Sleep is fuel

Sleep is fuel

Sleep is fuel.  It is as essential as food and water, but somehow easier to skip.

If you could do one thing to increase your brain power, build muscle, lose fat, look better and live longer – would you do it?

Improved sleep is the solution!

Restful sleep feels great, allows the body to perform essential functions and sets you up to perform well in all parts of your life.

Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

Sleep is a critical part of your body’s maintenance routine and depriving yourself of it is the same as running a machine with no down time for preventive care and repairs.

  • Sleep deprivation increases your risk of heart disease, impairs memory retention, increases risk of diabetes and obesity and increases risk of depression and other mental illness.
  • Going with little sleep is sometimes an unfortunate necessity, but it shouldn’t be adopted as a way of life or a point of pride.
  • No one is bragging about how little water they drink or how proud they are of their malnutrition.
  • Sleep deprivation is similar to being outright intoxicated.
  • Most people would frown upon someone showing up to work drunk every day, but it is unfortunately too easy to accept poor or too little sleep as a necessary evil.

While it’s important to get enough sleep, restful sleep is really the answer.

The mental and physical benefits of improved sleep are numerous.

  • One night of good sleep can improve your ability to learn new motor skills by 20%.
  • Eight hours of quality sleep increases your ability to gain new insight into complex problems by 50%.
  • Good sleep promotes skin health and a youthful appearance.
  • Quality sleep increases testosterone levels and controls optimal insulin secretion, protecting the body from developing insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
  • Sleep encourages healthy cell division, which helps prevent cancer.

You can’t sleep when you’re dead!

Because you’ll be dead and none of the healthy effects of sleep will matter!!

Now is the time to rest and keep your body in top living condition.

Initially, focus your energy on making sleep a priority.

  • Prepare for bedtime by limiting stimulating activities late in the evening including exercise, caffeine or watching or reading something that is mentally stimulating or upsetting.
  • Optimize your bedtimeIf you typically go to bed at 11:00 pm, try 10:45 pm.  Move your bedtime forward by 15 minutes every few days until you wake up consistently before your alarm.
  • When you start waking up before your alarm clock consistently, for a minimum of one week, weekends included, you’ve found your optimum sleep window.
  • Hearing your alarm should not be jarring, put you in a bad mood or have you hitting the snooze button repeatedly.
  • See “beating” the alarm clock every day as a little victory first thing.
  • Find a routine and stick to it.Your adult body appreciates a routine bedtime just as much as it did when you were a kid.
  • Try for a schedule that you can follow most days of the week, including weekends.
  • Anticipate lack of sleep and plan for it.

The only person who can judge the amount of sleep you need to be happy and alert is you.

Don’t worry about all of the sleep you have missed out on.

  • You don’t have a “sleep tank”.
  • If you are chronically sleep deprived, you don’t have to refill some sort of sleep tank in order to start feeling normal again.
  • You don’t have to “catch up” on sleep before you start feeling better.
  • It will take a few weeks of consistent and restful sleep to shake the after effects of sleep deprivation, but as soon as you are getting what you need, you will feel better.

If you are having trouble getting quality sleep or if you sleep for long periods and don’t feel rested, it may be time to talk to your doctor.

How much sleep do you get per day?
What is your best tip to improve sleep?