Improve Your Sleep To Become Harder To Kill
We have learned many lessons the last few years, none greater than the fact that we are responsible for our own health and that we are also responsible for strengthening our own immune system. With a healthcare system that favors medicines over prevention, where in a time of a pandemic, getting the shot was pushed harder than educating people how to become healthier through exercise and eating healthier. One of the greatest and most efficient ways we can build our immune system is through proper sleep.
In the past 100 years we dropped 20% in sleep hours per night. Our toxic culture of “sleep when you dead” and “living the grind” as well as increased stressors in recent years that forced isolation with social media toxicity and financial uncertainty, has caused our sleep to suffer and in turn, we have become even more unhealthy.
There are a lot more consequences to poor sleep than just feeling crappy the next day.
Here are a things affected by poor sleep that can hurt us:
- Poor sleep is associated with excess bodyweight and obesity.
- People who sleep less than 7 hours are at a higher risk for diabetes
- If you already have hypertension, poor sleep can raise or blood pressure
- Poor sleep is associated with more stress, sad, angry and more likely to be depressed
From a performance standpoint, or to be the most resilient we can, poor sleep is also detrimental:
- Men who sleep 5-6 hours per night will have testosterone levels of someone 10 years older
- Time to physical exhaustion drops buy up to 30%
- Lactic acid builds up faster the less you sleep
All of the mentioned above are a great threat to our immune system, plus, after coming off a pandemic that affected mostly people with co-morbidities, we aMUST begin to take care of or bodies. The good part is that sleep is something we can improve on our own, it is something we can control.
So, if you want to be healthier, fight off disease, have a stronger immune system and perform at your highest level, getting adequate sleep is imperative.
Here are some tips to improve sleep:
- Create a sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Avoid computer / phone screens 1-2 hours before bedtime.
- Keep it cool in your room
- Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
- Decrease alcohol intake
- Avoid large meals 2-3 hours before bed.
Listen, I know habit change is hard, specially our nightly routines, but if there is a lesson learned in the past few years, it’s that WE have to take control of our own health. As an adult, 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep with 8-11 hours for our kids dependent on age is a fast way to improve our health, protect our immune system and make us harder to kill. Why is that important? Because we never know when the next challenge is coming.