Considering the situation we’re going through, we feel like one of the most important things for our Steelheaders to focus on is personal health.
And as it turns out, a common area of struggle was sleep. Sleep is crucial for optimal brain function, physical health, and productivity.
So we called on the support of one of our local holistic health practitioners and Steelhead wellness coaches, Paul C. Tijerina of the SuperHuman Transformation (SHT). We held a virtual sleep seminar where we covered everything you could possibly need to know about sleep!
Below we have a summary of our key points. If you’d like to host one of these for your company, or if you need assistance yourself, we highly recommend reaching out to Paul C. Tijerina.
Why Is Sleep Important?
So, why is getting enough sleep important? Put simply, every physiological, biological, and psychological function depends on it. A good night’s sleep improves:
Brain power enhances your ability to learn, memorize, and make good decisions. It also resets emotions so you can navigate next-day social and psychological challenges. In addition, dreaming negates useless evolutionary (and painful) memories.
Sleep restores the immune system and helps deal with most malignancy, infection, and sickness. Your metabolic state resets, with insulin and circulatory glucose appetite going back to normal. Plus, sleep improves your cardiovascular health and reduces stress.
How Sleep Works
Ideally, we cycle through five cycles each night.
We need a certain amount of time to sleep to go through all five cycles. For most people, it’s between seven and nine hours.
To go from waking to REM to NREM (cycles 1-4), aim for quality since it helps us go all the way from being awake to the deepest stages of sleep and back again.
A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.
There are two things that impact circadian rhythms:
- Light — Bright light from the sun helps set our daytime energy levels, hormonal patterns, and wake cycles. Dim light in the evening helps us set our nighttime sleep quality.
- Routines — Consistent eating, fitness, social cycles, and temperature can also set circadian rhythms. We can basically train our bodies to expect wakefulness and sleep.
What to Do to Improve Sleep?
1. Increase the Duration
Determine when you need to get up, then work backwards eight hours to find your ideal bedtime. Make sure to go to bed 30 minutes earlier for a couple weeks until your internal clock adjusts.
2. Improve the Quality
Keep your “awake hours” to about 12-16 hours, and make sure you don’t consume caffeine 6 hours before your bedtime so it has enough time to get out of your system.
3. Mimic the Day During the Day
Brighten up your day by opening your blinds and accumulating 30 minutes of outdoor brightness each day. You’ll also want to get 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on your skin at least a few days during the week.
4. Embrace the Night
When the sun goes down, or when it gets close to your bedtime, dim your lights and minimize stimulus. Make sure your bedroom is cool and that your bed is an electronics-free zone.
How Technology Can Help You Sleep
You can use technology to help you improve your sleep.
1. Mimic the Day
Use light therapy devices to give you brightness when you can’t get outside. Also, don’t wear sunglasses all the time.
2. Mimic the Night
Wear blue light blocking glasses two hours before bedtime to filter out bright white and blue light. In addition, use dimmer switches to lower the lights in your house during the evening and turn your thermostat down in your bedroom to make it around 65 degrees.
To see how your sleep is really measuring up, be sure to take Paul’s Sleep Survey here and be on your way to sleeping like a freakin’ champ!
Paul C. Tijerina | BS MFT CPT NLP
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Performance, & Life Coach
As a passionate, driven, U.S Military Academy West Point Grad, Army Master Fitness Trainer, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner, Performance, and Life Coach, Paul C. Tijerina’s goal is to EDUCATE and EMPOWER PEOPLE on real food principles and lifestyle factors crucial for optimal health.