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  • Jessica Ortiz

SLEEP ... Four tips to better sleep and one of life's greatest energy boosters


The irony of this is that I am writing about the great importance of sleep and I haven’t had a full night sleep since the end of September due to my wonderful 2 year old.


So yes, I would like to start by saying that there are moments in life when good sleep might be out of our hands. But let’s face it, most people’s poor sleep is a personal choice brought upon bad habits and possibly a bit of lack of knowledge regarding the consequence it might bring in their body and mind in the short and long term.


Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, and increases your risk of cancer by 50% “, it disrupts blood sugar levels, increases the chance of your coronary arteries becoming blocked, contributes to all major psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and the list grows and grows.(Walker)


Although every person has a 24hr pattern, there are morning types (morning larks), their peak of wakefulness is earlier in the morning, and their sleepiness comes earlier at night. The evening types (night owls), who are strongly determined by genetics go to bed later and wake up later. Unlike morning larks, night owls usually can’t fall asleep early at night and of course dislike waking up early, they are unable to function well at this time as their brain remains half awake, their prefrontal cortex which controls high-level thought, logical reasoning and emotions remains disable.


Common employment schedules force this type to an unnatural waking up time, as a consequence their efectivness at work isn’t optimal as their performance strength starts towards the end of a regular shift and moreover, they are more chronically sleep-deprived as they have to wake up at the same time as larks but can’t fall asleep early.


If you are part of the night owls and had no idea that this was genetic, maybe you can start re-thinking your work schedule...perhaps this is the reason why you haven’t fulfilled you full potential?


Tips

  • Go to bed at a regular time every day, including weekends!

  • Stop using screens at least 1 hr before bed and download software on your devises that gradually de-saturate the harmful blue LED light as evening progresses.

  • Maintain complete darkness throughout the night with blackout curtains

  • Have your last cup of coffee the latest with lunch

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