A huge problem we see at Show Up Fitness is a lack of sleep. People quickly dismiss sleep as something we will get when we’re dead. How ironic, because a lack of sleep will kill you. Did you know getting less than 6 hours of sleep is the equivalent of a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .05? That’s right. When you don’t sleep for 6-hours, you’re on the same level as Chris at the Fig after 2-manhattans. How often do you get less than six hours of sleep? Instead of searching for the magical potion for fat loss, let’s address the lack of sleep American’s are getting today and help fix it.
Here are the top areas we can help you sleep better:
1- Technology and blue light exposure. When we were cavefolk, our circadian rhythm would wake us with the sun in the morning, and the pineal gland would release melatonin aka the sleep hormone when the sun went down. Once melatonin was released, we’d begin to get heavy eyes and try to sleep. Today, we’re exposed to blue light which signals the brain to hold off on the release of melatonin.
That’s right, your TV, phone, phone, iPad, alarm clock, and streetlights are keeping us wide awake. Here’s the fix option 1: Start wearing blue light blocking glasses. Put these bad boys on an hour before bed- they're less than $10! Option 2: Eliminate the exposure to ALL blue lights: email, phone, and tv 60-minutes before bed.
2- Limit alcohol consumption 2-hours before bed. Once alcohol accumulates in the blood (the liver can clearout roughly one drink per 45-minutes), it’s difficult to get into deep sleep. If you need a glass of wine to unwind from a hectic day, take caution. If your glass turns into three, you’ll be unable to get into deep sleep (stage 3 & 4 non-rapid eye movement.) These stages of non-REM help us feel energized and ready to SHOW UP for the day. Here’s the fix: LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION before bed. I’ve found this suggestion to be a huge game changer.
3- Limit caffeine consumption. The half-life of a reaction is the time required for the concentration to decrease to one-half its initial value. *Caffeine is roughly 5-6 hours. A venti Starbucks coffee has around 475mg of caffeine. If you were to consume a venti cup at 3 pm, by 9 pm you’d have ~235mg of caffeine circulating the body. Here’s the fix. LIMIT YOUR CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION AFTER 12-2pm pending on your bedtime. If you have the gene CYP1A2, you’ll be able to break down caffeine faster than the average person, but that’s unlikely you. Try it for a week and see how much better you feel.
* There are numerous factors that affect caffeine metabolism (age, size of liver, disease, having the gene CYP1A2 or PDSS2.)
4- Routine. Most of us have shitty bedtime habits: swiping left on tinder, stalking ex’s on IG, watching Netflix and responding to emails. We’re constantly stimulating our minds with new information- no wonder why our minds are racing! Here’s the fix: Create a bedtime routine 1-hour before you’d like to go to sleep.
A year ago, I made a conscious decision to create a bedtime routine. Here’s what my routine looks like:
8 pm I turn off my computer and put on my blue light glasses. I limit caffeine only in the mornings and Mon-Thur no drinks past 7 pm. Around 9 pm, I drink a cup of Chamomile tea while reading. At 9:30 pm, I down my magical Sleeping Potion via Doc Parsley.
Before I established this routine, I would only sleep through the night 3-4x PER YEAR! I would constantly get up to go to the bathroom, toss and turn, and seek caffeine in the morning due to a lack of energy. Now, I sleep through the night 4-5x a week and feel amazing. SLEEP is what you’re missing, not a magical pill or flashy exercise. Let us know what you think.