Fat loss stalled.
Muscle gain stalled.
Looking softer, or guys…having issues staying “soft”?
Time to diet harder, workout harder, or take more pills…right?
Not so fast.
What about your sleep?
Sleep is a foundational component of overall healthy life. Studies have shown that with as little as only 4 days of sleep deprivation, young, healthy males started to show biomarkers of type 2 diabetes! More here: https://sciencelife.uchospitals.edu/2015/02/19/new-study-helps-explain-links-between-sleep-loss-and-diabetes/
When we sleep is when our body recharges, our brain recharges, and our muscles rebuild. Growth hormone levels peak and lipolysis (fat burning) peaks during sleeping hours.
So when we don’t get enough sleep, we cut these very important processes short and set ourselves up for trouble from a metabolic perspective for days after.
How much do we really need?
Nothing new here – 7 to 8 hours. However, more isn’t always better. Some studies have shown that getting more than 9 hours can increase SOME risks…but really, who needs to worry about getting 9 hours of sleep…
Also – the quality of sleep matters. Are you in bed for 8 hours, but tossing and turning? Or are you dreaming about happy stuff and drooling on your pillow?
How to get more:
First – minimize stimulants close to bed – this being caffeine – and anything else that gets you amped up. Try to not have any stimulants after 12 PM.
Also – minimizing alcohol close to bed. Even though it is a depressant, it doesn’t allow us to get quality, restful sleep.
Second, have a wind-down routine.
Get off your phone at least an hour before your planned bedtime. Sounds crazy I know, but you can read before bed…from this paper thing called a book. Keep your phone out of the bedroom completely.
Even turning down the lights, turning off the TV, etc. will help the brain wind down.
As far as food goes, people respond differently, so that’s something you need to observe. I personally sleep better if I have some carbs about an hour before sleeping. Some people sleep best on no food.
Lastly, room temp. Try to keep the room around 65 degrees for best sleep.
It’s not the easiest thing to do – but getting more sleep might be one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Prioritize it, work at it, and you will notice some awesome changes.
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Stay healthy my friends,