Sleep is an essential aspect of physical and mental health, and maintaining good energy levels, especially if you need to recovery from exercise or periods or intense stress. Sleep deprivation can affect your mood, metabolism, immunity and daytime functioning. And before you reach for the netflix remote.. sleep restriction of less than 6 hours on consecutive nights can also impair your mood and cognitive performance as well as your energy levels. So bottom line .. you should strive for 8 hours minimum of sleep time each night.
Sleep is an important time for our body to recharge, repair and regenerate. It’s when we produce a lot of hormones that are essential for our energy levels the next day, or stress levels and our metabolism. If we don’t wake rested we enter the vicious cycle of propping ourselves up with caffeine and sugar foods to get an energy hit, which leave us depleted even more with energy.
Things that can affect the quality your sleep:
– Lack of sunlight and Vitamin D
– Alcohol (damn!)
– Not enough serotonin (the happy hormone) can affect your sleep cycle. So if you’re going to watch netflix at night, make it a comedy! Serotonin levels are a topic of focus for scientists looking at insomnia sufferers.
What about exercise?
Remember to manage your stress levels which will also zap you of energy. Doing both high and low intensity exercise can help, but try and focus your high energy exercise in the morning hours when your stress hormones (cortisol) are naturally higher. Spiking your cortisone levels higher than they need to be will deplete your energy even further.
In the afternoon or evening when stress hormones are at their lowest, try and get a walk in the fresh air and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol if you’re in need of a good nights sleep. This will allow you to produce good levels of melatonin which will help you wake up feeling rested. It will also help with serotonin levels (the feel good hormone)
Trying to eat a meal higher in protein and lower in carbs for dinner will help ease you into a restful night sleep. Stick to higher good carb meals for lunch or breakfast when you most need the energy release.
And remember .. More sleep = happy days quite literally