Sleep:

How many hours should you get? What happens when you don’t get it? How can you sleep better TONIGHT?

Sleep happens to be even more important than we all thought. Yup. The more studies come out showing the effects of our hyper-stimulated sleepless society in the modern day world, the more health problems we see. The amount of sleep we should be aiming for is still 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  The reason for this is because we have enough cycles of REM sleep (rapid eye movement) in that given time frame. Certain parts of our brain such as motor, memory and visual all increase with REM cycle sleep.

If you are getting 6 hours or less of sleep or less a night, your levels of exhaustion will have a lower threshold.  Men who sleep 5-6 hours a night will have a level of testosterone which is that similar to a man 10 years their senior.

So hypothetically speaking, lack of sleep has the potential to age you by a decade.

When we consistently don’t get enough sleep our bodies are negatively affected.

The consequences of not getting enough sleep consist of:

  • The ability of the lungs to expire carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen decreases

  • Peak muscle strength, vertical jump height and peak running speed decrease

  • INJURY risk increases

  • Balance decreases

  • Lactic acid builds up quickly

  • Shorter lifespan

  • Higher risks of cancer

  • A decrease in leptin (full hormone) and an increase in ghrelin (hunger hormone)

  • Increased rate of obesity

So it’s pretty obvious that without enough sleep, the effects on our health, especially on our bodies, can be costly.

But what about the effects on the mind? Practice makes perfect but practice and sleep is the best for SKILL LEARNING & memory. With sleep deprivation, we can expect to see:

  • Decreased memory & skill learning

  • Higher depression and anxiety rates

  • Less creativity

  • More moody, quick-tempered and emotional

So you get why sleep is so important- awesome. Now the challenge is changing your habits and implementing things in your everyday routine to help you sleep better at night.

Here are 3 tips for you to sleep better tonight:

  • Get rid of blue light from electronics- electronics delay melatonin by 3 hours- dim lights in house/apt

  • Regularity- go to bed and wake up at the same time

  • Keep it cool. Ideally house/apt should be set to the high 60’s

Don’t let lack of sleep ruin the quality of your life! Try these tips tonight and make it a goal to stick to them.

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