Sleep. We love it, feel better after a good night of it, but rarely get enough of it. Sleep is not only important to help you function better throughout the day. It also plays a big part in both your physical and mental health. Unfortunately, it’s not just about how much sleep you get, but also about the quality of sleep and the timing of when you go to sleep and when you wake up. Sleep is the only time that both physical and psychological repair happens and when you don’t get enough of it your body suffers.
Our ancestors woke up and went to bed to the rising and setting of the sun. We don’t do that anymore, because of electricity and the damn alarm clock. I long for the day that I can throw mine off of my balcony but I don’t see it happening any time soon.
Until then a good guideline is to get to bed between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and not wake up before 6 a.m. Physical repair happens between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. and psychological repair happens between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. If you are not sleeping during those hours you miss out on the repair. A healthy body can deal with staying up late or waking up early every now and again, but do it on a constant basis and you suffer. Your health deteriorates and you become more susceptible to injury and mood swings. You can’t catch up on missed sleep either (from a repair perspective), so when you sleep late or wake up early one night, you’ve lost out on that repair for good.
Some tips to improve the quality of sleep:
-Replace the digital alarm clock with a battery operated wind up, or at the very least, turn the alarm clock so the time is facing away from you. The light from digital alarm clocks can affect your sleep.
-Don’t use your cell phone as an alarm clock and keep it at least 6 feet from your bed..ideally in another room.
-Sleep with blinds all the way down so city lights at night don’t affect your sleep.
Sign up now for the Best Body Bootcamp four-week program. Next Bootcamp starts July 20. When you sign up at one of our 10 outdoor locations around the city you get our ebook for free which goes into greater detail about sleep patterns and Circadian Health. Best Body Bootcamp is a goal-oriented, fitness program that I co-founded. Every workout is different and are all based on interval training. Check out bestbodybootcamp.com to sign up now.
Image courtesy of TheAlieness GiselaGiardino23.