The importance of a good night’s sleep is universally recognised. At the 10 Week Challenge we consider sleep your number 1 supplement because getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night will improve your physical performance, memory, attention and fat loss, and it will decrease stress depression and inflammation that causes chronic disease. No pill can do that!
Additionally, if your goal is to lose excess weight – getting 7-9 hours quality sleep a night will improve your weight loss success.
This picture shows you what lack of sleep can do to your body….
How much is enough sleep?
Gone are the days where working through the night to meet deadlines, then going to work in the morning is considered cool and makes you “the top dog”. This kind of attitude will make you susceptible to a huge range of negative health consequences and will not help your performance.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following sleep times:
- Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range is 14-17 hours each day
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range is 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range is 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): Sleep range is 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13 years): Sleep range is 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17 years): Sleep range is 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25 years): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64 years): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours
As an adult, counting backwards 8 hours from your wake up time is the best place to start – then head to bed 30 mins prior to this to read and relax.
Where did they come up with these times? You can read the research HERE.
What’s the one thing you can do right now to improve your sleep?
Starting tonight, you will turn off all screens and devices 1 hour before you go to bed. That’s it.
Instead of looking at Facebook and reading this interesting sleep blog, or surfing the internet or watching Netflix or doing work from home – read a good old fashioned book or spend time with your family. The lights emitted from devices stimulate and signal to your brain that it’s time to be awake. Your sleep hormone melatonin is turned off and you are unable to fall asleep as easily, generally resulting in restlessness, frustration and maybe you turning the TV on! If you do manage to fall asleep the quality of your sleep is generally reduced from that light stimulation and you wake up feeling less rested.
So there you have it – devices off 1 hour before bed. Give it a go for the next 2 weeks and see how your sleep and health improves.