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Learn how to apply current physiology and nutrition research to improve your health and performance.

New Sleep Information Revealed...

What is the point of Sleep?

Sleep accomplishes multiple things for the body and mind that we all should care about. This is the process of how one sleep cycle works. 

Awake

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-> stage 1 (Start falling asleep)

->stage 2 (light sleep-Heart rate and body temp drops)

->stage 3 and 4 (deep sleep, fat burning, muscle repair, bone repair, cell repair)

->stage 2 (asleep)

->REM (mental restoration)

This cycle takes on average 90 minutes to complete.

 

What happens if I don't get enough?

When we get a bad night sleep the body is effected on 3 levels:

1. movement slows down

2. we get overly emotional

3. our mind slows down

If you get 2 less hours of sleep these effects will begin. Being sleep deprived also reduces your immune system. To get an idea of how much, if you get a flu shot when you are sleep deprived, you are 2x more likely to get the flu during the winter months than those who got it when they weren't sleep deprived. For those with various levels of cancer, if they are sleep deprived, their cancer cells will multiply more rapidly. 

The average person needs 5 sleep cycles per night, which would require 7.5 hours. Some people’s cycles are shorter or longer which means you may need shorter or more sleep than someone else. When you wake up in your sleep cycle is important, because you probably ended up cutting off a particular part. Which ever one you cut off will dictate how you feel in the morning and/or a particular process is less restored. 

The last sleep cycle is where you spend the most time in REM so if you work up during REM, you may feel forgetful that day, mentally tired, and feel the need to have a mid day coffee. REM sleep is important for students, athletes, and skill learners. REM sleep is where your brain converts things learned or practiced that is currently in your short term memory and moves them into long term memory.

If you woke up during deep sleep and didn't get 5 deep cycles, you just deprived yourself of a great fat burning session, your muscles and joints may feel sore or achey, etc. 

 

How do I increase the length and quality of my sleep?

1. Set a consistent time to go to sleep every night so you don't cut off any crucial restoration stages of your sleep when you wake up. 

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2. Measure how many sleep cycles you get every night and what part of the cycle you wake up in. Then you can make adjustments to the time you go to bed and when you wake up so you can get 5 full cycles. You can measure this using the "sleep cycle alarm clock" app. 

3. Magnesium is one of the best resources to try to help you sleep. Bananas are loaded with magnesium. The peel of the banana has 3x more magnesium than the fruit. Try this banana sleep hack. Wash the banana. Cut the banana in half and cut the 2 ends off. Put the banana halves (fruit wrapped in the peel) in a pot with 2-3 cups of boiling water. Boil for 4-5 minutes. Then steep the water and it is banana tea. You could add a little cinnamon and honey to make it even better. This tea would give you around 120mg of magnesium before bed. It important to know that 400mg is the recommended amount to get every day. Lots of people can go higher. If you go too high you will get nasty diarrhea. I’d take 400mg of our recommended magnesium before bed and drink the tea and then measure how well you sleep with the “sleep cycle alarm clock” phone app. 

4. Hydrate right away in the morning and get some sunlight to reset your circadian rhythm. This is your body's natural clock. This will help you get sleepy at the right time every day. 

5. If you suffer from restless leg syndrome, have your iron levels checked, you are probably low. 

6. Exercise will increase the quality of your sleep. If you aren’t on a structured program sign up and experience the first week of our stronger for life program for FREE. 

 

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