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Let’s talk about sleep, baby

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Honestly, nothing gets my juices flowing like a good 9 hour sleep. I’m not even kidding. I’ve just woken up from one of those incredible sleeps – where the minute you put your head on the pillow, you are out for the count, gone to the world, and before you know it, it’s 8am and your alarm is tingling softly waking you from your slumber.

Now, I know for a lot of you would be reading that with a bit of an angry or jealous twinge:

9 HOURS SLEEP?

WAKING UP AT 8AM?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “ONE OF THOSE INCREDIBLE SLEEPS?”

Hear me out guys, stay with me.

There is nothing sexier than someone well rested. And yet, sleep is the most undervalued, underrated health tool we have free and easy access to (in my opinion).

We spend so much time focused on how often we exercise (not to mention WHAT we do for exercise. #F45 #aerialyoga) and the types of foods we are eating (#gf #df #vegan) and yet, we are walking around like zombies, topping up our caffeine fix every few hours, proclaiming to the world when we pull all-nighters or whinging about the awful sleep we had the night before.

And yet…we don’t do anything about it.

This cycle of wake up groggy, have a coffee, push our bodies, and roll into bed only to lie awake tossing and turning until we have to get up again and repeat the cycle all over again HAS GOT TO STOP.

It isn’t cool. It isn’t something to be proud of. And most importantly, it is not at all healthy.

When I see my clients for the first time, one of the first things we look at is sleep.

I can tell if someone is having a healthy sleep cycle by a few things:

  • How many hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep they are getting (between 7 and 9 is ideal FYI)
  • How long it is taking them to fall asleep at night (15 minutes is great, 30 minutes not so great, any longer – serious issue)
  • How often they wake through the night (uninterrupted is key here folks, once you are out, you should be out for the count)
  • What time they are getting to bed at night (the hours of sleep we get BEFORE MIDNIGHT are worth 4 times as much to our sleep cycles as the hours we get after midnight)
  • How they feel waking up after a full nights sleep (you don’t have to be jumping out of bed on springs but feeling alert and awake is a given)
  • How many coffees they are drinking to ‘get through the day’ (personally I have a vendetta towards coffee and don’t drink any. 1 is ideal if you must, 2 I can make exceptions for, any more than that? Signals deeper issues)

Can you tell I am passionate about sleep? My friends are always tagging me in those memes like the one where your friends are making plans for a night out, and you nod along knowing perfectly well you will be asleep in bed.

It’s true! I AM that friend. But only because I learned the hard way how vital sleep is for your wellbeing.

When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, at rock bottom, I was sleeping constantly. That’s the nature of fatigue right? But the QUALITY of sleep I was getting wasn’t good enough.

I was lying in bed for hours before drifting off. And when I did fall asleep, I was waking up every few hours tossing and turning. I would get out of bed after 10 hours feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I had to nap in the meeting room at my old job just to make it through the day, as otherwise I was literally falling asleep at my desk. My energy reserves were empty and the only thing I could do was slowly start to top them up (complete lifestyle overhaul anyone?)

What frustrates me the most is we aren’t taught these things. We aren’t sat down in PE class (at least I wasn’t) saying “Okay kids today we are going to learn how if you get your sleep cycle on point, you will become a far more productive, alert and focused person” not to mention the amazing effects sleep has on your athletic abilities (some of the biggest sports teams in the world have their own SLEEP COACHES to ensure they are getting optimum night’s rest for peak performance. If it’s good enough for them, hell, it is good enough for me.)

There are SO MANY WAYS you can get your sleep on track, so that you are getting a HEALTHY level and quality of z’s. I work on this with my clients in our 1:1 sessions, and I am lucky enough to be sitting down tomorrow with Australia’s leading sleep doctor Dr. Levi to chat further around ways I can integrate HIS teachings into my sessions with you guys.

Because sleep SERIOUSLY MATTERS. Just as much as exercise and nutrition. And it’s time we wake up to the facts and realise this.

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