Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Obvious much?

Ok, you've heard me go on about sleep and all it's narcoleptic goodness.

Now, how about the things that give it trouble. All the things that we love to do that knock our sleep patterns out of whack.

Let's start with coffee. Ouch. Ok, coffee in the morning has the net effect of pushing our sleep patterns forward. Hmm. So the next morning you wake up before you are "done" sleeping. Feeling tired. Oh well, another coffee will fix that. Right? Oh, except it continues to push your sleep rhythm forward. And on and on, with every morning coffee. Every morning, tired and caffeinated. That's not optimal, is it?

Coffee, midday, not so bad. Make it the best coffee you've ever had, but make it part of a meal. It should not be the sole source of energy at any time. That's the role of food.

Now, #2. Alcohol. Sounds nasty like that, doesn't it? But a Brown Cow... C'mon. How bad could that be? Well, as it turns out

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8208212.stm

Alcohol disrupts REM sleep. REM brain patterns do not get established properly until the alcohol has been metabolized. D'uh. The brain is drunk. Go figure.

Now, without a good fix of REM sleep we wake up restless and, because of a little alcohol, perhaps a little dehydrated. Let's hope you don't reach for a coffee to fix that.

Ok, now the third biggest offender. Not enough sleep. We'll watch a movie for the third or fourth time instead of going to sleep. It's time to prioritize your sleep much higher. Get more. You may not need 8hours. But take some time to find out how much you need to wake up rested and energetic.

Here is something that might help you along as well. If you've been sleep deprived for a long time, don't expect to just fall into a fantastic sleep pattern right away. Usually the longer the sleep pattern has been out of sync, the longer it takes to find the groove again. So, be patient.

Go forth and sleep! Have a good nights rest and enjoy the benefits.

In health,

Todd