Ciricadian rhythm and optimising recovery/vitality through ”deep” sleep.
Let’s talk sleep. Why aren’t you getting enough of it?
Most of us don’t get enough of it. Why? A lot of variables can be involved but what I notice most in my clients and my own experience is either from 2 things that need attention: all types of stresses and also nutrition.
Sleep is our main contributor to recovery and rejuvenating the body along with nutrition. If we aren’t doing both of these things well we are going to have all sorts of problems with our health.
A big part of sleep is controlled by a thing called your circadian rhythm.
When we wake/sun comes up we have a hormone that’s released called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone your adrenal glands release which makes you feel awake and alert, to much of it (fight or flight) can make you feel anxious or super uptight agitated and/or tense not enough of it will make you feel flat and almost depressed. When the sun sets our cortisol levels go down in the body and a hormone called melatonin is released which then helps bring on sleep pressure and we go to bed.
Now this rhythm can be disturbed by increase of cortisol levels and it suppressing effects of melatonin by the following things : particularly from 4-6pm onwards.
– Everyday stress: work, relationships, abuse etc etc will increase cortisol levels. Result in anxiety or stress
– Sugar or stimulants(caffeine ) or even sometimes starchy carbs or potassium/sodium imbalance food to late: why? Digestive system is working overtime as well as liver/pancreas processing/controlling blood sugars – increase in cortisol also happens in process from fight or flight. Potassium/sodium imbalance will result in increase blood pressure/resting heart rate. Result will be restless sleep or not a deep sleep- constantly waking maybe even going to toilet throughout the night.
– Artificial light/electronics media at night (tv phone pc): suppresses the ability to release melatonin and increases cortisol levels. Won’t allow sleep pressure to take place. Result will be late nights and ability to not fall asleep or even not reach a deep sleep.
– Exercising at night will increase cortisol. But some exercise is better then none so get it in where you can. Morning is always better to promote for natural flow of circadian rhythm.
-exercising in the morning
– don’t eat starchy carbs/sugar/caffeine past 4pm.
– Increase clean eating and vegetable intake to gain bodies vitality.
– Make sure you’re consuming more potassium to sodium to reduce blood pressure/resting heart rate.
– Exercise during the day not at night. Exercise will increase cortisol.
– Dim lights in house and turn off electronic media 1 hour before bed. (Notice how early you go to sleep when you go camping – it really works)
– Meditate or any breathing work to lower stress levels and oxygenise the body and get into a parasympathetic state (where nervous system is regulating normally and not in fight or flight) . Headspace is an awesome app which will guide you through a comfortable meditation.
– Take good quality magnesium and zinc before bed. Metagenics brand is the best. Relaxes nervous system. Aids recovery.
– Some Chinese herbs like rhiadola are also good for settling a hyper nervous system – but see a naturopath for that.
And aim for 7-8 hours of sleep for optimal recovery. See diagram to learn more.
Apply this stuff, because it really works! I just had a client drop 3kgs of body fat in 4 weeks from just applying some of these principles/methods. And shes feeling the best she’s felt and performing better in the gym.
Any questions feel free to contact me: