Is Sleep Really That Important?
A lot of people don’t believe all the hype surrounding a good night’s sleep. If they are exercising and eating properly, then sleep is secondary, right? Wrong. You produce most of your growth hormones as you sleep. This hormone isn’t just linked to building stronger muscles, your growth hormone promotes fat loss, increases calcium retention (which helps with bone mass), supports your immune system and keeps your organs running smoothly. Sleep also balances your hunger-controlling hormones (yay!), meaning the more likely you are to get a good night’s rest, the less likely you are to wake up hungry. The more tired you are, the more energy you will need to stay active during the day. This can translate into over eating and food cravings.
What are the Optimal Hours to Sleep?
There is no one answer to this question, it depends on many factors like age, sex and lifestyle. Try to keep it to a minimum of 8 hours a night.
Tips for Getting the Sleep you Need:
Develop a ritual. Your body loves repetition and order, so why not do just that? About a half hour before bed, start your routine – change into comfortable clothes, turn down the lights, get into bed and relax. You can read a book, drink some tea or whatever you need to get in the mindset for relaxation.
Set up your sleep environment. Try to reduce ambient light and noises as much as possible. This means closing down your electronics and getting shades for your windows.
Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day – I know this is hard for some people but it really is a great way to set your inner alarm.