the experiences in life if you aren't a 100% healthy and functioning human being? 

The components that affect our sleep are plentiful. Too much caffeine, watching television or browsing our phones before bed and drinking too much liquid are just a few of the items which can cause to have issues sleeping. Those with insomnia, goodness that can be burden on how you function on daily basis too. Anxiety, depression and other emotion laced actions are what cause us to spend many sleepless nights gazing at our ceilings. 

So you probably are asking, how in the World do we combat some of these distractions which keep us thriving in-spite of desperate calls to have peaceful and uninterrupted sleep? Here a re a few ways.

Try keeping a consistent bed time: Routine is going to win the day and aid in a good night's sleep. Try going to bed and waking up at the exact same time 6 out of your 7 days during the week. Once we develop a habit, we have a tendency to keep said habits.

Keep your bedroom very dark: This will keep your brain and body clock thinking that's it's about that time to hit the hay.

Keep noise levels at a minimum: Try using a white noise generator or use ear tubes to block out distractions and keep you at bay from waking up in the middle of the night.

Develop a routine: Turn off your electronics, keep them away from your pillows too. The blue lights and radiation can keep you from a deep REM cycle of sleeping. Reading a book roughly 30 minutes before you sleep can help calm your nervous system down and put you out cold. Also, avoid anything stressful before you fall asleep. Conversations that could keep you up at night or looking at something that can put your mind in a panic for work the next day is probably a bad idea here. Avoid these at all costs!

Lower the room temperature: Keep temperature in your rooms at night around 66-70 degrees F. In the summer, lower these temps further. Your body in a cool state is more likely to stay fast asleep as opposed to a restless one that is on metaphorical fire from an elevated temp.

Cut off stimulant usage in the late morning: Caffeine and nicotine will elevate our nervous systems and cause us to be moving around more than those who refrain from it. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a neurochemical that builds up throughout your day. Thus causing us to feel sleepy at the right time. Caffeine often becomes a twin of adenosine in the body. It mimics it's presence and can stop our brain censors from recognizing actual adenosine. That's what keeps you up at night after that 3rd coffee at 1:30 in the afternoon!!

Exercise: It's not only great for a tight butt and lean muscle tissue, it will also aid in some miraculous sleep too!

Sleep is very important to us as humans. Consistent sleep can be the difference between someone who is very lean and healthy to someone who has a cardiovascular disease. It could be restricting you from "those gains"! I plead to you tonight and going forward to sleep on the information you just received in this blog.

We will be talking more about sleep along with many other topics in our weekly seminars during our Wellness Challenge starting on April 28th! Here is the weekly seminar:

Week 1: Introduction and goal setting
Week 2: What are Macros?
Week 3: Tips on grocery shopping
Week 4: Cortisol - How to combat it?
Week 5: Sugar - What is it? What are the effects?
Week 6: Alcohol
Week 7: Vitamins, Minerals & Medications
Week 8: Eating for performance/aesthetics
Week 9: Supplements
Week 10: Let's talk about diet fads
Week 11: Gluten free - Vegan - How can we stay balanced here? Week 12: Summary -Where do I go from here?

This is more than a nutrition challenge. We want to help you to understand nutrition and develop a healthy lifestyle that will last longer than 12 weeks. During the challenge, along with the weekly seminars, we will be doing mini challenges, and helping one another develop healthier lifestyle and eating habits. You will also be part of a private group on Facebook where participants could share ideas and encourage each other. By making small changes to your current lifestyle, you can make a big difference!

Everyone is welcome to join! Participants do not have to be members of Kingfield. So if you know someone who might be interested - sign them up as well!

To sign-up just click here!

- Jesse Velasquez