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Sleep

Sleep and longevity

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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, our body and brain are not resting they are actually working hard to make sure that all systems and hormones of our body function right and this leads to optimal health and also boost longevity.

Every morning when you wake up you are supposed 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 we also need to make sure that the internal clock of our body or circadian rhythm is in sync because this is what helps us fall asleep fast, get enough high quality sleep and it also helps our 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 we can see the negative impact during the day it´s clear that on the long run this will affect our health.

If we get enough high quality sleep every night which at some point means that we have a good night schedule then we´re making sure that our 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 we 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.

We 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 with 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 60 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 on our Facebook and Twitter account.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Reduce light as the sun comes down

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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 we also have cycles and the more we work with the cycles of nature the more benefits we 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 we 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.

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

We talked about melatonin on this post so we 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 we want all our body to be working as efficiently as possible we need to make sure that we´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 we 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 me know by leaving a comment on my Twitter and Facebook account the results.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Why do we dream?

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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 we´re dreaming it´s so real, we are able to feel the emotions until we wake up and realize we were dreaming, sometimes we love the dream so much that we want to fall asleep and continue with that dream which in some occasions this doesn´t happen and there are times when we´re having a nightmare and we wake up, we´re so scared and we don´t want to fall asleep, once we fall asleep that same nightmare continues and we´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, may be 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 our brain needs to find a way to help us make sense of all the experiences and situations we 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 we´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 we can get so many creative ideas we can use on our 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 we 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 on our Facebook and Twitter account if you are interested in the science of dreams and why.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Pam

Sleep

Tips to fall asleep faster

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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 us 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 we need to do is change some habits or routines of our day that are impacting our sleep, the moment we make these changes we start getting benefits and the more we do them the best results we get.

What we do on our entire day has an impact on the quality of our sleep and how fast we´re able to fall asleep, our lifestyle plays a huge role on optimal health, what we do and don´t do are both important, we can´t just focus on doing certain things right we 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 our body work more efficiently according to the internal clock of our body, when we reduce or block blue light and we make sure that our room is dark we´re sending the right signal to our body to secret melatonin so that we can fall asleep, when we avoid eating 3 hours before going to bed we make sure that everything we ate during the day is already digested so our body can focus on what it needs to do during sleep which is clean, repair, recover and grow. When we stop drinking caffeine at lunch, we give our body time to take it out of our system. With caffeine we also need to consider the amount, if we drink too much caffeine even before lunch it can have a negative impact making it harder to fall asleep.

Give this 4 tips a try for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and twitter account if you find it easier to fall asleep or if you´re still having trouble.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

What is melatonin

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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 supplement we need to understand the melatonin does not makes us sleep, it helps our 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.

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 and you 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 we share with you in this post for a couple of weeks and let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account 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.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Amber glasses to improve sleep

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Is it hard for you to get enough high-quality sleep every night? Do you find it hard to fall asleep fast? You may know by now that getting high quality sleep every night is crucial for optimal health and performance so finding tools or strategies to help you improve the quality and quantity of sleep is beneficial.

On the last post about sleep we talk about the negative impact that blue light has on quality and quantity of sleep, blue light is the light emitted by screens of electronic devices and we also need to consider that we´re not following the wake-sleep cycle that goes with nature.

When we´re exposed to blue light especially in the night when the sun sets the circadian rhythm gets out of sync and our brain doesn´t produce melatonin to fall asleep so the best step you can take is avoid electronic devices but since this is difficult for most of us then using amber glasses is a good option.

Amber glasses have demonstrated through research to be effective at blocking blue light leading to improvements in the quality and quantity of sleep and helping restore the circadian rhythm and production of melatonin.

Amber glasses have increased popularity in the last years thanks to being effective at blocking blue light while making it possible for us to maintain our normal activities, but this doesn´t mean that we can´t binge watching a documentary o series or that we can keep playing video games or checking social media or e-mail late night.

These glasses are an effective tool we can use when we need to get something done, when we need to finish a project and we need to stay up late in front of our computer finishing the last details.

Spending too much time in front of a computer or electronic device can also affect your eyes, some people may have blurry vision or even headaches. Even when some people say that amber glasses don´t work and it´s all a marketing strategy, there´s researching showing that they are effective.

For me it all comes down to how much time you spend in front of a computer or any electronic device, if you spend 6 to 7 hours or more per day then using amber glasses to block blue light especially in the afternoon and night then they will be beneficial.

To get enough high-quality sleep we want to mimic the cycles of nature and make sure that the circadian rhythm in in sync and send our brain and body the right messages through the eyes. Getting sunlight exposure in the morning sends the signal to our body that it´s day time and we need to be awake and darkness late afternoon when the sun starts to set sends the signal to our body that it´s time to produce melatonin to sleep so if we´re not able to turn off all electric devices when the sun goes down we can use amber glasses to block blue light from the screens.

If you can turn off electric devices some days of the week like weekends, if you can turn off the computer, laptop, tablet do it. Also avoid checking social media and email when you are already on bed a couple of minutes before you want to fall asleep. Amber glasses are a tool we can use to help us block blue light when we need to be in front of the computer finishing a project but if we can turn them off then we should take advantage of those moments to get high quality sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you spend more than 7 hours in front of a computer and if you´ve been having trouble to get high quality sleep every night.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

How blue light impacts sleep

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Have you been having difficulties to fall asleep? Are you having sleep problems or a bad night sleep?

We spend too much time in front of a computer, laptops, tablet, cell phone or any other screen but we don´t think about the negative impact that this have in the quality and quantity of sleep. It´s not only the fact that we´re exposed to electric light from the moment we wake up to the moment we want to fall asleep, the type of light we´re exposed and the times of the day have a negative impact on sleep.

The light that the screens of electric devices like computers, laptops, cellphones, etc; and electric bulbs release is blue light.

Even when artificial light has a huge positive impact on our lives by helping us get more things done, it also has so many negative impacts for our health and our life. Some years ago the only source of lightning was the sun and people worked and schedule their day according to the light of the sun, they worked more in coherence and harmony with nature and the environment until we had access of artificial light and when this happened we were able to illuminate our evenings and nights which causes a lot of health problems.

We saw in the last post how the circadian rhythm works and the access to light at night before bed blocks melatonin and hormones and functions in our body get out of sync.

Blue light in particular has been associated to a negative impact on our sleep and health in general. Blue light exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin which is hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that influences the circadian rhythm.

If you are one of those people who like to check their e-mail or social media right before going to bed or worse, when you are already in bed just before falling asleep and you find it hard to fall asleep the blue light from the screen is the one that impairs your ability to fall asleep.

Since blue light impacts the quality and quantity of sleep this leads to greater health problems, lack or poor-quality sleep makes it harder to lose weight and maintain optimal weight and health and it´s linked to more complicated health problems

Light sends the signal to our brain and body that we need to be woken up through the eyes so when we want to fall asleep we need to send the right signal to our brain through our eyes and this means avoiding all light 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed especially blue light.

In the last years amber glasses have increased popularity (we´re going to talk about them in the next post) because they are one tool to block blue light but there are more strategies and tools we can use to reduce the exposure to light and this includes having a sleep schedule which is for most of us the best option because we can designed one that works for us and our day.

The best thing we can do is try to emulate nature, emulate our environment which means that we need to reduce light as the sun goes down and increase it as the sun raise but this can be hard for most of us since we need to get to school, our job and get so much stuff done during the day so the best option is to reduce light exposure for a period of time before going to bed.

 We know that high quality sleep is key if we want to lose weight and maintain an amazing physique so we need to make sure that we get the best quality sleep as possible because most of us do not get the 7 to 8 hours, to improve sleep and make sure it´s high quality it all starts by being able to fall asleep fast which can be achieved by having a sleep schedule and this schedule needs to consider avoiding all blue light, especially screen devices for at least 60 minutes before going to bed, red light is a good option too but we´re going to talk about it in future posts.

Follow these next steps today to improve the quality of sleep:

1.- Turn off all electric devices especially the ones with screens like Tv, computer, tablets, cell phones (if you need to keep your phone on in case of emergency make sure that you don´t check it) 60 minutes before going to bed,

2.- Take the first 30 minutes to practice visualization and gratitude exercises,

3.- Take the next 30 minutes to practice breathing exercises to fall asleep faster.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you did the exercise and what was your result or experience.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Sleep is not only for rest.

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There are so many things going on in our body while we sleep and it´s not only recovery and growth. All systems of our body and brain are working so hard doing different functions while we sleep.

From cleaning our body from toxins, to deleting unnecessary information and storing important information in other parts of our brain there are so many processes that need to work in harmony, our body and brain never rest, there´s always something going on.

One of the most important processes that go on while we sleep is that our body gets rid of toxins and our brain deletes unnecessary information. Have you ever stopped for a moment and think about all the toxins we consume in one day? from the food we eat, the high levels of chronic stress from our work or school, the products we use to clean, the air we breathe, etc; in that same day we also get a ton of information from what we see on all social media, to tv, the news, also information about our coworkers or classmates, what´s happening on our city or country and even in other countries, everything we see from the moment we wake up, there´s literally so much going on every single day so when we sleep our brain also has a system that helps it manage all that information, if the information is not important it will be deleted, if it´s something important for a project it will store it in a part of the brain until we´re done with it and we´re able to forget it while the most important and relevant information will get stored in the long-term memory.

All this cleaning part is so important to be able to free space on our brain to get more information in, to learn new skills and in our body to help us prevent diseases.

There are so many toxins that have a negative impact on our body and health so there are systems in our body that make all this cleaning possible every night but for this to happen we need to make sure that we net enough high quality sleep.

During sleep our hormones are also working, enough high quality sleep makes it easier to lose weight and stay lean because all our hormones like leptin and ghrelin are balanced and working properly so we don´t have cravings, we don´t feel hungry all day so it´s easier for us to make the right choices. Enough high-quality sleep improves metabolism and helps with insulin sensitivity. Lack or poor sleep is linked to weight and obesity, if we are obese or overweight can cause sleep problems which leads to a negative cycle.

Our physical and mental health are also impacted by the quality and quantity of our sleep, we can see the negative impact of a poor night sleep that day and if this sleep problem is chronic then the negative impact is huge, health problems physical or mental are highly linked to poor or lack of sleep. When we don´t get enough high quality sleep the immune system won´t be working efficiently and this makes it harder for our body to fight diseases, also lack or poor sleep increases stress as we mentioned before and stress and we know that this bad stress causes a lot of damage to our body.

Our body needs to heal, recover, repair, grow and clean from all the toxins, stress (good and bad) that we went through during the day and for this to be possible we need to be aware of the other 4 principles of fitness so that our body has the nutrients and everything it needs to make every process as optimal as possible.

Since sleep affects every system, hormone, etc; on our body and there are so many processed going on while we sleep we need to make sure that we get enough high quality sleep every night, this is not only necessary to maintain a good mood, energy and concentration throughout the day it´s necessary for optimal health and this includes physical and mental.

We cannot forget that sleep plays an important role for the proper recovery of our workouts, our muscles recover, grow and get stronger when we´re recovering and sleep is part of this recovery so, if we want to get the best results possible we need to make sure that we´re getting enough high quality sleep. For weight loss sleep is also important to keep cravings low and make sure that all hormones are working properly to make our weight loss journey a lot easier.

One simple step you can take today to improve the quality and quantity of sleep is turn off all electric devices and lights at least 30minutes before going to bed, try to make your bedroom as dark as possible those 30 minutes, this will send signals to your brain and body that it´s time to sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if you make sleep a priority every night and how good is your quality of sleep and if you don´t prioritize sleep let us know why, is it school, your job, kids?

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Pam

Sleep

The circadian rhythm…circadian what?

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You may have heard about the importance of having a sleep schedule or at least trying to go to sleep around the same time every night, this is true and the positive impact it has in your life is amazing, the reason for this is the circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm plays an important role on the quality and quantity of our sleep, if the circadian rhythm is out of sync for any reason then it will impact negatively our sleep, this can by just for one night but if this turns into a habit it can have huge negative consequences in the long run.

We are supposed to follow nature´s clock what I mean with this is that we´re supposed to go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun goes up. Our body has an internal clock and most of its functions go according to that internal clock, this has to do with the production of melatonin to fall asleep, increasing cortisol at certain hours.

Nature works in a cycle of 24 hours, a cycle of day and night, during day we get light from the sun and at night it´s dark. Our body also works in the same 24 hours period, or at least it tries. This 24-hour cycle has a lot to do with our sleep-wake cycle the same way the sun rises and sets every day. This cycle also contributes to hours of sleep when hour body is recovering, growing and eliminating toxics and hours of alertness during the day when we´re supposed to have all the energy and focus to live as best as possible.

During this cycle there are so many things going on in our body like producing melatonin, body temperature fluctuates, the hormones also have fluctuations.

We need melatonin to fall asleep which is produced when the sun starts to set and as the lights go down if we keep working on our computer or laptop or checking our phone until late night our body won´t produce melatonin which is one of the reasons why we can´t fall asleep and we don´t get high quality sleep. When it´s dark our eyes send a signal to our brain that it´s time to rest so our body produces melatonin to fall asleep.

Cortisol is an important hormone and it´s higher in the morning and it decreases throughout the day. Just as cortisol there are other hormones like insulin, leptin, ghrelin that plays an important role on our health and they´re all impacted by this internal clock called the circadian rhythm.

When we´re out of zync with natures clock it affects negatively our body, and this includes our brain and it affects also our health physical and mental.

This circadian rhythm may be affected by lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, when we go to sleep late at night around midnight like many of us do and we want to fall asleep fast just minutes after turning off the computer or checking emails which is impossible for our body. Not having a sleep schedule and sleep routine also affects negatively this internal clock. Outside factors like light from electric devices, sounds, temperature they all have an impact on how our body and brain get the right signals to either fall asleep or wake up.

Even when it seems like we can get ahead of this internal clock this is not true, our internal clock is affected by our environment being the cycles of day and light the most important ones because this circadian rhythm that is located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus receives direct information from the eyes.

So, if we want to feel great and maintain optimal health, we need to make sure that everything is functioning as best as possible and making sure that the circadian rhythm is in sync is key.

A simple step we can take to make sure that the circadian rhythm is sync is to mimic our environment, try to turn off the lights and electric devices when the sun goes down, if this is hard because of school or work then using amber glasses is a great option. When you wake up get some light exposure from the sun.

Let us know if you knew about this internal clock and how it impacts our body and health by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebbok account.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Phases of sleep

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We all know that sleep is crucial for our health and one night of poor sleep will impact our day, when this lack of sleep is constant the negative effects increase but what happens while we sleep?  There are so many things going on in our brain and body that help us recover from the day and get ready for what´s to come.

Nowadays people in different industries like fitness and health are giving more importance to sleep because there are so many things going on and a lack of sleep or poor quality can be the cause of health problems and there´s still people who don´t give the importance it deserves and claim that some of the most amazing minds that have lived didn´t get what´s consider enough sleep in the 7 to 8 hours which is completely true but the research on how those amazing minds manage to keep going with little to no sleep is not conclusive. For now, we´ll talk about the phases or stages of sleep because it´s important that we understand at least the basics of it.

Reading books and research, some divide the phases or stages of sleep in 4 others in 5 the way I see it and to keep it simple is considering 4 phases:

1.- Phase one.- When we fall asleep our brain produces alpha and theta waves, this phase last just a couple minutes and it´s when we can be easily woken. If at night, we fall asleep and after a couple of minutes we wake up with any noise we were in this phase. This phase of light sleep gives way to phase two.

2.- Phase two.- During this phase the brain waves decrease in frequency and increase in amplitude, our body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate slows down.

3.- On phases three.- This phase of moderate sleep giving way to deep sleep is where it is harder to be awakened. At this stage we are not aware of noises and activity around us and our muscle start to relax and blood pressure start to lower.

4.- On phase four.- This phase is the deepest level of sleep and  is where delta waves or slow waves takes place. At this stage our muscles are relaxed and blood pressure and breathing rate lowers.

These four phases are called non-rapid eye movement, after this four phases are completed we get to a rapid eye movement which is the fifth phase or REM, while we sleep we go through cycles between non-rapid eye movement and rapid eye movement.

The first 4 phases which are part of the non-rapid eye movement are compromised of slow waves while the fifth phase or REM which is the rapid eye movement our heart rate increases, our breathing gets faster, there are rapid waves of beta, alpha and theta and our eyes can be seen moving beneath our lids. Some people have found through research that in this phase our dreams are more vivid compared to the other phases.

In this last phase is also when we can retain information, skills, improve memory and learning.

One complete sleep cycle going through all phases last around 90 minutes, each night we go through several cycles, we may go through 4 or 5 cycles per night depending on how many hours of sleep we get.

If we have sleep disorders it may be harder for us to fall asleep so we´ll get less sleep and will go through less cycles, if we wake up in the night and interrupt the cycle our body needs to start again from phase 1, the more we get awaken during the night chances are that we may never get to the phase of deep sleep which affects our entire sleep quality and we´ll get all the negative impacts of one night of poor sleep the next day.

There are so many things going on while we sleep and there are so many things related to sleep that we don´t know or don´t understand yet but, experts keep studying it and finding new data. We can all see the negative impact of poor sleep or lack of sleep of just one night by how bad we feel the next day but why is it that some people look great and perform amazing with just 6 hours of sleep per night? Why others need the 8 hours of high-quality sleep?

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you need the 8 hours every night and also if there´s something in particular you want to know about.

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Pam