We hear a lot of people saying they will sleep when they’re dead; those people perhaps don’t realise how much faster they’re running towards their grave than they would if they were sleeping enough.
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Chances are if you’re not training to compete the reasons why you exercise are to improve your body composition and reap the health benefits of being stronger and fitter. While it is important to follow a training programme or at least move with a certain consistency, it’s also essential to bear in mind that sometimes it can be harder to reach goals without taking a more holistic look at health.
Eating carbohydrates before bed has become a hot topic in nutrition, and some people think its a bad idea. This often comes from the belief that eating carbs before you go to sleep leads to weight gain. There is some evidence to support this argument, but all carbohydrates are not equal, and certain types of carbohydrates can help you lose weight and get a good night sleep.
A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of most living beings. Circadian rhythms are self-sustained, but they are susceptible to alterations depending on external environmental coming from such as light and temperature. Circadian rhythmicity is particularly present in the wake-sleeping-cycle and feeding patterns of all animals (including humans) and plays an important role in the prediction of seasonal changes, food availability and predator activity that is crucial for the survival of many species.
So what should you be doing to help rebalance your hormones, decrease your body fat, increase your energy levels, increase your libido, increase your immune function, improve your digestive health, increase your recovery while lowering your chances of illness and even death?
The human body appreciates rhythm, movement, and nourishment. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors supported this by waking up with the sunrise, being active during the day, and going to bed with the sunset. The invention of the light bulb has hugely impacted out lifestyles and changed our rhythm. There was no hunting and gathering in the dark, there was also no insomnia and chronic fatigue!
Our bodies like homeostasis and they achieve this best with routine and rhythm. Chronic stress has become the way many people live their lives these days as they are overworked and under-recovered. Most people don’t yet understand the risk associated with such high levels of stress. Our body passes through an “alarm stage” where it pumps out high levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones to help you “fight the tiger”. High levels of these stress-related hormones play havoc on our sex hormones and our sugar management hormones, which both play a critical role energy levels, the storage of body fat, and the health of your immune system.