Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about the benefits of sleep (pun fully intended). And all the fantastic sleep hygiene tactics people love to give a nod or two to…
I stumbled across an interesting fact about REM sleep that I wanted to share. It’s encouraged me to sleep on my own sleep and other lifestyle habits.
Did you know that one of the principle functions of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep is that it provides a form of overnight therapy? Think: REM sleep = emotional First Aid. It takes the things that are making you anxious, or even a recent traumatic event and smooths the edges off. A nocturnal soothing balm. When you wake, you don’t feel quite so emotional, quite so raw. You potentially feel calmer, freer, and better adept to tackle what has been troubling you. So rather than time healing wounds – time steeped in REM sleep can heal wounds.
During a typical 90-minute sleep cycle, the brain moves through the 4 stages of non-REM sleep into REM sleep. This cycle is repeated throughout the night, but the ratio of non-REM to REM sleep shifts: Over the first half of the night, far more deep (non-REM sleep) occurs. It’s not until the second half of the night, that the brain starts to prefer, crave even, much more of that image rich REM sleep. Memories are activated in a state where the hormones associated with stress are not.
Here’s a refreshed look at some sleep hygiene principles:
Avoid listening to Metallica just before bed. (No matter how great this song is!)
Reduce alcohol. Either overall amounts, or the number of nights per week you are consuming. Alcohol consumption – in many people – will naturally reduce the amount of REM Sleep the body accrues throughout the night. Healthy heart rate (HR) variability patterns get thrown off, and resting HR, respiratory rate, core body temperature all rise. If you happen to be drinking a little more, or a little more often, as a way to manage your anxiety, this might be powerful information to consider. You may not be getting the necessary emotional benefit that you need from the REM Sleep to take the edge off the anxiety… so you’re feeling even more anxious… so even more likely to reach for a glass of wine.
Reduce Social Jet Lag. When you don’t get enough sleep during the week, you tend to binge sleep over the weekend. So, if you sleep in a little (or a lot!) on Saturday and Sunday – you essentially reset your time zone. Come Monday you need to literally drag your biological clock back by 2-3 hours. It’s brutal for the body! Like travelling to and from a different time zone every weekend!!!
Avoid dark or light deprivation. Avoid blue light at least 30 minutes before sleep, and ensure your bedroom is dark. Conversely, try to get as much light as possible during the first half of your day.
Wind down. Going to sleep is like trying to land a plane. It takes time to gradually descend down onto the hard foundation of a stable night’s sleep. Build wind down time into your schedule. (Kids thrive when they have a good wind down routine. Adults? We’re really just kids in grown up clothing.)
Do you really need your phone? If it’s possible, avoid bringing your device to bed, as beyond the challenges associated with light exposure, what you’re reading on your phone can increase heart rate and the task or entertainment factors facilitate “sleep procrastination”. If you simply must bring your phone into your bedroom, Dr. Michael Gardner suggests the rule of only being able to use it while standing up. (You won’t hang out on Instagram or answer emails for 20 minutes standing beside your bed!)
Avoid checking your phone first thing. Opening the news or your inbox can flood your brain with a tsunami of anxiety. Not only is it an unpleasant way to start your day, you train your brain to anticipate this stress period. So, as you tuck in to bed, you brain can’t help but prepare for a small war to hit you when you wake. Like a soldier – your sleep is lighter!
Inspiration of the Day
“There is not one process in the human body, (that we’re aware of) that isn’t improved by sleep”. – Dr. Matthew Walker, PhD
Live Workouts of the Day
Today is going to be a great day because we’ve got our THREE regular live workouts for you to join!
MOBILITY & STABILITY WITH ADRIANA
Join Adriana for your morning pick-me-up! This workout will focus on moving through a full range of motion and develop your full body control, flexibility, and usable range.
Recommended equipment: yoga block or pillow
Join Adriana at 7:30am (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 812 2541 6617
CYCLING WITH JAMES
Get an amazing cardiovascular workout on an indoor bike. The workout will simulate an outdoor ride, including a mix of intervals and hills.
Recommended equipment: bike trainer
Join James at 11:00am (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 862 7308 7908
RIP IT UP WITH GAVIN
This workout will challenge you to your max! Come out and perform the prescribed workout for the day. This workout utilizes all your skills, from coordination to endurance and strength. No equipment necessary, you’ll just need your body weight!
Join Gavin today at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.
Click here to join the workout.
Meeting ID: 842 2984 9491
Click here to view this week’s schedule.
To learn more about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren directly.
Superfood of the Day
You likely know the familiar expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples have long been associated with a number of benefits that could help promote long-term health. With apples coming in season right now, our choice of superfood was a no brainer.
Apples contain 9% of the daily value of Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant to neutralize harmful compounds known as free radicals and protects against disease. They are also a great source of antioxidants like quercetin, caffeic acid, and epicatechin.
Support of heart health
Studies show that eating more apples could be associated with a lower risk of several chronic conditions, including heart disease. This may be due to the presence of flavonoids found in apples, which are compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect heart health. Apples are also loaded with soluble fiber, which may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Contains cancer-fighting compounds
Apples contain several compounds that may help prevent cancer formation, including antioxidants and flavonoids.
Other health benefits
Apples have also been linked to several other health benefits that could help keep the doctor away. Due to their fiber content, apples have been shown to promote feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake, and increase weight loss. Human, animal, and test-tube studies have found that eating a higher amount of fruit could be associated with increased bone mineral density and a lower risk of osteoporosis. Animal studies suggest that eating apples could help reduce oxidative stress, prevent mental decline, slow signs of aging, and may be linked to a lower risk of asthma. According to one large review, eating one apple per day was tied to a 28% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with not eating any apples at all.
Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.