If I had to think of one thing that I could say to clients to give them the ultimate edge and overall upgrade to how they look, perform and feel it would be sleep. If you get your sleep right, it has so many benefits that you can’t afford to miss and its FREE! According to the 2016 national UK survey, 63.1% of people are unhappy with the amount of sleep they get, and only a staggering 8% of people wake up feeling refreshed. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for public health found that an average adult is under sleeping by an hour a night, losing the equivalent of an entire night’s sleep by the end of the week.
As a person that’s previously struggled with his sleep for over 10 years I can hand on heart say that when I sleep well I feel a shift in my energy, mindset, perspective and mood. NO ONE understands what it feels like when you can’t sleep unless they have been in that same boat. It destroys your life, ruins your mindset and just makes you feel like sh*t! You are “tired and wired” using coffee to get you through the day, which only leads to the inevitable bad sleep groundhog day.
It's crucial for your health and mind to get good consistent sleep, and over my next few blogs I will be giving you some great tips, but in the meantime why is good sleep so important for the high-performance professional?
My top 8 Key benefits of good sleep:
FAT LOSS – Yes, surprising most people believe fat burning happens while you are at the gym or during the day, but the majority of your fat burning occurs during the night while you are asleep. So if you are training regularly, but not getting enough sleep your fat loss can be reduced.
EAT LESS - The hormone leptin plays a key role in making you feel full. When you don't get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. People who are tired specifically seem to crave high-calorie foods like fast food.
MUSCLE – YOU DON’T MAKE MUSCLE AT THE GYM – It doesn’t matter how much you train at the gym and lift weights – if you are not getting enough sleep your body cannot recover and re-build. Lack of sleep puts you into a catabolic state (breaking down muscle tissue) rather than anabolic. You can also end up with DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (basically when your muscles feel constantly sore) for much longer periods.
KEY HORMONE CREATION - hormones are like messengers to organs in your body “Do This! Don’t do that!”. In my last blog, I mentioned why hormones are so important to our bodies and without sleep, the balance of these hormones can take a shift in direction and create havoc on your body.
BETTER HEALTH - study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.
BETTER MOOD - you have probably noticed that when you're exhausted, you're more likely to be cranky. That's not all. Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation.
BETTER MEMORY – Forgetful? Sleep loss could be to blame. Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate our memories from the day. If you don't get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly and can be lost.
BETTER SEX – Yes indeed! With enough sleep, your testosterone levels can reset and have a better balance. With stressful jobs, I often find hormones are out of balance, and they end up with the situation where estrogen (the dominant female hormone) is taking over. Everyone needs balanced testosterone levels including women to have a good sex drive.
How many hours sleep do you need?
It is very important to get enough sleep (around 7 hours) is optimum for most, but it is more important to think about when you are sleeping and not just the quantity. You will sometimes notice when you sleep 8-10 hours you wake up feeling pretty bad with a heavy head. You may have slept for a long duration, but the quality of your sleep was poor as you went to bed at 1:00 and woke up at 10 am - outside of the optimal window for hormone creation.
TOP TIP! If you want to maximise sleeps positive effects on your body sleep make sure you are asleep between 10 pm and 2:00 am as this is when your key hormones like Testosterone, IGF1, DHEA are formed.
So much to talk about when it comes to sleep. Will talk more over the next few weeks on how to hack your sleep :o)
Holistic Health Coach and Bulletproof Performance Coach
LIFE DOESN’T GET EASIER OR MORE FORGIVING – WE GET STRONGER AND MORE RESILIENT