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The Best Performance Enhancer

It has been said that sleep is the “best performance enhancer” out there. Here at RESOLVE, we believe that to be true. Sleep is essential for maintaining good physical and even mental health. During sleep, the body performs a variety of essential functions, such as repairing tissues, consolidating memories, and regulating hormones.

Here are some key reasons why sleep is so important:

-Restoring and repairing the body: While we sleep, our body can repair damaged tissues and cells, and produce new cells. This helps to boost our immune system, repair injuries and fight off illnesses. Good sleep is so important for proper recovery from exercise.

-Improving cognitive function: Sleep is essential for consolidating memories and processing information. Getting enough sleep can help improve our attention, memory, and decision-making abilities. If you have an exam in the morning or an important presentation to do at work, proper rest the night before is essential. It’s like restarting your phone...everything works better.

-Enhancing mood: Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, mood swings, and depression. Good sleep can help regulate our emotions and promote a more positive mood.

-Reduces cravings: Your hunger cues can get messed up with an improper amount of sleep. Your body will be in a stressed state and you will feel cravings throughout the day.

-Regulating hormones: Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating the production of hormones that control appetite, metabolism, and stress. Not getting enough sleep can lead to imbalances in these hormones, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

So now that we know sleep is important, how can we set ourselves up to get quality sleep each night?

If you want a super simple plan, start with this:

The “321 rule.”

No eating 3 hours before bed.

No water or fluids 2 hours before bed.

No electronic devices 1 hour before bed.

Or if you are ready to really change up your routine and really lock things in, here are some of the best rules to follow for quality sleep…

1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

2. Create a bedtime routine: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help your body prepare for sleep. This could include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.

3. Make your sleep environment comfortable: Ensure that your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to create a conducive environment for sleep.

4. Avoid electronic devices before bedtime: The blue light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid these devices for at least an hour before bedtime.

5. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake: Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep. I recommend stopping all caffeine between 12 and 2 pm based on your sleep schedule since it can still be in your system in the evening.

6. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help to improve the quality of your sleep. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime as it can possibly have the opposite effect.

7. Manage stress: Stress and anxiety can interfere with your sleep. Consider practicing relaxation techniques like mindfulness, yoga, or tai chi to help manage stress.

8. Upon waking, try to get as much natural daylight in your eyes, to boost your cortisol release. The ideal time for this is first thing in the morning. Early morning light prepares the body for sleep later that night. A morning spike in cortisol will also positively influence your immune system, metabolism, and ability to focus during the day.

Further, morning sunlight helps regulate your “circadian clock” — the body’s mechanism for anticipating when to wake up and go to sleep — and it manages other biological processes like hunger and body temperature, and the reset of your circadian rhythm. (Andrew Huberman)

Even if you change up one of the above tips, you can positively influence the quality of your sleep. Let’s not forget that sleep can be the best performance enhancer, so do your best to make it a priority!

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