Secrets of a PT: Sleep for the “wow, they got hot!”

Sssshhhh secrets of a London PT, uncovering top tips for wellbeing, fitness & nutrition.

Sleep for that killer body, ok. You have got this. I believe in you.

Do you wake up naturally, fresh, energized, ready to kick some serious ass each day?

No? The chances are your alarm goes off, you hit snooze, you feel tired, you calculate how many days it is until Friday, drag yourself to work, grab a large skinny cappuccino and the cycle continues….

Sacrificing sleep is the norm and the truth is most of us are sleep deprived. I urge you, STOP underestimating the importance of sleep. Sleep is fundamental to our wellbeing, fitness and our nutritional goals.

Why sleep for that killer body?

Depriving your body of sleep means you run up a sleep debt; the body then borrows energy from the immune system, resulting in sub optimal performance. Let me explain:

1. Sleep deprivation disrupts and limits your body’s ability to use insulin. This is bad news as insulin’s job is to remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent fat storage. As your insulin function declines, more fat circulates in your blood and gets stored in all the wrong places like your tissues and liver, leading to weight gain and eventually diabetes.

2. Hunger is controlled by the hormones leptin and ghrelin, not willpower, ok! Leptin is produced in our fat cells, the less you produce the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin you produce, the hungrier you feel and the fewer calories you burn and the more fat you store. Successful weight management comes from controlling these hormones; the problem is sleep deprivation makes controlling them nearly impossible. So gorgeous people, get more sleep, have better hormone control and you will eat less.

3. Lack of sleep leads to higher cortisol levels – the naughty stress hormone associated with fat gain (piss off cortisol)! This little bugger Mr.cortisol activates reward centres in our brain that make us want food! Along with rising levels of Ghrelin this is not good news, as this duo shut down areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, leaving you feeling hungry, even after a serious chow-down.

4. Back away from the cookie jar! Sleep deprivation pushes you in the direction of foods you know you shouldn’t eat as it impairs activity in your frontal lobe, which controls complex decisions such as to eat or not to eat a [all the] cookie[s]!

5. Muscle helps us burn fat and stay young – LIKE! Sleep deprivation decreases protein synthesis, the body’s ability to make muscle, causing muscle loss.

6. Human growth hormone (HGH) has its highest production during slow-wave sleep, it is a key player in keeping us wrinkle free and looking fine!

How much sleep do you need?

The million $ question – between 7 – 9 hours is advisable, the more active you are, the more sleep your body requires.

Good Zzzzzz’s strategy:

Schedule your bedtime like an important meeting; you wouldn’t cancel on your boss. Ideally at 10.30pm or at least the same time each day. Darkness, oh hello there, turn off all electricals, put down the mobile and don’t bother to email your boss back! Sex, scientist say 6 minutes extra shut eye is had if we sexercise before bed! Temperature, keep it low as otherwise it will inhibit melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep.

Now you are armed with some facts, I will leave you with some good news, sleep is free and it is available tonight!

Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.