But it’s crucial.
I’ve just finished reading one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
It’s called “Why We Sleep”, writer by the British Neuroscientist, Mathew Walker.
What’s even better is the podcast he was on with Joe Rogan.
I strongly suggest you listen to the podcast and/or buy the book, it’s a serious eye opener.
It’s really a brilliant book/podcast that had me saying “Wow” out loud.
I’ve got no affiliation with these guys but do yourself a favour – go buy the book or listen to the podast 🙂
Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian and the host/compere for UFC – his language can be a little fruity at times but ignore that and take the content.
We all know sleep is good for us but I’m quite positive you don’t know actually how good it is and how mother nature designed this necessity for life.
To summarise, here are 9 points I’ve cherry picked for you that you may benefit from knowing.
1. One half of your brain will not sleep as deeply when you stay in a hotel or a new bed for the first time.
It’s a “threat detection” system that every other animal has built in too.
In fact, sea dwelling mammals can actually sleep with one half of they brain in a deep sleep and the other half alert. Very clever.
2. Men that sleep 5-6 hrs per night have a level of testosterone that is the same as the average man of 10 years older – this means less virility, muscle strength and reduced fat burning capabilities.
3. Alcohol will get you to sleep quicker through sedation rather than natural sleep and it also interferes with your REM sleep, (rapid eye movement) or dream sleep. The is the stage of sleep responsible for memory, focus, motor skills and creativity and is crucial for our health.
4. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice with a good nights sleep makes perfect. Studies show that you are 20-30% better at skilled performance after quality sleep.
The term “Sleep on it” seems to ring true here.
5. Lack of sleep is now considered a major contributing factor for the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan famously said they survived on 4-5 hours of sleep per night – both died of Alzheimer’s.
Maybe – maybe not.
6. Shift workers have higher rates of obesity, diabetes and cancer and the World Health Organisation has classified shift work as a probable carcinogen, which means it has the potential to cause cancer.
Can you believe that?
If you work shifts or know anyone that does, please do what you can to change that lifestyle (easier said than done I know)
7. Being awake for 20hrs is the equivalent of being legally drunk or over the drink driving limit.
In fact, sleep deprivation causes more car crashes than alcohol and drugs combined.
Scary fact but true.
8. Optimal sleep time is 7-9 hours.
I personally aim for 7 although would love 9 🙂
10-5am as I like to get up early. That said, with a new baby in the house I’ve been grabbing a few extra hours when possible.
9. Lack of sleep plays havoc with the hormones responsible for appetite and weight.
Leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin tells you that you are full and satiated. Ghrelin signals hunger. Eat more food.
Lack of sleep decreases leptin so you don’t feel full and increases ghrelin, which screams at you “eat more food” so when you eat all that crappy food when you are tired you can at least blame your hormones (partially)
If weight loss or at least maintaining your weight is important to you, you have to gain control of these important hormones or it becomes very tough.
Bottom line is to start using sleep for the amazing, recuperative, energy enhancing, disease prevention and FREE tool that mother nature has given us.
It’s better than exercise and nutrition combined when it comes to your health.
Sleep is the greatest legal performance enhancing drug that most people are neglecting.
Here’s the book on Amazon <=== Go get it.
Here’s Joe Rogan’s podcast <=== Go listen.
Have a great day everybody and I will talk with you soon.
PS. The links above won’t click themselves now…
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