Sleep is a powerful fat burner

Good sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health.  While 6 to 8 hours is widely accepted as the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, getting too little or even too much sleep can negatively affect your health.

Sleep deprivation has become so common that many people may not even realize they are suffering from it.  Some of the serious problems that a sleep deficit can cause include:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Poor memory
  • Poor concentration and mental performance
  • Poor physical performance
  • Stress related disorders such as heart disease, ulcers, and depression
  • Reduced growth hormone produced (accelerating the aging process)
  • Hunger and weight gain

Lost sleep can never be made up.  The sleep you miss during the week is lost forever and can’t be made up for by sleeping in on the weekend.  Persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health and can make your life miserable, as you may already know.

Conversely, getting enough good quality sleep can improve fat metabolism, increase GH production, support muscle building, improve physical and mental performance, and boost your immune system.  This short video outlines some simple tips for getting better sleep:

 

Here are several other natural methods for improving your overall sleep health:

 12  Tips for Better Sleep

  1.  Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even a tiny glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. Close your bedroom door, get rid of night-lights, cover your clock radio, wear an eye mask, use blackout shades on your windows, and refrain from turning on any lights during the night (even to go to the bathroom… if you can!).  Modern day electrical lighting has significantly disrupted your natural circadian rhythms. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and prepare for ACTION.
  2. Sleep in a cool environment.  Many people keep their homes far too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees.  I suggest keeping your bedroom temperature no higher than 70 degrees F.  Any cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. Your body’s temperature naturally drops when you sleep, and a cooler bedroom is more conductive to a deep, restful sleep.
  3. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. Choose an alarm clock with a less “startling” alarm, preferably one that gradually increases in volume.
  4. Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.
  5. Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Before the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well. When you get to sleep before midnight the quality of the sleep you get will be much more productive.
  6. Keep the same bedtime. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  7. Go to the bathroom right before bed. To minimize the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night, go to the bathroom before hitting the sack, and avoid drinking too much right before sleep.
  8. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.
  9. Avoid carbohydrate snacks right before bed. These will raise your blood sugar, delay sleep, and interfere with GH production. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.
  10. Establish a bedtime routine. Establish a bedtime routine that could include meditation, deep breathing, relaxation exercises/CD’s, or listening to calming classical music before bed.  Also avoid watching TV right before sleep and get the TV out of the bedroom (or even better, right out of the house!).  Put away your work and any stressful activities at least an hour before bed to give your mind a chance to unwind.  Journaling before sleep is also an effective way to “unload” your mind onto paper and stop it from racing when your head hits the pillow. I’ve been doing this for years and I find it really helps me unwind and relax.
  11. Reduce or avoid the use of drugs as much as possible. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drugs can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and negatively affect the quality of your sleep.  Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep.
  12. Exercise regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. If you find that exercising too close to bedtime is keeping you awake, try to start your day with a quick workout instead. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

Try to implement these suggestions for improving your sleep and you will notice an improvement in your body composition and your overall health.  Sleep is so important to the quality of your life in so many ways; anything you can do to support better sleep will carry over to so many other aspects of your health and well-being.

Sleep on it.

Stay fit,

Josh

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5 Responses to Sleep is a powerful fat burner

  • George says:

    Hi
    I’ve read the article and agreed with all that is written here.
    These are the rules and regulations that can hardly be doubted.
    Let me share with you some observations about how I sleep and how a sleep works for me as a fat burning tool.
    First of all, what makes us sleep peacefully at the end of the day?
    It’s the thought that the day had been spent in accordance with the goal for this day.
    I always ask myself question:
    “Have |I lived this day as I wanted to?”
    “Have I done all I planned to do?”
    “Can I say that this day was one of the best days in my life?”
    When all these and a few similar questions that fly in my brain answered positively, I end up a day and a sleep then becomes to me as a logical continuation of a 24 hour time module and after the magic words:” I have lived this day nicely,” I get to sleep at once.
    If, however, at least one of the above questions fail to be answered positively, then I have to turn to tips and tricks of a better sleep, the process that comes thru sort of a struggle with my self.
    Next point is the importance of thinking about something very pleasant. I remember at problematic teenager years, having lots of conflicts with people around me, the shelter was my set of dreams: I saw myself a strong big man fighting against my enemies victoriously, travelling around the world on a white liner in the company of lovely ladies and handsome men…
    These dreams had always been (and by the way, still are) my save belts helping me to overcome life problems.
    Another interesting idea is of having a short sleep during a day.
    I strongly believe that when I feel like sleeping for an hour and a half during the day, I should answer the call of my body and have a nap. After that I feel much better not only the rest of the day but when\i get to bed at night too.
    About eating before getting to bed. Surely basic don’t are correct.
    But, I would also say a few words about drinking too. Whenever I drink after 8pm, I am in trouble. At 4-5am I have to go to a bathroom, it’s just a law :-).
    So, no water or any other drinks after 8pm for me.
    Eating cottage cheese, on the other hand, even after 9.30 and 10pm, doesn’t bring any specific problems to me.
    Now, something else, I would like to share with you. Yes, it is about sex.
    Showing your Lady your love and care before getting to sleep for me had always been a matter of love (first years,) then a matter of responsibility, and now a matter of husband’s duty: you see I’ve been married to the same woman for almost 37 years! )
    What can be nice than to get asleep holding a hand of your loved one?!
    OK, on this lyrical note, I would like to end up my humble notes.
    Just one more thing: waking up.
    I have gone thru tens of methods and finally discovered one great rule:
    when you get to sleep in super mood, waking up makes no problems at all.
    Knowing why we go into another day , what we are to accomplish today, makes us willing to wake and and get going!
    Wishing you best of sleeping and surely, waking up, 🙂
    George Rusky

    • admin says:

      Hey George,
      Thanks for reading and posting the comment… great feedback! I appreciate you sharing your experiences and recommendations related to getting better sleep, and improving quality of life in general. Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future… I’m posting another article soon.
      Josh

  • George says:

    My pleasure, Josh
    Waiting for your next post
    Cheers
    George

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