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LEVELING UP YOUR HEALTH: Chapter 1 – SLEEP

The ‘Levelling Up Health’ Series: SLEEP

The following email series focuses on mastering your physical and mental health. There are a number of chapters and follow-up emails already written.

Reading and applying even just one of these sections will harness results.

Small decisions can create dramatic transformations.

 

I encourage everyone to take something out of these chapters. As you set upon a journey to incorporate these changes into your life – have these expectations:

  1. Expect results.
  2. Expect that the process will require discipline.
  3. Expect to tackle this journey alone.

Sustained growth requires persistence and repetition

 

CHAPTER 1: SLEEP

There exists a natural super-pill! It can:

  • Make you live longer, look younger, more attractive and more vibrant.
  • Increase your memory, focus and mental cognition.
  • Protect from cancer, dementia and the common cold.
  • Enhance your sex life
  • Lower your anxiety, decrease your depression and improve relationships.
  • Reduce injury risk **SIGNIFICANTLY, and improve recovery times.

We all know we should be making our sleep a priority. But, how many of us actually do?

 

It is estimated that 30% of adults are sleep deprived.

We are constantly talking about the impacts of our stress hormone – cortisol – on decreased health, increased weight gain, blood pressure and anxiety.

Sleep deprivation is a TORTURE STRATEGY! Yet, 30% of us live with a constant level of sleep deprivation.

 

We are:

  • 3-5x more likely to get a cold or infection when sleep deprived.
  • Conveniently referenced in our times of increasing COVID numbers, our flu shots are 50% less effective if the recipient is poorly rested (note: statistic based on the flu shot, not the COVID injection).
  • It significantly impairs our cognition. A driver with only 4 hours of sleep is 6x more likely to run their car off the road than a well-rested control.

If you are serious about living, you MUST be serious about sleeping.

 

We all know the recommended numbers: 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Yes there are a SMALL number of people who can function on less. Statistically, this is NOT you.

 

Sleep strategies:

  1. Avoid caffeine. 25% of your ingested caffeine is still in the system 12-hours following your cup-of-joe. Time your coffees wisely.
  2. Avoid the alcohol. Alcohol is a SEDATIVE. Sedation and sleep are not the same thing. Drinking alcohol may make you a better dancer, better conversationalist and irresistible to women – but it is horrible for your sleep. It disrupts your restorative REM sleep and can have these impact for multiple nights after your binge.
  3. Ditch the pills. Short term melatonin might be occasionally helpful to reset your clock after jetlag, but long-term use can negatively alter your natural production of sleep hormones.
  4. Establish regular routine. Have a prescribed bed time which locks in your full 8-hours of sleep. Diligently adhere to these routines to establish your consistent circadian rhythm. Have a consistent wake time.
  5. Keep the bedroom cool. Our core temperature must drop 3-5 degrees to sleep well. A warm shower before bed can increase vasodilation of our blood vessels – allowing us to lose body temperature more effectively.
  6. Limit your screen time. Most devices now have a ‘Blue Light’ filter to avoid the light beams that trigger us to become more ‘awake.’ Cut the TV. Limit the smartphone use.
  7. The bedroom dance: Our bedroom should only be used for two things. Sleeping and dancing. TVs in the bedroom are a shocker. We should also avoid using our bedroom space for all other activities that are mentally stimulating. As we enter the bedroom – we will subsequently trigger our ‘winding down’ habits. Avoiding other bedroom distractions may also improve your relationships.

 

As always, I’m interested in your replies.

Please feel free to reach out and reply to daniel@movephysiotherapy.com.au

 

Regards,

 

Daniel Ryan
Move Physiotherapy & Fitness