“Sleep baby sleep, now that the day is over”
INXS, New Sensation, KICK, 2987.
You cannot replace sleep with a diet, a pill or a drug. Animals hunker down when the light goes out and allow themselves to rest, rebuild, cleanse, and recharge with sleep. The body fixes itself, recharges, reboots and makes miracles happen while you rest. Long days of gathering food and building shelters required sufficient time to repair and recover. Our ancestors got plenty of sleep. Disease-free primates get lots of sleep. Get lots of sleep. There is no avoiding sleep.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is essential for your brain, liver, gut, and ability to rest and repair. When you sleep, you mend your broken cells, you remove your DNA damage, clear the brain of stress and confusion. You also look much younger and more attractive when you are well-rested! Over 55% of Kiwis have sleeping problems, yet we mostly under sleep. Sleep affects your entire health profile, from weight, skin, energy, fertility, and longevity and disease risk. Every 90 minutes of sleep you miss, you generally eat around 500 calories more. People who slept for less than six hours each night were 12% more likely to die before the age of 65 than those who slept the recommended eight hours.
Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle, analysed self-reported data of 604 pairs of identical twins and 484 sets of fraternal twins in the University of Washington Twin Registry. Those who slept longer at night had lower BMI than those sleeping less. Dr Watson commented “The less sleep you get, the more your genes contribute to how much you weigh. The more sleep you get, the less your genes determine how much you weigh”. Women who sleep an average of five hours per night or fewer, gain significantly more weight than those who get eight hours of sleep. Sleep is irreplaceable.
The wake-up bottom line?
- Alcohol disrupts sleep
- The more you drink, the more tired you get
- Sleeping in on a Saturday or Sunday does not treat long-term sleep loss
- Regular sleep builds and keeps strong melatonin levels
- Melatonin balances moods, outlook, attitude and emotions
- Drinking coffee after 3pm is not a good idea if you want a good sleep (actually, drinking coffee at all is not recommended!)
- Sugary foods after dinner are also not helpful
- Avoid all synthetic caffeinated energy drinks, always, period, full stop
- Get 8 hours per night at least 5 nights per week if you can
- Sleeping 10pm-6am is far better than 12am-8am
GOLDEN Rule 10: Consider Coffee Carefully (CCC)
GOLDEN Rule 13: Rhythm, Routine and Regularity (R & R & R)
GOLDEN Rule 14: Stop Eating at 7 p.m.
GOLDEN Rule 15: Treat Sleep like GOLD
GOLDEN Rule 18: Combine And Layer Meals (CALM your stomach)
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.