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How often do you hear that nutrition and exercise are the keys to health and longevity? What if we told you, that while these two keys are important for acheiving your health and fitness goals, your efforts can be amplified if you make sleep a priority.
However, it's the one thing that, as a society, we think it's ok to skimp on, often proudly boasting,
"I can get by on 5 hours sleep."
But we need sleep:
- For weight management
- For muscle repair and recovery
- To protect our memory
- To balance our mood
- And a whole host of other psychological and bodily functions that are too numerous to mention here.
We regularly hear from clients who've been trying to lose weight, how much they're exercising, but they're not seeing the results commensurate with the effort they've been putting in. It's quite often the case that they are not getting enough sleep, or the right quality of sleep.
Some people may need more sleep than others, and we're about to let you in on a little secret - there are genes for Early Birds and genes for Night Owls.
Creative types tend to be Night Owls, meaning that their brains come alive in the evening and they can produce their best work later in the day. They're happy to stay up well into the wee hours as well.
On the other end of the spectrum are Early Birds. Early risers bounding out of bed and ready to take on the day, but unable to stay up late. Most people tend to be Early Birds, and indeed, society is built around early schedules.
However, with the increased pressures of work, it's becoming more common for us to need a coffee (or three) to get going in the morning. We're then succumbing to the post-lunchtime energy slump, only to get home exhausted, but unable to sleep.
If that sounds like you, consider where could you build in more time for rest, recovery and relaxation? What can you minimise to ensure you're getting the best quality sleep to support your energy, fitness and lifestyle goals?
Our four pathways to optimal health can help improve sleep quality.
The right mindset and having rituals are probably what you're most familiar with - having a bath, perhaps doing a night time meditation, or keeping a gratitude journal.
However, knowing how to align your exercise and nutrition for your genetics can make a world of difference.
While modern life, with all its attractive distractions, may try to convince us that we can get by with minimal sleep, our bodies need to shut down every day, in order for us to function well. The upside of living in the 21st century is that we've now got Functional Medicine giving us the insight we need to create an action plan to help us, personalised to our individual, genetic makeup.