Learn more about the positive effects of sleep for health, fitness and weight loss.

Sleep and Stress

Woman relaxing in a bubble bathIf insomnia is plaguing your sleep, you are probably one of the 75% suffering from too little, or frequently interupted rest, that is triggered by a current stressor. Most studies show that poor sleepers tend to have higher levels of Cortisol and related stress hormones in their bloodstream. Cortisol affects our sleep depth, continuum and state, and the long term lack, will affect our memory, cellular repair and energy management.

If you are looking for that deep state of rest and recovery found in “slow wave” sleep…do everything you can to reduce mental stimulation before going to bed. In 1910, the average nights sleep was 9 hrs, now it is 7.5 hrs, and dropping.  A 100 years ago, we didn’t have the News on TV, emails, movies, etc. to stimulate us and absorb our pre slumber hours. Allow “morphious” to seduce you away from your stressors by having a warm bath, massage, or meditate before retiring.

Stress Less…Sleep Deep

If you are having difficulty falling asleep at night, try walking the perimeter of your home…checking that doors and windows are locked. Sounds silly, but you will allow the unconscious to relax, knowing that “all is safe”, when it is stimulated by high levels of the stress hormone “Cortisol”, this part of your mind will relax…enabling us to drop into deep Stage 4 sleep.

Getting Good ZZZZZ’s

If you’re like me, you know when you’ve had a rough night of sleep. I’m usually not on my game, my energy is lower, my temper is shorter and people ask me “Are you tired?” The proof is on my face. Now imagine the impact of nights upon nights of poor or interrupted sleep? Vampires were right when they say that sleep is good for the blood, it’s also prevents heart disease, mental decline and overeating.

There are four stages of sleep, the deepest called REM. This is the deepest stage of sleep and important to experience in order to feel rested when you wake up. Deep sleep is also needed in order for the body to release the human growth hormone (HGH) known as one of the  anti-aging hormones. Benefits of this hormone include increasing lean muscle mass, a balanced weight, and feeling good. No deep sleep, no growth hormone output. Exercise also helps with HGH release, as taught at Mountain Trek.

Tips to help with a good night’s sleep? Turn down the lights a few hours before retiring (this includes no TV watching) as it can be too stimulating. Late night eating can create digestive disturbances, and need we mention caffienated beverages should be avoided?