Are you having trouble sleeping, are you low in energy and find that you’re putting on loads of weight? This really comes down to sleep. That’s going to be one of the fundamental factors that affects your energy levels and your weight management, which we call Interconnected Health. We have a methodology called the Six Signals® which focuses on sleep first and foremost as the force multiplier. Then we look at your mental health, your energy levels, your body composition, your digestive health and your fitness. Without good sleep it’s going to be very difficult for you to focus on your weight, energy and fitness. Here’s what you can do to prioritize sleep.
Sleep staircase: This is a set of metaphorical steps that you take from getting in from work and getting ready for bed. Most of us are just go, go, go, looking at our bank balance, watching television, eating a late meal, working perhaps, looking at your screen to then getting into bed and being unable to sleep. Have a set of metaphorical steps you follow. For me that’s putting my gadgets on do not disturb, wearing blue light blocking glasses, changing into casual clothes, as that’s a cue to the body that I’m winding down. It’s relaxing with a book, possibly meditating before bed and then getting into bed and maybe putting some lavender under my pillow. It’s all about getting the body from sympathetic to parasympathetic ready for bed.
Dark environment for sleep: When you’re actually in bed at night, have a very dark environment; no light at all. No LEDs, no charging devices, you don’t want those EMFs anywhere near your head. Ideally, an eye-mask would block out all of the light. When you wake up in the morning, three things to think about. First one, natural light. Get those blinds up, curtains open and get natural light onto the room to kick start your circadian rhythm. Second thing is movement. Get up and start moving the body. Start letting it know it’s awake and it can start to energize. And the third thing is what I call heartfulness. This one’s slightly more unusual. Start your day in a really positive frame of mind, maybe that’s telling your partner you love them, saying something nice and encouraging to your child. Spending a couple of minutes or so with your animals and just connecting with someone or something, or possibly showing some self love as well. And as you go through the day, lots of natural light, lots of low level movement, that’s what the body needs to maintain a really good circadian rhythm.
Finish your meal as early as you can, so ideally, between 6pm and 7pm, giving you a three to four hour window between eating a meal and getting into bed and then you start that sleep staircase and off it goes again. The quality of your day will be dictated by the quality of night sleep you had, and the quality of night sleep you had is dictated by how you start your day. Everything is interconnected, everything in health, everything in the circadian rhythm, everything concerning the sleep cycle. I hope that’s been helpful, let me know what you think in the comments.
What’s your Health IQ?
If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.
Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.