Feb 2012

Who says sleep is overrated? (February 2012)



Want to improve your overall health and fitness?  Sleep can help you enormously – yes that’s right…lying down and doing “nothing” for 8 hours a night can improve your health!

Almost half of all Australian’s do not get enough sleep…the consequences of this are far reaching and continue into the daylight hours.  Tiredness, lethargy and sub-optimal brain function are some of the symptoms associated with a lack of sleep.  In addition, 5% of heart disease and high blood pressure and 10% of depression is attributable to lack of sleep or sleep disorders.*

Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation in the body and also to an increase in breast cancer risk.  Poor sleep or lack of sleep increases both insulin and cortisol which leads to storing fat around your mid-section and also insulin resistance which may lead to diabetes.  Sleep deprivation also lowers testosterone levels, DHEA and growth hormone…all important hormones  involved in repairing tissue.**

Enough reasons to increase the quantity and quality of sleep that you get?  Well, here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning….this helps your body to become familiar with your sleeping pattern


  • As Anthony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey suggest, spend a couple of minutes before bed writing in your ‘Grateful Log’ – keep it next to the bed with a pen and write down 5 things you are grateful for.  This helps to stop your mind racing and helps you to look at your life in a positive way…leaving you peaceful and calm to fall asleep


  • Take a tip from Batman and sleep in a bat cave!  That’s right, your room should be dark and constant in temperature.  If you have light shining in the window invest in some blockout blinds or curtains and try to keep the temperature in your bedroom the same all year round.  You can also try a sleeping mask to block any light in the room.  If you have to get up during the night try not to turn the light on…light will instantly interrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin**


  • Live in the dark ages….. In other words, you need to switch off or take out of your bedroom all electrical products…turn the tv off at the wall, leave your phone in another room and use a battery operated alarm clock…turn the face of the clock away from you and cover it with a towel if it emits any light


  • Have a stretch before bed…..just 10 minutes of stretching or yoga before bed calms your nervous system as well as the mind


  • Attention carb and sugar lovers….NOT before bed!  Stay away from carbohydrates and sugars before bed time…they raise blood sugar levels and cause a reactive hypo-glycemia, keeping you wide awake….alternatively you may fall asleep but then awaken again before 1am totally interrupting your sleep cycle**


  • Need a little more help?  Poliquin’s Wind Down 2.0 is a peptide extract from milk and has very powerful stress relieving and relaxing properties based on the relaxing nature of warm milk.  CTH (Casein Tryptic Hydrolysate) has been shown to improve sleep, support GABA function, reduce anxiety and lower cortisol in elite athletes.  It provides an almost immediate stress reduction by lowering cortisol by 35% according to the research.  Ask us about Wind Down 2.0 – formulated as a great tasting chocolate chew – to calm the mind and help you obtain a more restful sleep***

* http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-02/sleep-disorders-costing-245b-a-year/3808084

** http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/115/My-Top-10-Tips-on-Increasing-Quantity-and-Quality-of-Sleep.aspx

*** http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/43/The_Yin_Stack_-_the_Yin_and_Yang_Balance.aspx




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