Lifestyle

Getting Better Sleep…

This just isn’t sexy…I’m sorry.

Do you want to know the number 1 thing you can do to improve your health, energy and fat loss?

It’s not exercise…

…It’s not diet and nutrition

and it sure isn’t sexy.

It’s sleep.

Yep, that’s it.

Your diet can be perfect, your training can be fantastic but if you are not sleeping well and by that I mean getting 6-7 hrs of deep, restorative sleep, you can FORGET about burning body fat

It’s true.

Millions of people worldwide are suffering the deleterious effects of poor sleep due to many factors (will mention this later on)

More important than fat loss, poor sleep or sleep deprivation has been linked to:

Diabetes

Higher risk of cancer

Shortened life span

Increased risk of heart disease

Obesity

immune system failure

Depression

Memory loss

Increased ageing

Loss of libido

Still think sleep is just a time machine to breakfast?

Sleep is the secret sauce to longevity and great health and it’s something we should take very seriously.

So what causes many of us to have poor sleep?

Stress, TV, computer screens, smart phones (oh the irony), coffee, alcohol and a lack of sunlight to name a few all effect the quality of sleep.

So what can we do TODAY to improve our sleep?

So in true eighty/20 fashion, here are 3 tips that you can use tonight.

  1. Eliminate the use of your laptop and smartphone up to 2hrs before you to bed.

The artificial blue light that is emitted by electronic screens triggers your body to release more daytime hormones (like cortisol), which disorientates your body’s natural preparation for sleep by stopping melatonin being produced.

If you have to use your laptop there are two things you can do.

Firstly, download an app call “Flux” which reduces the blue light on your screen. Failing that, you can get some special glasses (orange) which block blue light and UV.

You look a bit of an idiot in your living room but if you struggle with sleep it might be worth it.

Yes, I have a pair 🙂

  1. Don’t have any caffeine after 2pm.

What?

No double espresso at the 3pm slump? Well no, if you are sleeping poorly.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant of cortisol which is great in the morning where cortisol levels are naturally at their highest but elevated cortisol at night will keep you awake.

Caffeine can be used strategically to enhance metabolism, increase alertness and focus and even improve liver function if use in the right way so it would unfair to put it down too much.

If you are particularly sensitive, avoid caffeine altogether and any other stimulant (and booze)

  1. Hit the sack at 10pm every night 

The most beneficial hormones are released in the hours of 10pm – 2am.

Melatonin and human growth hormone are secreted at their highest levels during these hours. HGH is our bodies fat burning and anti-ageing hormone so secretion of this is vital for fat loss and your overall health.

Studies show that people that miss out on quality sleep in that 4 hour window or shift workers that work the “grave yard sift” have 30% more chance of getting breast cancer, as melatonin is an extremely powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer hormone.

Further studies also show that sleeping from 10pm – 6am is far more effective than sleeping from 12pm – 8am, even though the time slept is the same.

All down to hormone production.

So there are 3 things you can start with TODAY to improve your sleep.

If you value your health, want a lean, healthy body that’s full of energy, you will work on your sleep quality as hard as you work on your diet and training.

Have a great weekend and speak to you on Monday.

Gav 🙂

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