Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sleep and health

The gap between getting just enough and getting too little may affect your health, mood, weight and sex life. It will also affect your lifespan and its quality.

Did you know that a lack of sleep will increase the chance of weight gain and depression and will also reduce your muscle mass (they shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep). Keep in mind that sleep and metabolism are control by the same zone of the brain.

The recommended is 7-8 hours depending on person. A good night sleep improves your memory, reduces stress and inflammation, invites creativity and concentration and if you are an athlete it will really improve your performances. The sleep that you get before midnight is the best sleep and the most regenerated, so go to bed an hour earlier tonight.

Now what to do to improve your sleep:

Cut your caffeine intake throughout the day. Before going to bed, avoid  having a big heavy meal, prepare the ambiance of your bedroom by making it dark and cosy, set your spirit on "bed mood" by bringing the light down, do not do any intense activities (sport, watch extreme movie, struggle with your monthly expenses etc.). Watch your afternoon drinks too by avoiding caffeine and vitamin C (orange juice) after a certain time. If you are hungry late at night try a bowl of cottage cheese with some bananas slices - the combos health carbs and protein will help you.

Apparently hot bath before bed wont help you to fall asleep but the contrary. Doing anything that raises your body temperature before bed will make you struggling to fall asleep. Indeed, your body needs to cool down to benumb. You can have a bath after work but not straight before bed. Personally i am not a big fan of bath. Hot water is very bad for your circulation.

Skip the wine (nooooo, me being an adept of my weekly glass of vine). You actually can have it with your meal but not after 9pm as its a fake friend - it will at first make you tired and fall asleep faster to make your second half of sleep restless.

Try some stretching - it will help by normalising your breath and reduce tension muscle.

Ban your phone from the bed (another of  my habit as is probably half of the planet - the other half dont have smartphones). Typing and scrolling in bed may arouse you and having your phone "on" or on vibration may disrupt you sleep so turn "to not disturb" before bed. The ideal will be investing in a real alarm clock to avoid any temptation to grab your phone while in bed but some people love their "snooze" too much.

Personally i usually have no problem to fall asleep i knocked out at 11pm latest and struggle to stay awake on weekends. Lie-in is a battle for me though cant sleep longer than 9am but as the famous quote says "the future belongs to those who wake up early" :)

To conclude, keep in mind that your bedroom is designed to sleep and sex ONLY so avoid doing anything else in there. 

Bonne nuit!

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