Money Time

I have recently been paying more attention to the way and time I spend sleeping. We all know that sleep is important and the foundation of living a healthy life, so what are ways that we can enhance our sleep or get the most out of the time our eyes are closed? I have just finished reading a book called Sleep Smarter, authored by Shawn Stevenson and he explains 21 strategies to sleep your way to a better body, health and bigger success. Shawn calls the time between 10pm to 2:00am “Money Time” which studies have shown that human beings get the most beneficial hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping between these hours. In a world filled with screens we can trump nature and light up our house like the Burj Khalifa and we have seemingly lost realization that we humans are part of nature and when the lights go out on the planet, that’s a cue for us to turn down too. Have you ever experienced a second wind around 10pm? You come home from work 6/7pm and feel like falling on your bed, then 10pm rolls around and you all of sudden have more energy and get to scrolling through Facebook or 2 more episodes of Netflix and before you know it, its midnight? This second wind is your body starting to go through a transformation following a natural rise in melatonin for the purpose of increasing your internal metabolic energy to repair, strengthen and rejuvenate your body. Hence you should be getting to sleep around this time. Getting to bed at the right time: 1) Now based on the variations of time zones, daylight savings and so on, and without getting to neurotic about the exact time to go to sleep, in order to get the highest quality of sleep possible you want to aim to get to bed a few hours after dark, for most of us that means between 9-11pm. 2) Resetting your sleep cycle so you are actually tired when bedtime rolls around, make it a habit of getting some natural sunlight (Which is 99% guaranteed in Dubai). This helps boost your natural cortisol levels and naturally wakes up your system in the morning. 3) During sleep your body follows a predictable pattern of sleep cycles, which typically last 90mins and repeat for four to six times a night. So six normal sleep cycles would equal 9 total hours of sleep. Even if you wake up after a full nights sleep you may experience a groggy feeling, and this could be down to waking up mid cycle. Instead of setting an 8 hour sleep on your smartphone (When it comes to sleeping your smartphone is an entire discussion in itself) start to set your alarm in accordance with these sleep cycles. Example: if you go to sleep at 9pm set your alarm to 6am instead of 6:30am which would give you 9 hours of sleep and 6 complete cycles instead of waking up mid cycle at 6:30am. You will likely find you wake up more refreshed and also have an extra 30mins more to start your morning off right. There a many other factors to help getting better sleep, and like anything, you have to find out what works through trial and error, but a better understanding and attention to the matter should have you heading in the right direction to a good nights sleep.   By: Jamie Clarke, Performance Coach