I had an interesting conversation this morning about sleep and I wanted to put that information out to you guys as well.
How much sleep should you have? What does sleep have to do with pain? What does sleep have to do with fitness? All questions we get asked here. I think there are a couple of creative concepts I’ve heard that maybe you already know or maybe you don’t. Either way, they’re useful to remember.
Most research still recommends that you get eight to nine hours of sleep per night. I know there has been some stuff out there saying things like you can survive on four hours of sleep per night. Well, surviving is one thing, but thriving is a different ball game altogether. In my opinion, in order to thrive, eight to nine hours of sleep is important.
Here’s a creative thing about sleep that I think most people do not know – there’s a hormone in your body called ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for making you hungry. If you do not have enough sleep then you actually start to release more ghrelin. And the more ghrelin you have, the more cravings you get, which leads to an increase in the bad types of food you might eat. For some people, a lack of sleep and an increase in the release of ghrelin can be the main reason why they’re always overeating, being tempted to overeat, or tempted to snack. So, a cool quick tip to help with your diet and exercise is to make sure that you actually get the required amount of sleep.
How can you go about doing that? Well, I have four suggestions:
Be careful of all the screens that we stare at all day. If you can, try to get away from those screens for two hours before bedtime or the time that you plan on sleeping. That will help increase your chances of falling and staying asleep.
If you have to use your phone, computer, or laptop, check your settings for a blue light blocker or night light. Some phones come with the option and it’s as simple as turning it on or setting the timer to do it automatically. You can also download an app if your phone doesn’t have one. Same thing with computers or laptops. If you like to watch TV before bed or are around well lit areas, think about getting a pair of blue light blocking glasses like these!
Watch your sweet food intake. Desserts after dinner are trouble. I’d rather see you, if you have to eat dessert, do it earlier in the day, like at lunch, so you can actually get your blood sugar back to normal.
Make sure that you are investing in some form of comfortable environment. Meaning, it’s extremely beneficial to have or do things that help you relax and feel comfortable. Prime example is to ensure you have a quality bed and mattress. This brings up a whole other topic on beds that we recommend. These are two of our favorite local shops to get your new mattress from Organic Options & Standard Options!
Try these tips out and remember that ghrelin could be the reason that you’re not accomplishing your fitness goals and exacerbating problems with pain.
Now go get a good night’s sleep tonight!