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“10 Days of Body & Mind Recovery” Series, Day 1: SLEEP

Sleep is when the body recovers, recharge, and resets itself. We NEED sleep! The recommended amount is 7-9 hours. In today’s society we pride ourselves on pulling all-nighters, waking at the crack of dawn, staying up to finish projects until wee hours of night, and skimping our on sleep convincing ourselves that you’ll catch up later on or on the weekend.

Reality is, you don’t just catch up on the sleep you miss out on. You may so used to not getting ample sleep that you believe you’re functioning normally - just fine. But imagine if you are slacking how much more fulfilled your life could be if you prioritized it a bit more.

Some facts about sleep:

  • We get Optimal sleep when the sun goes down and before it rising, sunshine blunts the benefits of sleep such as..

  • Melatonin and other critical hormones important for repair and recovery are produced at night while we sleep, exposure to sunlight and artificial life impedes this production. Melatonin protects against cancers and other disease.

  • Lack of sleep affects hormones and metabolism and could be the factor contributing to weight gain or stubborn weight loss. This is due to multiple factors such as:

  • Hunger and cravings are increased, energy is lower (all impacted via hormones)

  • Fat burning ability is impaired.

  • So is muscle building. In fact,...

  • Without recovery (I.e. sleep in this case) the body can’t repair the muscles torn down during your workout sessions. In the long run, performance, fitness, muscle mass, and strength are lowered and metabolism drops too.

  • Mental focus and brain function is impaired with lack of sleep as well. When we learn something during the day it’s when we then sleep that then allows us to retain it. So stop pulling those all-nighters cramming for exams, plan early, turn in for the night and allow your brain to store that info to be recalled and used.

  • Serotonin and Tryptophan are sleep-inducing hormones or hormone precursors. This is why having some good carbs (wet, whole sources such as potatoes, oats, rice) in the evening help you sleep better.

  • Lack of sleep is itself a stressor.

  • Other sleep inducing natural supplements and vitamins include: magnesium, tart cherry juice, 5-HTP, valerian root..

  • Avoiding stimulants after noon, or as determined by how caffeine affects you is important.

  • Avoiding screen time, arduous tasks helps avoid sleep troubles Try journaling, jotting down your next day’s tasks, or keeping a gratefulness journal before bed.

Start a sleep optimizing routine this week. What is a major factor in your life that you can change beginning today to help you get better sleep?

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