SLEEP IS AMAZING… when you get deep restorative sleep every night.However, a recent survey suggests around 45 percent of Australian adults now have insufficient quality sleep.
In this short article we are going to look at the problems a lack of sleep can cause and the solutions that will give you the best nights sleep of your life!!
Poor sleep is associated with…
- Increased sugar cravings
- Increased weight gain
- Muscle loss or sarcopenia
- Poor gut health
- Lowered sex drive
- Lack of energy
- Lapses in attention
- Reduced motivation
- Compromised problem solving
- Confusion, irritability and memory lapses
- Impaired communication
- Increased inflammation
- Increased risk of cancer
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Diminished reaction times
- Indifference and loss of empathy
That is a long list! So you definitely want to make sure that you are getting enough good quality sleep each night.
What is considered poor or inadequate sleep?
Anything less than 6-8 hours in adults and less than 8-10 hours in children and teenagers is considered too little sleep. However, the length is only part of the problem. The quality is as important as the quantity. Sleep quality can be affected by things such as waking up during the night or breathing issues such as snoring or sleep apnoea. These will prevent you from completing the cycles that are important for good quality sleep.
Each sleep cycle consists of 4 stages over a 90-minute period. The two most important for providing the benefits of a good quality sleep are delta (deep non-REM sleep) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. These two stages provide the best benefits in terms of detoxification, recovery, memory and overall physical and mental health.
Did you know? Sleep facts
- Delta sleep stores information from the day in your brain as knowledge
- REM sleep catalogues knowledge converted during delta sleep with other knowledge you have learnt and provides wisdom
- Sleep before midnight is 200% more restorative than sleep that occurs after midnight
- 2 hours less sleep a night can decrease testosterone in men by equivalent to 10 years of aging
- 2 hours less sleep can double the risk of cancer or cardiac arrhythmia
- You are 500% more likely to suffer depression or anxiety disorder if you have reduced quality sleep
- You are likely to eat on average 500kcal more the day after 1 night of poor sleep quality or quantity
How do we get better sleep?
Quality sleep is an accumulation of small habits that together will ensure the most restful & restorative experience. You need to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and increase melatonin (sleep hormone) naturally before you can ensure the best night’s sleep. Here are the top 5 ways to have the best sleep of your life and wake up with energy and enthusiasm…
1. Work out in the morning
That rush of endorphins and adrenaline you feel after a solid workout is awesome — until it’s the reason you can’t sleep at night. Try shifting your workout schedule to the mornings. You’ll feel great having completed your exercise session bright and early, and it’ll be easier to unwind at night.
Research shows working out in the morning effectively decrease sleep complaints and treat symptoms of insomnia.
2. Limit caffeine after 2 p.m.
Although many of us love a coffee and sometimes feel like we are building a tolerance to caffeine, the sleep disrupting effects can last for 6 – 8 hours even if you feel tired. If you’re having a coffee make it a COFFEE SWITCH™. This product isn’t too high in caffeine and the natural combination of whole coffee berry fruit extract (NeuroFactor®) and Alpina Galanga (EnXtra™) help to reduce the jitteriness and over stimulated feeling.
Alternatively, late in the day try VITALITY SWITCH™ instead of caffeine. The uplifting herbs will nourish your energy system without the stimulation of your central nervous system (CNS). Also, the improved gut health benefits may help with Serotonin production which may boost your happiness and improve sleep quality.
3. Use key supplements
There are many different herbs and supplements that you can use for sleep. However, some of them will leave you feeling drowsy or sedated the next day. The following 3 supplements are the most effective way to support quality sleep and overall recovery.
A magnesium deficiency (which is found in 75 – 90 of Australians) can lead to sleepless nights, cramps and restless leg syndrome.
While there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods you can eat naturally (leafy green veges), adding a supplement can help jump-start your levels and support better sleep.
One study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that magnesium supplements improved insomnia and sleep efficiency. The magnesium found in ADRENAL SWITCH™ is a citrate which is one of the most bioavailable. Try to avoid magnesium oxide as it has poor absorption.
This Ayurvedic herb found in ADRENAL SWITCH™ has been used for centuries as a calming adaptogen. The Latin name of this herb (Withania somnifera) translates to “help sleep”. Ashwagandha helps regulate cortisol which means it indirectly helps regulate the sleep wake cycle since cortisol is the main stress hormone keeping peoples mind racing and preventing restful sleep. Ashwagandha will not only help you SWITCH OFF, it will also help provide the deep (Delta) and REM sleep, where recovery, muscle growth and fat loss take place. You will wake up feeling refreshed.
Glycine is a super important amino acid. It helps support connective tissue, it is critical for the production of glutathione (your bodies most powerful antioxidant) and it supports quality sleep.
One study published in the journal of sleep and biological rhythms showed supplementing with glycine before bed resulted in faster and deeper sleep activation. The participants also experienced greater sleep efficiency and greater alertness the next day. You will find Glycine along with L-Leucine and L-Theanine in ADRENAL SWITCH™ to support healthy restful recovery.
4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Keeping your circadian rhythm regular even on weekends can be hard to do. However it is highly beneficial. As your body becomes used to getting into bed and waking up at the same hours, you’ll find it becomes easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Aim for an average of eight hours of quality sleep a night. You shouldn’t need an alarm clock to wake if you get to bed 8 hours before you need to wake.
5. Get some early day sunshine
Starting your day with natural light exposure helps reset your biological clock. It also balances your body’s melatonin and cortisol levels, and serves as a natural source of vitamin D.
In fact, research shows that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to sleep disorders. Try going for an early morning walk or leaving the office during your lunch break to get your dose of sunshine. Vitamin D from sunshine helps to support and regulate immunity, inflammation and hormones within the body creating more balance and harmony. You can find a clinical dose of 1,000iu of Vitamin D in a daily serving of ALPHA SWITCH™. These are the most effective tips for supporting sleep quality and improving your overall health, body composition and wellbeing.
6. Try a nap
However, if you can’t implement all of these tips and you still struggle to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling tired you may wish to have a siesta (short mid-afternoon sleep). Try to keep this shorter than 30 mins or you may cycle into a deep (delta) sleep which will be difficult to wake out of and your productivity may fall.
Sleep affects every hormone and every system of your body and all poor health outcomes can be linked back to poor sleep, inflammation, stress and toxicity. Keep in mind sleep lowers inflammation, reduces stress and supports detoxification through melatonin and glutathione production.
We all want to be successful and productive. This doesn’t come from hustling long into the night and working later than our competitors. It comes from getting a good night sleep, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world.
PRO TIP: Having ADRENAL SWITCH as a dessert by mixing 1 serve into coconut or Greek yoghurt is not only delicious but helps reduce sugar cravings and supports better quality sleep.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.