Throughout mankind, Mother Nature has used evolution and natural selection as tools to optimize us humans for survival. When we sleep, we are not doing the following:
-Searching for a mate
-Searching for food
-Protecting our young and ourselves
In fact, we are most vulnerable to predators when we are asleep. So why the heck is it hard wired into us?! It must be pretty important...
The average american sleeps 6 hours and 21 minutes per night and the average demand for sleep by a typical adult is 8 hours per night. Studies are coming out that are proving that a lack of sleep leads to early death through multiple mechanisms namely the following:
-The decrease of the ability to fight and kill cancer cells (increasing the risk of cancer)
-The increase of the risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
-A decrease of the ability to process glucose, leading to obesity
-An increase in the feeling of loneliness, which is proven to lead to disease and cancer
-A decrease in the ability to make decisions regarding our primal needs. This means you are more likely to make poor choices when it comes to food and drink.
-The inability to process glucose, leading to diabetes.
Think about this: The average American in 2019 sleeps 25% less than than the average American slept in 1950. What could have triggered such a drastic change?
1) Artificial Light From Screens
2) Lifestyle and Societal Pressures
3) Longer Work Hours
4) Regulated "Comfortable" Temperatures Throughout the Day
5) Access to Stimulants and Sedatives
What can you do about it??
1. Get sunlight in the AM on your skin and in your eyes. Even if its grey where you live, exposing yourself to light in the mornings help promote Melatonin release at night, which will help you get to sleep. Keep your shades off until Noon!
2. Avoid screens and artificial light 3 hours prior to bedtime. When you must look at a screen, wear Blue Light Blocker Glasses. Wear sunglasses in the afternoon. The idea is to get less light into your body to help it understand night time is coming, which it associates with sleep.
3. Make your bedroom as dark as possible. You will sleep better the darker it is!
4. Your bed is for sleep and sex only. Our bodies are smart. If we lie awake in bed doing anything other than sleep, our minds will make the connection that the bed is not for sleep. Get that connection back.
5. Avoid Caffeine past Noon. Caffeine has a half life of about 6 hours and a quarter life of 12 hours. So if you have a cup of coffee at noon, its the same as having a quarter cup of coffee at midnight before bed.
6. Set a bedtime alarm on your Mobile Device.
7. Listen to the following podcast for an in depth interview that is mostly in layman's terms for a much deeper and better understanding of the power of sleep and the dramatic effects of not getting it.
Comment Below with questions and let us know how your sleep is going.