Habit #6 Sleep

Now that you’re an expert at the 5 pillars of nutrition, time for some pillow talk!  :)

 

We go through great links to ensure we have a smart and structured exercise and nutritional program.  Yet we often neglect our recovery and rest. Next up on the agenda, SLEEP! Take 30 seconds before you read on and think about how your sleep habits rate?........

 

Three signs your sleep habits aren't working for you include:

  1. you have a foggy mind.  What we learn gets cemented into our brains while we sleep.  Interference with this process leads to decreased alertness and judgement, confusion, and forgetfulness.  

  2. you're struggling with weight.  Poor sleep is linked to excess body fat as it can disrupt appetite regulation, thus leading to increase calorie consumption.  Studies suggest that people who sleep fewer than 6 hours per night gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7-8 hours per night.  Excessive sleep isn't necessarily either; those who sleep more than 9 hours per night have similar body composition outcomes as those who sleep less than 6 hours.

  3. you're getting sick a lot.  When we don't get enough sleep our immune system falters and we are then more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.  Sleep deprivation is also linked to heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, stroke, and diabetes.


It may seem counter-intuitive however a good night's sleep starts in the morning!  Things to consider when waking up: wake up to natural light, get moving right away, and get some rays (sun)!  Limiting caffeine and alcohol will also help get a better night's sleep. So just like the basic nutrition habits we've been trying to instill, be cognizant of the above tips as well as:

  • being consistent with bedtime and the time you awake

  • keep the bedroom extremely quiet, dark and cool

  • develop a pre-bed routine that does NOT include the TV, phone, or any other artificial light source

  • avoid eating 2 hours before bed


So for the next 3 nights, this is your task: sleep well using the above tips.

Continue to practice the 5 basic habits of nutrition each and every day!