We all know by now the importance of a good night's sleep, but for those who struggle to get good quality sleep (with no disturbance), you might be wondering how you get a better night's sleep in just 5 simple ways...
Scientists have just made a revolutionary discovery, a new treatment that will make us all live longer. It would also make us look more beautiful. It can help us lose weight and lower food cravings. It can prevent us from cancer heart disease and Alzheimer’s. It helps ward off colds and the flu and potentially diminishes the risk of Covid. This amazing breakthrough will even make us happier, less depressed, and way less anxious. In-fact it appears to fix almost anything. Oh, it will also make you far more smarter, like increase your IQ by 10% or something, and it will help you keep far more memories. Are you ready to know what this amazing breakthrough is? It’s called getting more sleep...
I lied a little, because it’s not new research at all there are over 17,000 well scrutinised scientific reports, with more still being carried out, that explain the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. But, because companies (other than those who make sleeping drugs) can’t make loads of money getting people to sleep more, it's better for most of them to hide the research under a mattress. The very mattress you should be sleeping on more. Why? Because the more you sleep, the less you spend. Sleep is one of biggest enemies of virtually all companies.
Virtually every doctor I speak to, puts a good night sleep in the top 5 things to do to live healthier for longer, in fact the vast majority put it in their top 3. It’s such a big subject, with so much advice that I won’t even try and cover it in just one blog. Today I will look at some tips on getting a good night sleep, then in a future blog I will focus more on the benefits.
Did you know, we sleep way less today, than we ever have throughout history. In 1910, people slept an average of 9 hours per day. Sadly, most people now don’t even get even 7 hours, which today for most people appears to be the minimum requirement for good health.
And for those trying to lose weight, 7 hours also seems to be the point at which if you don’t get it, your weight gain starts. In research carried out in 2004, 2008 and 2010 (one of which was a 13 year study), it was reported that sleeping just 5 or 6 hours a day was associated with a more than 50% increased risk of weight gain.
What happens when you don't sleep enough?
The mechanism behind this is twofold. When you don’t get enough sleep, cortisol is released and drives insulin which drives weight gain. Plus, both leptin and ghrelin (the hunger hormone) have a circadian rhythm to them. In other words, they are tied to our body clock and any disturbance to our sleep decreases leptin, the hormone that tells us we are full and increases our hungry hormone ghrelin. If you aren’t getting enough sleep during this reset, it really will undermine your efforts to lose weight.
Ok, so I quickly slipped into a benefit of sleeping there, but let me share with you the research we follow at Health Results, for recommending that most people should get 7 hours sleep a night.
Our advice follows A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. They recommend that "Adults should sleep 7 or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health" while also suggesting that "Sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, and increased risk of death. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is also associated with impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, increased errors, and greater risk of accidents."
But they also state that….
"Sleeping more than 9 hours per night on a regular basis may be appropriate for young adults, individuals recovering from sleep debt, and individuals with illnesses. For others, it is uncertain whether sleeping more than 9 hours per night is associated with health risk."
If you struggle to get the required sleep you need at the moment, your not alone. In fact in America, the national sleep foundation say that around 2 in 3 adults failed to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night during the week. The UK is not quite as bad with 39% reported to sleep less than seven hours per night. But this is staggering, compare to 100 years ago when less than 2% of people were said to sleep less than six hours per night.
Sorry, I keep going off the subject, but I think now you can see why sleep is extremely important. So, how do we achieve a good night’s sleep? Let me explain the 5 areas that we focus on at Health Results...
1. Sleep timing
Stick to a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns.
Sleeping late on weekends won’t fully make up for lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday mornings.
2. Wind down properly
Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but no later than 2 to 3 hours before your bedtime. Instead, make it a priority to ease your body into relaxation before bed. Don’t overscheduled your day so that no time is left for unwinding. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
Also, try to avoid lying in bed awake, it will wind you up even more. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than half an hour, or if you are starting to feel anxious or worried, get up and do a relaxing activity (reading on the sofa for example) until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep to make it harder to fall asleep.
3. What are you eating and drinking before bed?
Before bedtime, it's important to avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, and chocolate, contain caffeine and its affects can take as long as eight hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for many to fall asleep at night.
The same goes for alcoholic drinks before bed too. Having a nightcap or an alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of your REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement – deep sleep), keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off.
Another tip from me would be to avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion, which interferes with sleep, while drinking too many fluids at night can cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist to see whether any drugs you’re taking might be contributing to your poor sleep and ask whether they can be taken at other times during the day or early on in the evening.
4. Evaluate your sleeping environment
Dark bedrooms, cool bedrooms and gadget free bedrooms are the key to sleep success. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You sleep better if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side. A TV, cell phone, or computer in the bedroom can also be a distraction and deprive you of needed sleep.
Having a comfortable mattress, pillow and even duvet covers can help promote a good night’s sleep (check out our 100% bamboo bedding for bedding that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter). Also, individuals who have insomnia often watch the clock which in turn, can increase sleep anxiety. Instead, turn the clocks face out of view so you don’t worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.
5. Improve your day time lifestyle
Having the right sunlight exposure during the day can completely transform your sleep quality. You see, daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day. Or, if possible, wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning. Sleep experts recommend that if you have problems falling asleep, you should get an hour of exposure to morning sunlight and turn down the lights before bedtime.
I hope you find that useful. Please checkout the video below from me which goes into a lot more detail. It begins with the 5 key tips above, but then expands on them more. Also, if you take my 49 day Health Reset course, guided by myself and professionals, we do two whole days on the “how” and the “why” on how to get a good night's sleep.
Here is a quick summary….
Try and get 7 to 9 hours a night sleep:
- Sleep in complete darkness, no artificial light, especially LED
- Sleep in no clothes or at least lose fitting
- Get a good mattress and good quality bedding
- Try and go to bed as close to the same time each night
- Try and keep your room slightly cold
- Do not have a TV or phone in your bedroom, no tech
- Don’t have caffeine past midday
- Try and go to bed when you are tired and wake when it feels natural
And finally, here is one more tip..
On days when you don’t have to get up at a specific time, DITCH THE ALARM! Seriously, think about it. No other species has an alarm clock, they wake up when the body want to wake up. This is something I swear by. On holidays, I never take an alarm clock and I let my body decide when to get up. I do the same at weekends. I also do the same in deciding when to go to bed. Plus the alarm clock that rudely wakes us up, spikes our blood sugar levels and releases cortisol because the body thinks it’s in flight or fight mode. Interesting, huh?
P.S. If you do want a natural sleeping supplement, that has helped thousands of people get a good night sleep (it is not a sleeping drug), then why not try our Sleep Naturally Supplement.
What made me happiest this week
I have had some time out with my family (getting some good sleep too) this week. It has been so lovely seeing how the simplest things can put a smile on their face, and I realised that the young ones find as many ways to laugh as often as possible. That’s something I think us grownups could do with more. Laughing is so good for the soul.
What Upset me most this week
I don’t want to keep beating the same drum, but hasn’t the planet had the most terrible summer of bush fires ever? We really need to be pushing the climate agenda harder and really make sure we don’t leave behind for a children a complete catastrophe.
Favourite customer email this week
"Just wanted to ping you and says thanks for all your efforts within the ancestral living space!! I’ve been LCHF + IF since Jan 2019 and have been re/educating myself in what I should be eating ever since then with awesome success which I could talk about for ages but won’t bore you:-). I wasn’t massively overweight but within about 12months I was back to my 20’s weight again, I’m now 50 and can wear the jeans I had when I went on my first date with my wife when I was 21 :-)"
- Andy T. from Surrey
A huge well done to Andy! Another great success story from cutting carbs, adopting a Primal lifestyle and introducing intermittent fasting.
Favourite recipe this week
Ok, this one is not on our app yet, but I cooked it for breakfast earlier in the week for my family. My thinking was to try and find a way of using our Fibrehydrate zero carb noodles for breakfast as a way to kick start the kids day with more fibre. Check out last week's blog post on the importance of fibre if you haven't already.
Serves: 4 people
- 2 packs Fibrehydrate Spaghetti
- 8 Mushrooms
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 2 Eggs
- 8 rashes of bacon
- Add salt and pepper and your favourite herbs to taste
- Olive Oil
I simply fried up the garlic and bacon and then threw in the 2 eggs and stirred till they looked scrambled. Then I threw in the tomatoes, mushrooms and noodles and heated for 2 to 3 minutes. Added some salt and pepper. Job done and totally, totally delicious.
A healthier Britain
In everything we do, in everything we create, our purpose is to prevent and reverse health problems by helping people understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their health and put them in charge of reaching or even exceeding their health potential.
Be sure to update your Primal Living App this week, we added a lot of recipes this week.
Primal Living's latest performance
We are passionate to create the very best health products on the planet. Many thanks to everyone who kindly took time to submit a review this week; here is your latest statistics: