Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

Sleep

Sleep

Can we make it through the day with little sleep?

DSC_0412_fix
views
37

We know that sleep is crucial for optimal health, but you may know someone who doesn´t sleep that much, someone who seems to do okay and go through the day while little sleep but is this possible?

First, I need to mention that we´ve all been through certain situations and days where we need to get by with little to no sleep but, this does not mean it´s optimal. Getting enough high-quality sleep is important, we need at least 6 hours of sleep every night and we need to make sure that those 6 hours are high quality.

We´ve talked on other posts about the negative impact of poor or lack of sleep, you can see some of them right the next day for example feeling tired, hard to concentrate and focus on what you are doing, cravings for unhealthy foods increase and on the long run it can lead to weight gain, diabetes and chronic diseases.

Considering the lifestyle that most of us follow which is going to school or job and sometimes, more often than not we can´t get the 7 or 8 hours recommended then you need to find tools that can help you go by with little sleep and this includes working on the other 4 principles of fitness especially food, exercise and stress, mindset is also important.

When you don´t get enough sleep your concentration, productivity and performance are negatively impacted. Unfortunately, most of us can´t get by with little sleep and create works of art.

There are some steps you can take that will help you get by with little sleep but first there are some questions or points you need to consider and ask yourself to make sure that you can´t get more sleep:

1.- Think if you really need to skip sleep. Is the reason why you´re getting little sleep really more important than sleep? There are people who get little sleep because they binge on their favorite tv show. This is a huge mistake, sleep is your priority. If the reason why is because of a school project or job then make that project a priority but, do make sure it´s not every night.

2.- Ask yourself why you are getting little sleep. It may be because of a sleep problem like insomnia, sleep apnea or other. It may be because you can´t fall asleep. On these cases you need to figure out why you can´t fall asleep and the sleep problem and work on them. You may need to see a specialist to help.

Now, there are some steps you can take that will help you improve your day and get by with little sleep:

1.- Get sunlight in the morning.

2.- Drink water, it will help you stay hydrated so you don´t feel tired and exhausted.

3.- Get physical activity, if you can get up and take a walk for a couple of minutes every 1 or 2 hours it will help.

4.- Take a nap. It will help you feel more focused, increase energy and less tired.

Even when I don´t recommend little sleep this steps are helpful for those days and situations when you really can´t get enough sleep but make sure that it´s not something that happens every week or worse, every day.

Having a sleep schedule helps you improve the quality of sleep and this is highly important, if you are going to get low quantity you need to make sure that it´s high quality and for this you need to set and alarm clock and wake up at the same time every morning. It doesn´t matter if it´s weekday or weekend you need to wake up at the same time.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you like to sleep less and want to get by with and how do you feel when you get more sleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

How many hours of sleep do we need per night?

DSC_0181
views
42

This is a question many of us keep asking time and time again, from what I´ve read and what I´ve seen the amount of sleep each of us need per night will vary according to different factors like our levels of stress, nutrition, exercise, age, etc; our lifestyle will determine not only the amount of sleep we need but it will determine the tools we use for each of the 5 principles of fitness to live our best life possible.

Most people in the industry and research will say that we need around 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep per night but most of us don´t get that recommend quantity some of us because we can´t and some prefer to spend time late night watching Netflix or doing other stuff.

For someone who is very active during the day, someone who trained hard in the gym, someone who has a very stressful life getting the 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep is necessary because the body and mind needs to recover from all that stress and work of the day and get ready to start over again. Someone who doesn´t exercise hard and for someone who is able to maintain stress low the entire day can get only 6 hours of sleep and feel great.

Our age also plays an important point to consider, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the younger we are the more sleep we need, children need around 9 hours, adults around 8 hours, older adults around 7 hours.

The best way to know how many hours you need is by how you feel when you wake up, if you feel rested, with energy and ready to start your day then it was enough but if it´s hard to wake up and you want to hit the snooze button over and over, if you feel tired, if you lack energy then those are signs that you need to sleep more or improve the quality.

In any case, whether it´s 7 to 8 hours or 6 hours you need to make those hours count, quality of sleep is important, you may sleep 8 hours but if you keep waking up in the middle of the night you won´t get through all the phases of sleep and your body and mind won´t recover properly so when you wake up you won´t feel rested. You may get 6 hours of sleep but if those 6 hours were great and you were able to go through all the phases in each cycle when you wake up, you feel rested, energized and ready for the day.

There´s something I need to say about sleep, from everything I´ve read and research each sleep cycle last around 90 minutes so if we consider this and the 7 to 8 hours of sleep recommended the math is not right. It is possible that most people need 7.5 hours of sleep per night, but this is not a rule. Considering sleep cycles the question for me is how many cycles of sleep do you need? And this will vary from people to people. At what time you go to sleep also a has a huge impact, some people prefer to go to sleep really late around midnight while others around 9:00 pm. We all have a best time to go to sleep and it´s different for each of us, if you sleep at the right time for you, you may need less sleep.

Quality and quantity of sleep are both important, you can make adjustments to the quantity according to your lifestyle, but you need to make sure that it´s good quality. Enough good quality sleep help you perform better throughout the day by increasing focus and concentration, increase productivity, you get better results, it´s easier to stay on track in any program and the reason for this is that your body is working the way it should, all hormones and systems are on balance, when everything is on balance everything works as it´s supposed to work and that´s when you are able to perform at peak.

Sleep is a crucial part of success in life, it makes your fitness journey a lot easier but getting enough good quality sleep is crucial for health so developing habits and a schedule that help you get good quality sleep every night is key, we´re living very fast paced and stressful days so developing a routine before we go to sleep and right when we wake up helps us improve sleep by calming our mind and relaxing our body and also help us focus and concentrate on what we need to do every single day to stay on track and achieve our goals.

If you need to sleep 7 to 8 hours but for different reasons you can´t get them, naps are a great tool, taking a nap between 12 pm to 2:00 pm can help you recover and continue with the rest of your day.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

DietSleep

How food impacts sleep

DSC_0412_fix
views
69

One of the biggest problems for most of us that affects the quality of sleep and our weight is food. Do you love late night snacks? Do you love eating something before going to bed?

If your answer is yes which I think so, you are not alone. I used to love those late night snacks and for some time I chose ice cream which you may love too but what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat all have an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep.

The first point I´m going to mention is that you don´t want to go to bed hungry and you don´t want to go to bed full.

I mentioned before that food is fuel and information for our body, if we want our body to function and perform as best as possible we need to give it the information it needs, the nutrients it needs. Your gut is connected is connected to your brain and the immune system so everything we eat has a huge impact. Unhealthy highly processed foods increase stress on your body because your body doesn´t know what to do with them, the moment it ends with digestion there´s nothing it can use to function properly and all that foods end up being toxins and the amount of time it took your body to digest it is just a waste of time and energy.

I´ve also talked about the circadian rhythm, the internal clock in your body and how you need to make sure that you keep that internal clock in sync so that melatonin is secreted at the right time to fall asleep an get high quality sleep and when you wake up you feel rested. This clock is also important during the day to keep you awake and it also helps with the digesting process. Your body and brain know that at night in darkness it´s time to repair, recover, grow and get rid of toxins, during day and light hours it´s time to digest and stay alert.

For all this reasons I don´t recommend eating right before going to bed, when you go to sleep you want to make sure that your body is not working on digesting food because it has other jobs to do, if you go to sleep after having a meal your body will be digesting all that food and it won´t be working on repairing, growing and getting rid of toxins. You may have some trouble to fall asleep and you may not get a good night sleep. But you can´t go to bed hungry because it will also be hard for you to fall asleep.

Since sleep is important for optimal health you want to make sure that you get enough high quality every night and what you eat has an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep, what you eat, how much you eat and the time are all important. Having a schedule or a daily routine is a better way to call it will make it easier for you to improve sleep so here are some steps you can take:

1.- Have your last meal 3 hours before going to bed. This way you make sure that your body is not working on digesting food and it´s ready to sleep.

2.- Try the 80% rule. Do not eat until you are full, eat until you feel 80% full this gives your body enough time to digest food without work overload.

3.- Prioritize whole, healthy foods. You want to make sure that your body can work properly on digesting food that it can use the nutrients and information from the food properly.

This steps are simple to follow but will give you great results, food and sleep are crucial for maintaining optimal health and making it easier to lose weight and maintain a great physique but, you may not be able to get the 7 to 8 hours recommended so you need to make sure that you got other healthy tools you can use to make sure that the amount of sleep you get every night is the best quality possible. These 3 steps help you with that.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you thought about the relation between food and sleep before reading this post and if you have any sleep problems that could be related to what you eat.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Light exposure at night

DSC_0132
views
46

Have you ever asked yourself how light exposure at night affects your sleep and your health?

Most of us do not consider this, we may have sleep problems but we don´t think about light exposure and we can´t deny that we spend too much time in front of a computer, our cellphone, tablet or other electronic device right before going to bed. Once we´re on bed and we want to fall asleep it seems impossible and that´s one of the negative impacts of being exposed to blue light from electronic devices late at night.

Blue light exposure late at night reduces the amount of melatonin that is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. It´s not that your body is not producing melatonin and you need to take it as supplement, it´s that your body is not getting the right signals to produce it when you need it.

If your body does not get the right signals then your brain won´t secret melatonin and you´ll find it hard to fall asleep and once you fall asleep you may not get high quality sleep or you make wake up in the middle of the night. We know that getting enough high quality sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal health and this includes our brain and body.

Blue light interferes with the secretion of melatonin, and this has a direct impact on the circadian rhythm. We know that the circadian rhythm is the internal clock of our body and when it gets out of sync it affects negatively all hormones and systems on our body, it´s not only that we feel tired and lack energy or are less productive the next day, this has a huge negative impact on our health.

Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is related to some health problems like obesity, diabetes, depression and also Alzheimer´s and even some types of cancer because sleep regulate hormones and systems.

We know that it is recommended that we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, there are studies that show that people who was exposed to blue light got less sleep time and the quality of their sleep was lower, they also used to be more prone to wake up at night.

The best step you can take is to lower your exposure to blue light as the sun comes down, I know this is almost impossible for most of us because of school, projects, work and let´s be honest we want to watch at least one episode of our favorite series so what we can do is use amber glasses and turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. I also know I´ve said this before, but it´s important.

You may have heard about red light and how it can improve your sleep, red light exposure before going to bed can increase the secretion of melatonin, there are red light bulbs that minimize blue wavelengths and increase red wavelengths, this does not mean that you will see the bulb and light red. This is a good option if you want to read at night or finish some work, this type of light helps you get the things done without the negative impact of blue light.

If you can get 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure in the morning and turn off you electric devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed that will help your circadian rhythm stay in sync and you´ll find it easier to fall sleep and get high quality sleep, if you can do this every day and create an schedule it will be great.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you prioritize sleep and if you can get enough or if it is hard for you to get enough sleep and you´re looking for other ways to improve your health.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep and the brain

DSC_0417_fix
views
52

Have you ever thought about the impact of sleep on your brain?

We know that one night of poor sleep will impact negatively our day, we find it difficult to make the right choices, to stay concentrated, cravings increase, we don´t feel like exercising and we know that if this poor sleep becomes chronic it will impact negatively our health and this includes our brain.

Your brain goes through a lot every single day, from stress, to the food we eat, physical activity, everything we do and don´t do has an impact positive or negative, if you make the wrong choices and decisions then the impact will be negative the problem is that most of us do not think of our brain when we make a choice and most of the time we make the wrong unhealthy choices.

Eating unhealthy, highly processed foods high in sugars, unhealthy vegetable oils, trans fats and added chemicals increase inflammation, increase insulin and this impacts your brain. High levels of chronic stress and lack of physical activity also has a negative impact on your brain.

All this are toxins for your body and brain and all this are choices you can control for the most part. We know that sleep affects all systems, functions and hormones on our body, this includes the brain, this is why just one night of poor sleep has a negative impact on your day. We talk in other post about what happens during sleep, what is going on in our body and brain (click this link to learn about it).

During sleep your brain is getting rid of all the toxins from the day and getting ready for the next day. With just one night of poor sleep you find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand, it´s harder to understand what you´re reading, you tend to forget information, everything seems to require a lot more energy to get done. If this poor sleep becomes chronic it leads to memory loss, brain fog, confusion, forget information and all the negative impact on overall health like increase stress, inflammation, weight gain.

The important thing to consider is what sleep does to your brain, you know that when the night comes your body and brain were exposed to so many toxins and this toxins can lead to health problems some worse than others, even Alzheimer´s and Parkinson for example. Your brain gets rid of these toxins during sleep through the glymphatic system jus as the lymphatic system gets rid of all the toxins ands waste from our body, the glymphatic system gets rid of all the waste and toxins on our brain.

As any system of your body the glymphatic system can be disrupted and can lead to health problems. Chronic sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep increases inflammation, increases insulin resistance, slows metabolisms and all these conditions are linked to brain diseases like Alzheimer´s and Parkinson.

So it´s not only that when you are sleep deprived you make poor choices and you are slower at any activity, this includes thinking but it leads to severe diseases so you need to prioritize sleep and make sure that you get enough high-quality every night.

On future posts we´ll talk about the glymphatic and the lymphatic system but for now you need to know that if you want your brain to function as optimal as possible you need to prioritize sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you do prioritize sleep or if like to binge watch.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep and longevity

DSC_0060
views
70

This is the truth, even when I know that sleep plays an important role on maintaining optimal health I would love that I do not need sleep, it would be amazing to go through life without sleeping but this is not possible, actually one of the many benefits of sleep is longevity.

Studies show that getting enough high quality sleep increases longevity, we´ve seen in other posts that there are so many things going on while we sleep, your body and brain are not resting they are actually working hard to make sure that all systems and hormones of your body function right and this leads to optimal health and also boost longevity.

Every morning when you wake up you need to feel renewed and fresh, full of energy to start your day, this means that you had enough high quality sleep and your body and brain were able to work on renewing all systems and hormones, sleep helps maintain everything in balance but you also need to make sure that the internal clock of your body or circadian rhythm is in sync because this is what helps you fall asleep fast, get enough high quality sleep and it also helps your body know when it´s time to sleep and do all the cleaning, repairing and growing job and when it´s time to be awake and alert.

Chronic sleep problems have shown to have a negative impact on overall health, weight an longevity, with just one night of poor sleep you can see the negative impact during the day it´s clear that on the long run this will affect our health.

If you get enough high quality sleep every night which means that you have a good night schedule then you´re making sure that your body is working as best as possible keeping all functions, systems and hormones in balance which leads to optimal health and this optimal health leads to longevity.

To get the most benefits from sleep the best step you can take is to go to sleep when the sun comes down and wake up when the rise which for most of us is impossible to do, we are not able to get the 8 hours recommended because of work and all the activities we need to get done during the day. So, making sure that the quantity of sleep you can get every night is high quality.

You also need to consider that too much sleep also has a negative impact, too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. I don´t thing that all of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep, if we consider that sleep goes in cycles then the math is not right for me (we´ll talk about this on other post), I think it all comes down to lifestyle and even genetics. The best way to know if you´re getting enough high-quality sleep is by being aware of how you feel the next day and your health. Listening to your body always wins.

Everything we do on this site is to help you improve your health and maintain optimal health and a healthy weight which helps you reach your full potential without burning out and increase longevity. This is why we focus on the 5 principles of fitness, exercise, food, sleep, stress and mindset are all important but since sleep makes sure that all hormones and systems on our body are on balance this is why some people consider sleep to be the most important. If you didn´t get enough high-quality sleep you´re cravings for unhealthy foods increase and you make unhealthy choices, you don´t have energy to exercise, it´s easier for you to get stressed and this leads to a negative and unhealthy cycle.

If you want to boost your longevity makes sure that the amount of sleep you can get every night is high-quality, you may need to make some changes on your night routine like turning off all lights and electronic devices 30 minutes before going to bed, making sure that your room is dark and at the temperature is right.

There are simple steps you can take for the 5 principles of fitness to help you improve your day and life, we´ll continue sharing with you tips and strategies you can take to improve sleep but, if there´s something you want to know leave your comments and questions down below and on Twitter that way we know what´s the best content to create and to help you.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why reducing light as the sun comes down is beneficial

DSC_0132
views
91

We know that it´s important to get enough high quality sleep every night if we want to be as productive as possible the next day, if we want to perform as best as possible and also to maintain optimal health but there are some nights you just can´t fall asleep faster or when you wake up the next day you don´t feel rested. There are some strategies you can use to improve the quality of sleep and to help you fall asleep faster and one of those strategies is to reduce light exposure as the sun comes down.

You may have heard of the circadian rhythm or the internal clock of our body, this internal clock located in the hypothalamus receives direct signals from the eyes and with these signals it regulates our hormones, metabolism and sleep cycles. Just as nature has cycles, days and night you also have cycles and the more you work with the cycles of nature the more benefits you get. When everything is working in harmony, inside and outside the easier it is to maintain optimal health and a healthy weight.

When the circadian rhythm or internal clock gets out of sync it can cause different health problems like obesity and diabetes. It´s highly important that we get light exposure especially from the sun during the day and that you are in total darkness during night.

Before the invention of light bulbs and technology we used to follow the cycles of nature, we woke up as the sun rises and go to sleep as the sun comes down but with all the access to technology we spend hours late at night in front of screens which send the wrong signals through our eyes and the internal clock of our body gets out of sync.

You need to make sure that you´re sending the right signal to the hypothalamus so that it can keep all hormones on your body in sync and it also keeps our sleep cycles and metabolism working as efficient as possible.

We talked about melatonin on the last post (click here to read that post) so you know that the release of melatonin is also triggered by sending the right signals, you may have thought about taking it as a supplement and you may not need it, you may have enough melatonin but you´re sending the wrong signal through your eyes so your body is not releasing it.

If you want all your body to be working as efficiently as possible you need to make sure that you´re sending the right signals, in this case through the eyes, light exposure.

Light exposure in the night has a negative impact on the quality and quality of sleep but it also makes it harder for us to fall asleep fast so even when the best step you could take here is to follow the cycles of nature and reduce light exposure as the sun comes down which is not possible for us thanks to school and our jobs we need to find other strategies. The goal in this case is to reduce the negative impact of light, for this there are 2 steps we can follow:

1.- Use amber glasses to block blue light

2.- Avoid the use of all types of screen that emit blue light, electronics like computers, laptops, cellphones, tv; etc at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

These 2 steps may seem so simple but they are effective, take those 30 minutes to meditate, practice gratitude or some breathing exercises and make it part of you sleep schedule to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep.

Try these 2 steps for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Why we dream?

DSC_0412_fix
views
99

What did you dream last night? Do you remember most of your dreams or are you one of those who rarely remember? We all have dreams while we still, some of us are able to remember those dreams and others don´t but what those dreaming really means?

Some people belief that our dreams are like signals of what´s to come in the future and expressions of our fears, worries, insecurities and reminders of past memories.

Sometimes we wake up so fascinated about our dream or afraid of it if we had a nightmare, we´re so curious and some people get obsessed trying to find the meaning about dreams and the reason why we had a certain dream.

We´ve seen in past posts that there are so many things going on while we sleep, and there´s so much activity going on in the brain and there´s not an answer to why we dream or what´s the real meaning of those dreams. We know that most of our dreams occur during REM sleep but this doesn´t tell anything about the reason why we dream and the meaning of them.

When you´re dreaming it´s so real, you are able to feel the emotions until you wake up and realize you were dreaming, sometimes you love the dream so much that you want to fall asleep and continue with that dream which in some occasions this doesn´t happen and there are times when you´re having a nightmare and you wake up, you´re so scared and you don´t want to fall asleep, once we fall asleep that same nightmare continues and you´re terrified. There are some dreams that had a big impact on us, and we can remember them even a few years later.

There are some theories about why we dream and one of them is that as we saw in past post during sleep our brain go through a series of processes, one of them is to analyze information, if it´s important it will store it on certain regions of the brain while irrelevant information is deleted, maybe our brain is trying to find meaning to the tone of information we got throughout the day, it may also be a way to help us process certain emotions especially those days when we were highly stressed or went through a though situation. This theory makes sense because your brain needs to find a way to help you make sense of all the experiences and situations you go through and also find ways to analyze and decide which information is important and needs to be stored and which one can be deleted.

There are some dreams that you´ve all dreamed like the feeling of falling and this may be the reason why there are books and sites on the meaning of dreams but since there´s still so much research left to do and there are no real answers I don´t believe all those meanings are true.

The science of dreams is fascinating and as many other topics regarding health there are still so many questions and not enough answers. What I found fascinating about dreams is that they may reveal solutions to some problem you´ve been working so hard on and these solutions may seem like so logic and effortless. From those dreams you can get so many creative ideas you can use on your daily activities. There are so many successful people from musicians, painters, businesspeople that talk about how they get an idea for the project they´re working on or an idea for a new project or the solution to a problem in their dreams. Others talk about how they had a dream and when they woke up started to analyze it and try to understand it and that´s how they come up with some new ideas or solutions.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you are interested in the science of dreams and why.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

Tips to fall asleep faster

DSC_0181
views
94

Sleep needs to be a priority; we know that but is it easy for you to fall asleep fast or does it take so long until you can finally fall asleep?

There are different supplements you can buy that claim and promise to help you improve the quality of sleep and to help you fall asleep, but does they actually work? And what about the negative effects? I don´t recommend any supplement to help you get enough high quality sleep and to fall asleep faster (unless in certain occasions like jet lag) but there are some tips I can share with you to fall asleep faster.

There are several sleep problems that can be affecting the quality and quantity of sleep and also making it harder for you to fall asleep fast, we´re going to talk about this sleep problems on future posts because in these cases we need to take other kind of action.

When it comes to falling asleep faster and improving the quality of sleep most of us do not need to take supplements, what you need to do is change some habits or routines of your day that are impacting our sleep, the moment you make these changes you start getting benefits and the more you do them the best results you get.

What you do on your entire day has an impact on the quality of your sleep and how fast you´re able to fall asleep, your lifestyle plays a huge role on optimal health, what you do and don´t do are both important, you can´t just focus on doing certain things right you also need to avoid doing certain things in some cases just by not doing certain things that have a negative impact we can get amazing results.

Some tips you can follow to fall asleep faster are:

1.- Avoid eating 2 or 3 hours before going to bed, you don´t want your body to be working on digesting food.

2.- Avoid caffeine after lunch,

3.- Decrease blue light exposure or use amber glasses as the sun goes down,

4.- Make sure your room is dark.

You´ve probably heard these tips before but, have you tried them? They may look so simple but they´re actually effective, this tips help your body work more efficiently according to the internal clock of your body, when you reduce or block blue light and you make sure that your room is dark you´re sending the right signal to your body to secret melatonin so that you can fall asleep, when you avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed you make sure that everything you ate during the day is already digested so your body can focus on what it needs to do during sleep which is clean, repair, recover and grow. When you stop drinking caffeine at lunch, you give your body time to take it out of your system. With caffeine you also need to consider the amount, if you drink too much caffeine even before lunch it can have a negative impact making it harder to fall asleep.

You may be thinking that the tips I share with you are so simple and basic but, they are so effective, we are so stressed living a routinely life worrying for stuff that is not that important and we´ve forgotten to prioritize our health. The moment we start developing healthy habits for the 5 principles of fitness our health will improve and our life in general. For some of you it may be difficult to follow all the tips or steps I share with you in this and all the site and social media because of school, work or your lifestyle, just make sure that you find the ones that you can adapt to you life and work for you.

Give these 4 tips a try for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you find it easier to fall asleep or if you´re still having trouble.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Sleep

What you need to know about melatonin

DSC_0412_fix
views
104

Melatonin, you´ve heard about it right? We´ve mentioned it in some posts. Some people take it as a supplement for sleep, so we need to learn more about it and find out if those supplements are really helpful.

When we talk bout melatonin we need to talk about light and the cycles of sleep/wake, we mentioned in others posts that we send signals to our body and one of those signals is send through the eyes, light turns off melatonin and darkness turns on melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and this gland receives the signal through the eyes, we´re supposed to be in contact with nature and our wake/sleep cycle is supposed to work according to our environment the problem is that we´re exposed to blue light a huge part of the day and we don´t go outside and get sunlight exposure and this takes the circadian rhythm out of sync and we don´t send the right signals to the pineal gland.

If you find it hard to fall asleep and right before you go to bed you were sitting in front of your computer, laptop, tv or any other electronic device then that light is sending the wrong message to the pineal gland and melatonin production is turned off.

When we talk about supplements you need to understand the melatonin does not makes you sleep, it helps your body regulates the circadian rhythm. You may not need to take melatonin the problem may be that you´re sending the wrong messages to your brain and body so the pineal gland is not receiving the right message and it does not secret melatonin.

Taking melatonin as a supplement can be beneficial when for any reason the circadian rhythm is out of sync like jet lag, you can take a low dosage around 60 minutes before going to bed and it helps. It´s not necessary to take daily supplement and it can be counterproductive because your body gets use to receiving it and the pineal gland stops producing it.

I´ve seen so many people asking about melatonin as a supplement and taking it every night without knowing if they really need it but, in most cases this people also have bad habits and routines that impact negatively the quality and quantity of sleep. Before taking any supplement you need to make sure that your living a healthy lifestyle, this include giving your body the nutrients it needs through food, exercising the right way, lowering stress and if you don´t have healthy habits you need to start working on that first.

Some steps or tips to help you improve sleep and the production of melatonin are:

1.- Go outside for a walk, exercising in the gym is great but we also need to get sunlight exposure,

2.- Turn off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. If you like to fall asleep with the Tv on you need to change that habit because you´re not getting good quality sleep as you could. The room need to be dark so that the pineal gland secret melatonin and you get enough high-quality sleep.

3.- Have a sleep schedule to keep the circadian rhythm in sync to send the right messages to your body and brain.

Poor quality sleep is in most cases caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, eating unhealthy foods, lack of physical activity, lack of sunlight exposure, too much exposure to blue light. You may have enough melatonin and you don´t need to supplement the problem may be that your body is not secreting melatonin at the right time because the circadian rhythm is out of sync. Follow the steps I share with you in this post for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you saw an improvement or some change on the quantity and quality of sleep also if those steps make it easier to fall asleep.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam