Should sleep be your health goal?

But it’s 3am!!!!

This is the statement that I feel is on repeat and have experienced all too often. These days I can pinpoint to 2 or 3 precise actions and when I'm doing those actions I know the end result is going to be this statement.

You see insomnia has always plagued my adult career as a result of being extremely self-motivated, driven and sometimes blindly a workaholic.

I believe the first action to change is awareness and the fact that I have this awareness of what’s preventing my sleep is the first step to my sleep cure.

Do you know lack of sleep can be the reason why you don’t feel you’re full & put down that damn fork?

Yep, that’s the hormone leptin for you, not sending the signal to your brain that you’ve had enough. Also impacted is ghrelin that signals you are hungry.

The recommended amount of sleep for most adults is 8 hours, at 7 hours cognitive function as well as physical & mental performance is impacted, at 6 hours or less we are creating stress within the body and therefore not able to perform optimally.

We are the same as any machine, when overused and not rested we burn out! Our body repairs itself when it sleeps. In fact, the brain is cushioned by a sack of liquid that then we are in deep sleep (typically after 4 hours) it goes straight to work on cleaning out any unnecessary matter resulting in an improved cognitive function including memory power.

Taking action;

THE BRAIN

70% of the brain is fat, these fat cells are sourced by an energy known as mitochondria. When mitochondria is damaged we can see an impact in memory, metabolism & energy functionality. I protect damage by ensuring I’m conscious of any blue light (typically the laptop, phone, or bright lights at home) after sunset. Our caveman heritage did not design us to cope with these bright & white/blue lights. Red light (that resembles fire) is received much better and therefore being strict on bright lights off after sunset protects my energy reserve. I do notice I am pushing it by a slight strain felt in my eyes.

CAFFEINE

I ensure I never drink caffeine after 3 pm, even if you feel you are not impacted by caffeine, brain monitors have noticed a lack of quality sleep (that’s a deep sleep which is doing the most repair) by overuse or late caffeine drinkers

SLEEP MEDITATION

Lastly, there are times when I’m meeting a deadline that I break some of my rules, usually, the light and I know it’s too late because it’s early hours and I’m awake. I listen to yoga nidra, a verbal meditation that can be listened to by an app or Spotify that helps me drift off. If I'm still awake when it's finished I practice inhaling in through one nostril and out through the other counting down from 50, every time my mind drifts, I start again.

There was a time when I used to feel a hero by how much I can achieve on so little sleep, now I feel a hero when I wake early invigorated and performing higher through the day when I’m likely to have the most interaction with others.

You can watch my short video on my facebook page vlog

 

Elika
Elika
I decided to become a health coach following years of frustrating yo-yo dieting, over exercising & lack of nutritional support available whilst knowing my health was being compromised. I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied over 50 dietary theories and practical lifestyle coaching methods. With my knowledge, I co-create completely personalised actions based on your goals to move you toward your ideal vision of health within your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and resources.

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