May 22, 2019
Benefit of Senior Fitness Programs
Written by: Femi Doyle-Marshall
What Is Sleep?
Sleep is the body’s primary source for energy recovery.
A great marker to know if you have been sleeping well is were you able to sleep through the night? Others include, were you restless in bed and after waking do you feel refreshed and energized? If you really think about it 1/3 of our day is dedicated towards sleeping. With eyes closed your body begins to gradually slow down allowing you to get into a sleep state. The interesting thing about the process alone is two stages of sleep exist. REM sleep which consists of dreaming or dream states and NREM sleep which includes the process of problem solving, healing, recovery and moderate wakefulness (this also has more than one stage).
Impacts of Sleep Deprivation & Sleep Debt
With the value of sleeping teetering at the tip of our minds we can find many reasons to put it on the back-burner. Concerns can flare up and make you reconsider not sleeping. Starting off is sleep disturbances increase inflammation. Short interruptions have shown signs to increase the stress response on the human body. Adding more volume to my case to sleep well, repetitive lack of sleep has also been shown to reduce performance, weaken the immune system and impact cognitive performance. A study on male cyclist found that by restricting sleep to periods of 4 hours a night dropped their performance by 4%. Numbers don’t lie.
To provide a solution to the rise of sleep debt the best option would be to increase your quality of rest when time allows. It is now time to indulge in the Ways to Hack Sleep Through A Better Blueprint.
Ways to Hack Sleep Through A Better Blueprint
One method often most overlooked is our own ability to gradually slow our body down into a state of rest or calmness. Using relaxation techniques incorporates the use of mental and physical strategies to bring your body to a resting state. Progressive relaxation focuses on the gradual contraction or tensing of muscles throughout your body and then relaxing. This fatigues the muscle leading your closer to sleep. Autogenic training (AT) is another method where focused is placed on awareness and relaxing specific areas of muscles. Other methods for relaxation include imagery and biofeedback. Each will bring your body to a state of rest or fatigue to assist with sleep.
Removal of Stimulants
Coffee, tea, cigarettes and alcohol can increase alertness and heighten wakefulness. Reducing consumption to earlier in the day is one method that may make an impact on sleep quality.
Exercise & Physical Activity
Movement has the ability to fatigue the body and also increase alertness based off of the hormonal response after an activity. Recommendations have been made to avoid exercise nearing bedtime. One study by the European Sleep Research Society found strenuous exercise prior to bed having no direct effect on sleep quality. Another mentioned more research needs to be made. Personal preference may be the most ideal approach to exercise in improving sleep quality.
Room Setting & Lighting
Removing bright lights and keeping a room in darkness can greatly improve sleep quality. Reasoning connects to the body response to external triggers such as natural light and sound. By ensuring ones sleep environment matches the normal environmental patterns improvements in sleep quality is possible.
Red Light Treatment, Yellow Tinted Shade & Technology Removal
Blue and white light has the ability to increase alertness. Removal of this source of lighting can aid in improving sleep. Many devices emit this type of light so a routine may be the best treatment method. One study taken with elite athletes found 30 minute use of red lighting in a room before bed assisted in improving sleep quality. Blocking blue light in general before bed has the potential to enhance sleep.
And that’s it for today on getting better sleep. Be sure to post any questions you may have about motivation on THEX FORUM many members have found that page quite useful. Otherwise have questions or concerns? Feel free to leave them below along with any comments, thoughts and feedback. If you are looking to get a better understanding of this article I will be sure to post a response.