A client asked me recently if lack of sleep affects his training performance even though he doesn’t feel tire at the time of training. The answer is YES, definitely. Just because you are not tired at the time, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t screw up your body (to be more specific, your hormones). Sleeping is the main key to fixing many health issues.
“Consistently skimping on sleep for even a week or two can have the same impact on our mood and performance as missing two full nights of sleep,” says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. “Plus, it puts you at risk for diabetes and heart disease.”
A recent survey indicates that more than 60% of Americans have average less than 7 hours of sleep. Ideally, 8 hours of sleep is good. Missing 30 minutes to 1 hours can surprisingly lead to weight gain because your metabolism starts slowing and hormonal changes boost appetite and cravings.
If you miss 1 or 2 hours sleep, your mood will tank and often lead to anxiety, stress and/or depression. Other research shows that after a couple nights of only 4 or 5 hours of rest, memory and attention span notably worsen.
If you miss 3 to 4 hours sleep, our
heart rate and blood pressure spike. There’s also evidence that sleeping only 4 hours a night for just six days can impair your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar; therefore, more cravings and weight gain.
For many of our functional medicine’s patients, getting them to sleep better (at least 8 hours a night) eliminates more than half of their health issues. One thing I noticed from our clients/patients who weren’t getting enough sleep was they had adrenal burn out or adrenal fatigue, which all lead to low cortisol and low testosterone.
So make sure you get yourself a good quality sleep every night. Here are some suggestions:
1) Go to bed before midnight, (ideally before 10 pm) because between 10 pm to 2 am is the optimum time for hormonal regulation and repair process, everything that involves recovery.
2) Don’t work out at night because it raises cortisol and disrupts the sleeping pattern.
3) Don’t drink any drink containing caffeine such as tea, soda and coffee.
4) Turn all lights off, including computers. Any small light can disrupt your sleep throughout the night.
5) Read a boring book (textbook) before going to sleep.
6) Drink chamomile tea. It soothes and calms you down.
7) Take some supplements that help your sleep like melatonin, 5-HTP, and Gabba.
I hope these tips help. Getting a good night sleep makes your day goes by faster and your mood will be good.
“Stop sneaking by. Getting too little sleep is only cheating yourself”.
Author: Alicia Fong