Sleep, Restful Sleep
Sleep is such an underrated aspect of creating health and fitness and such an integral part of your well-being that I thought it was important that we once again visit this and review its importance.
So the first thing we have to understand is that it is during our sleep cycle that the body begins to heal and rebuild all of the body tissue whether it’s organ tissue, skin, muscle, or bone. Everything in your body goes through a cycle of healing and rebuilding when you sleep.
The challenge is, most of us just take sleep for granted. We think as long as we get to bed sometime during the evening, that we are getting sleep. However, most of us don’t understand that it is the quality of the sleep that is going to determine how our bodies actually recover from what we put them through.
So to get you to understand this a little bit better we’re going to talk about your hormonal system and how the hormones move through your day and evening.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys. They secrete a hormone called cortisol. I’m sure that most of you have heard of cortisol, because they talk about it all the time in the news as it being a stress hormone.
What’s important to understand is that we need cortisol because cortisol is what stimulates the body to wake up and stay awake during the hours of daylight?
For instance, during the evening when you’re sleeping your cortisol levels (if you’re healthy) should be low. As the sun begins to rise and the sky begins to lighten the receptors in your eyes pick up the light change. These receptors tells the pituitary gland, which then tells the rest of the body that it’s time to wake up. The adrenals are stimulated to produce and release cortisol, which begins to wake the body up.
Cortisol is a necessary hormone. However, most of us are living lives that are very stressful on the body. Not just emotionally stressful, but by our lifestyle of eating improperly, putting the body through too much physical stress, and other stressors such as electromagnetic stress and other environmental stressors such as thermal stress.
The body is constantly taking in and being exposed to stressors. It is because of these higher levels of stress that the body can move into what we call a sympathetic state. This is known as fight or flight. In this fight or flight response cortisol an adrenaline are released so that the body has energy to either fight or runaway.
Cortisol is important as part of self-protection, but how much in a persons day-to-day life do they really need that kind of overstimulation. In fact, most of the stress we’re dealing with is just accumulated from improper eating, and breathing, being tired because we’re not getting enough sleep, not being hydrated, emotional issues, and physical issues.
We’re sitting around most of the day. Our lives are in danger. We don’t truly have to fight for our lives or run, so the body is getting inundated with higher levels of cortisol.
This is when the body becomes overly sympathetic.
So let’s get back to sleep and the other hormones that are involved.
Let’s say you’ve woken up. The sun is coming up at 6am. You’re starting to wake up. Cortisol is being released. It peaks around 9:30am or so and it levels out, around noontime it begins to drop a little, and then around 6pm or so it really starts to drop down. This of course is if things are working correctly. By 6pm your body is getting ready for the evening. The light is fading. The sun is going down, and your body is getting ready to rest.
Other hormones start to rise slowly and then around 10pm your body, (if you’re in bed ready to sleep). The first four hours of sleep roughly from10pm to 2am the body physically begins repairing.
Hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and growth hormone are being secreted. Then roughly around 2am through two about 6am, the body starts going into a psychogenic repair cycle. This is the brain and nervous system being repaired.
You can see that if you’re not getting healthy, restful sleep, the body is going to be tired and you will feel the effects of improper sleep.
Research shows there is a drop in physical performance and cognition, from a poor nights sleep. Your ability to function optimally is diminished.
If this continues day after day, night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year, the effects on your overall health, fitness, and well-being will be disastrous.
I know that we all have lives to live and many of my clients and friends will say, “Dave, I’m sorry, but I just don’t have the time to get that much sleep. I’m up till twelve or one o’clock doing work, laundry, and finishing up projects that I can’t do during the day. I have to stay up if I’m going to get that stuff done and I have to get it done”.
Yet what I need you to truly understand is that if you don’t make it a priority to get restful sleep there is going to be a seriously detrimental effect on your health, fitness, and
Now we just talked about cortisol and stress and when you’re not getting enough sleep your body is under stress because not being able to rebuild and heal itself.
One of the effects of too much cortisol in the body is the tendency to hold onto and create more body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight in the sense of losing body fat you’re going to have a very challenging time losing weight if you’re not getting enough sleep.
You can work out as much as you want, you can eat as healthy as you want, but if you’re not getting enough sleep your body is not able to repair itself. This means it is in a continual state of breaking down. Your body goes into survival mode, and it always has the same reaction. The body will hold onto body fat and create more as a self-protection method.
Are you trying to get healthy and fit? Are you saddened or frustrated that you’re carrying around extra body fat? Then one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your body is to get restful sleep. You want to do your best to make sure that you’re doing that from 10pm to 6am, if you need more sleep by all means give yourself more sleep.
The reason I brought this back up again is because I’m working with a new client who is incredibly busy. This client is absolutely beautiful inside and out. This client flies all over the world, does wonderful work in philanthropy helping the less fortunate and always there for friends to console and take care of. This client works out incredibly hard everyday, eats incredibly well, and does everything at the highest level. Yet this client is dealing with some pretty challenging health issues. These health issues took the client by surprise and just doesn’t understand how they came about.
What I time and time again am trying to get this client to understand is that stress summates in the body. It is not one stressor, but a compilation of stressor that is causing the issues. Not getting enough sleep along with the amount of traveling through different time zones, the heavy amount of working out, and belief patterns from the past that are putting the body under a higher level of stress.
So no matter what you think should be happening with your health, fitness and well-being, if your body is showing signs to the contrary, then you need to listen.
Again your body doesn’t lie.
Are you challenged with health issues? If you not getting results from your fitness program or if you feel like you are not in a state of well-being, then you need to pay attention.
So the question is, are you ready to listen to your body, because it won’t lie to you? Your body will always tell you the truth but you must listen to the signs that it’s giving you.
I encourage you, to be kind to yourself. No matter how challenging you feel your lifestyle is at this moment. Whether you feel really healthy or you’re dealing with health issues. I want you to start giving your spirit, mind, and body the sleep that it needs to heal itself.
If you’re not sure where to start, then I ask you to trust one more time.
Find it within yourself to contact me. Call me, and send me an email and ask for help.
Don’t let the condition that you’re in right now determine the rest of your life.
It is up to you and it has always been up to you to step into being what you want to create in your life.
It is up to you to be the creator of the life you truly want to live.
I want the best for you. Believe in yourself. Know that with the right guidance you will be able to create the life you desired. This will be a life full of health, a life full of fitness, a life full of wellbeing, and a life full of abundance.
I wish for all of you a Vibrant Life. Dave
CHEK Institute Practitioner, consciousness, David Fresilli, energy, Exercise, heal mind, Health and Fitness, health and wellness, Holistic approach, Holistic Health Fitness, Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist, inner self, integrated approach to health and fitness, restful sleep, sleep