On the hierarchy of health, sleep trumps almost everything. It’s the time when the body and brain detox, recover, rebuild and restore. How amazing is your sleep?

Like a badge of honor, we proudly boast about how busy and productive we are as if it somehow correlates with self worth…we even say the stupidest things, like “I’ll rest when I’m dead…” and “sleep is for the weak.” Ironically, it’s exactly this kind of thinking that’s silently destroying and slowly killing us. 1

In the modern world, we’re addicted to the illusion of productivity 

  • so we wake up inside our homes to an alarm clock,
  • we rush through a morning routine,
  • we jump into transport to get to our jobs, do some work,
  • rush back home and
  • binge on screen activities (Netflix, antisocial media, emails, yada, yada, yada) right up until it’s time to climb into bed so that we can hurry up and do it all over again…
  • like a broken record, this is most of the modern world. 

By no means am I saying that you shouldn’t work hard to crush your goals, but there should be a reasonable compromise with attaining your goals and resting your brain and body. It’s beyond absurd that we undermine the value of sleep, and boast about how we can run on just 4 hours of it…you’re not impressing anyone. 1

Unfortunately, sleeping less than 7 hours has been linked to an increased risk of dying from any cause.[2]  And if you don’t die, quality of life is likely to suffer, considering that other research has linked short sleep (5–6 hours) to:

  • An increased risk of high blood pressure and obesity.[3]

  • An increased risk of developing type II diabetes.[4,5]

  • Impaired insulin signaling and glucose metabolism.[6–8]

  • Greater levels of inflammation, [9] possibly disrupting the blood-brain barrier.[10]

  • Lower testosterone levels.[11]

  • Less fat loss and more lean body mass loss when dieting, even when food intake is identical.[12]

What can we do to help get a sound sleep at night?

 Maximize sun exposure in the early morning and gradually reduce exposure through the day to en-train circadian rhythms. And lose the sunglasses for those early morning sun sessions.

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of sun exposure each morning.

– Get off your devices at least an hour before bedtime (your kids too)

  • Use Himalayan salt lamps at sunset instead of regular lighting to limit blue light at night

– Read at least 15 minutes before bedtime

– Real vitamin A, in the form of retinol, plays an essential role in helping us fall asleep on time, get high quality sleep, sleep long enough, wake up feeling rested, and staying alert and energetic throughout the day. 1

  • Ways to get it – Eat liver, bone marrow, skin-on and bone-in wild sardines, wild fish eggs and pastured egg yolks

– Magnesium (required for over 300 enzymes) regulate our circadian rhythms.

– Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol at least 3 hours before bedtime

– Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

– Be consistent.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time (including weekends) 

– Keep a comfortable temperature in the bedroom and make sure it’s plenty dark

  • Consider taking a cold shower, or ending your shower with 3 minutes of cold, or cool water, before bed. This will facilitate a lowering of body temperature which can help you transition gracefully into a night of slumber 1

–  Meditate before bed to help quiet the mind

–  Reduce non-native noise exposure. Use earplugs or headphones. You can use ear over  headphones and the Calm app on your phone (of course in airplane mode) to relax and drift away. 1

– Try aromatherapy – scent of lavender has noted benefits for sleep

If you do get a bad night’s rest – take a mid day power nap the next day – it will help counteract it

Hope these tips help and if you have questions feel free to email me!

Have a great weekend!!

– Brian

briangryn.com