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How much sleep do you need?

15-Nov-2012

Should you be getting more sleep?

You only need to jump on Google to see the many myths about optimal sleep time, too little and you can be more susceptible to weight gain, disease and lower life expectancy, too much can leave you feeling more tired and apparently you can even have sleeping disorders without even knowing it! So how do you know what is an old wives tale and what’s going to leave you performing at your peak?

There have been a number of extensive studies over the last 40 years or so to determine the truth about sleep and most findings indicate that the average healthy adult sleeps for around 7-7.5 hours a night. While 8 hours of sleep a night is a good bench mark, for each person it varies, some people are perfectly alert when functioning on 5, many highly influential people throughout time have been known to function off around 4 hours a night, while others are more comfortable with 7 or 8 and research suggests that athletes should be aiming for 8+.

Studies have proven that the major impact of serious lack of sleep is on your brain, in particular your cortex. This is the part of your brain that controls functions like speech, memory, perception, imagination and emotion, it needs to rest, unlike other sections of your brain carry on working as normal while you sleep such as those controlling heart rate, organ function and respiratory system.

When you are suffering a lack of sleep the impact on your concentration span, information processing, decision making, mood and stress levels can be highly detrimental to your work and home life as well as making it dangerous to drive.

Basically, all sleep research tends to reach a common theme, making sure you get enough sleep is important but the amount of sleep you require will be different for each person and ignoring the needs of your body will lead to health issues later down the track. While 8 hours is a great bench mark you might find that you need more or less than that to function normally. Either way having a restless sleep will make you tired, grumpy and irritable the next day so here are a few tips for making sure you sleep well and wake up feeling bright and rested.

1. Have a regular wake up time and go to bed at the same time each day. Your brain loves consistency and will be much happier knowing what to expect each day. It’s best to try and follow this pattern through weekends too, although I’m sure this won’t be possible for many of you!

2. The ideal room temperature is around 18°C too cold and your body will struggle to retain warmth during the night which can lead to disruptions but cool enough to be comfortable.

3. Leave your problems at the bedroom door and clear your mind before going to sleep. It might seem simple enough but many people go to bed with a lot on their mind, this can cause stress, restlessness and lead to an interrupted sleep.

4. Try to eat at least 4 hours before you go to sleep, hormones store body fat while you are sleeping as your body goes into a hibernation mode, 4 hours should allow sufficient time for your body to digest your food.

5. Have heavy, thick curtains so that your room stays dark until at least 5am.

6. Make your bedroom a calming, neat sanctuary where you go to relax and unwind.

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To train with A Better Body Sooner contact Russell on 0407 231 947 or email info@abetterbodysooner.com.au


Call Russell today on 0407 231 947 or email info@abetterbodysooner.com.au to make exercise a part of your lifestyle.