Sleep yourself thin and healthy

When it comes to losing body fat most people are obsessed with calories they consume versus calories they have burnt. Sadly it is not that easy, if it were the obesity rate would be significantly lower.

As I have said numerous times throughout this site the way to lose weight is to increase the health of the body. To do this you must provide the cells with the right nutrients and stimulus, e.g. exercise.

Equally important to this is allowing your body the chance to rebuild the tissues with nutrients you have provided. The majority of this is done while asleep.

When sleeping your body goes through a cycle of hormonal secretion which facilitates muscle and tissue rebuilding. These healthier tissues will allow you to lose fat, increase health or build muscle.

How much and when?

The exact amounts of sleep for each person can vary. The general recommendations of 8 hours per night are a good estimate to start. The most important element is time you get to sleep. The body has a natural internal clock. At around 10.30 the body is primed to start releasing anabolic hormones. These will help to rebuild tissues and increase the health of your body.

However, the anabolic hormones will and can only be released if the body is in a state of rest and asleep. Therefore staying awake later than 10.30 is reducing the time that the body releases these vital chemicals. At around 2 am the body finished releasing these chemicals as part of the natural daily cycle. So it's crucial you are asleep early to maximize this window of opportunity.

Quality of sleep

The amount of sleep is linked also to the quality. The following tips can help you to greatly increase the quality of your resting hours.

Turn all lights off in the room - The room should be as pitch black as possible so turn off the clocks, stand by buttons and ensure the window is fully blacked out
Turn off all electric devices - Ensure the room is free from electro magnetic radiation. This can be done by switching the plugs off in every part of the room.
Avoid stimulation pre bedtime. - Avoid chemical stimulants such as caffeine. Avoid getting the mind worked up by watching TV or even reading. Do not exercise within a few hours of bedtime as this stimulates the body and mind further.
Use EFT to quiet the mind - If thoughts are occupying your psyche and thus preventing sound sleep EFT is an excellent technique for calming your thoughts. Meditation can also be used pre bedtime to further enhance the quality of sleep

Following the above guidelines should increase the quality of sleep to allow this vital component to support your health. This is one of many aspects covered in my courses

Ben WIlson BSc (Hons) CSCS NSCA-CPT CMTA Dip
One2one nutrition
Rugby fitness training.com

Author's Bio: 

I possess a degree in chemistry and I am qualified to teach metabolic typing nutrition. I attained the Certified strength and conditioning certificate through the NSCA and their certified personal trainer certificate. To complement this I completed further study in personal training, athletic preparation, lifestyle coaching and Emotional freedom technique (EFT).
I am Author of the top selling book Rugby fitness training: A twelve month conditioning programme and run the websites http://www.one2onenutrition.co.uk and http://www.rugbyfitnesstraining.com