We’ve been sharing tips for wellness that are actionable and easy to bring into your everyday life, in an effort to help you be your best self. We believe that incorporating small, feasible changes over shorter periods of change can help you experience the motivation and confidence that comes from seeing your personal goals fulfilled.
This week’s topic: Sleep.
One sleepless night won’t hurt, but chronic sleep deprivation takes a toll on the body.
- It causes fatigue, stress, irritability, cognitive impairment, imbalanced mood, memory loss, and lowered immunity.
- It can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
- Lack of sleep can even causes overeating; people who don’t get enough sleep have too much of the hormone that triggers hunger (ghrelin) and too little of the one that tells the body it’s full and to stop eating (leptin).
Important note: People who sleep over 9 hours a day are more likely to be overweight, diabetic, depressed and have heart disease. Consult your physician if you are concerned about or are experiencing these side-effects.
What You Can Do to Maximize Your Sleep
- Challenge yourself for two weeks to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Consume 150-250 calories of low-glycemic index foods in small quantities prior to bed. Why? Because low blood sugar after a night of fasting (in this case, while you were sleeping) contributes to fatigue and headaches. Tim Ferriss recommends the following as options:
- A few sticks of celery with almond butter
- A mandarin orange and 5-8 almonds
- Plain low-fat (not fat-free) yogurt and an apple
- Supplement. Fitness expert Ben Greenfield takes the following before bed to optimize his sleep: MAP amino acid capsules, potassium citrate, Natural Calm magnesium, MCT Oil, Millennium Sport Somnidren GH, and Hammer REM caps.
- Manage your REM: Rapid eye movement, or REM, is the most important part of sleep. Even if you get your 8 hours in (or the recommended amount that’s right for you, depending on your physical activity and day-to-day life) bad deep sleep can leave you feeling groggy and unrested. Establishing strict sleeping patterns can help ensure your body is ready to wake up when you want it to. Technology can also help with that, as an increasing number of fitness bands are activity trackers with sleep monitoring capabilities. FitBit and Pivotal Living are recently released example.
Dealing with Sleep Deprivation
Sometimes losing sleep is unavoidable. These tips can help you feel at the top of your game, even after a rough night:
- Coffee might have a bad rap, but it’s actually the top source of antioxidants for Americans. Good quality brew decreases risk for certain types of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. While traveling, carry your own coffee; avoid the overly processed brands served at hotels and airports, and hotels. We suggest Dave Asprey’s Upgraded Coffee.
- Liposomal glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body. It offsets the decreased efficiency of the liver as a result of sleep deprivation.
- Spread a little arnica gel to open the vessels – the area under the eyes contains exceptionally thin tissue. After going a long time without sleep, the body’s circulation suffers and blood pools here, causing circles.
Simple steps to Wellness: Want more?
Being healthy can be incorporated into your life with more ease than you may think. Remember, you don’t need to wait until January 1, 20XX to get started – you can start today.
For more sleep tips, check out Ben Greenfield’s guest post. You can also check out our recent post, “A Single, Powerful Immunity Booster,” and stay tuned for more simple steps to Wellness – we’ll be sharing more actionable advice on immunity, fitness, and nutrition.
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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.