Hello sunshine! Not you…the actual sun 🙂
It’s been a great week here on the west coast mostly because the sun finally showed itself amidst what seems like weeks of cloud and rain.
If you have been with me for a while, you already know that I go to extreme measures to chase the sun.
Our climate tends to be gray and cloudy, and this winter we had ⅓ of the sunshine we normally get.
Sunshine is key part of my recovery…and I take my recovery pretty seriously.
If you checked out our Facebook page you will see that I was able to enjoy a perfectly made spicy caesar on the beachfront.
Sadly I don’t control the sun, but there are a few variables that I do control.
I call them my 3 pillars of health. Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep.
That list is in reverse order. Without question the most important pillar is Sleep.
Believe me when I say, the most important aspect of practicing a healthy lifestyle was fixing my sleep.
Since starting public service at 19 as a volunteer firefighter in a remote community to recently retiring as a cop… I’ve seen some things.
Gruesome car accidents to violent homicides…
Sometimes it can be hard to find sleep. So I work at it diligently because I know how powerful being well rested is living a long and healthy life.
If you want your weight loss plan to work, you must sleep properly.
If you want your muscle building program to work, you must sleep properly.
Sleep rewires the brain and body
The processes of learning and repair take place while you sleep, as brain connections are made and pruned.
High levels of both physical and mental activity cause the production of new brain cells in memory areas that become functional within days.
With proper sleep your mood and overall memory improve and your ability to stay focused and motivated increases drastically.
Sleep Burns More Calories
Not only do you have more energy to take on the day after a good night’s sleep, but your body also torches calories, even when you’re not working out.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that normal sleepers’ resting energy expenditure the amount of calories burned when you’re not moving was five percent higher than their tired counterparts.
They also burned 20 percent more calories after a meal versus sleep-deprived people.
Sleep Boosts Fat Loss
Even if you eat the exact same diet as your friend, if you’re not getting the sleep your body needs, you won’t drop as much fat as them.
A recent study from the University of Chicago compared the weight-loss results from sleeping eight and a half hours per night versus only five and a half hours per night. In both conditions, people ate the same number of calories (about 1,450 calories per day).
While both groups lost about six and a half pounds, more than half of that weight was fat for well-rested people, compared to only a quarter for tired participants.
This is because sleep affects your respiratory exchange rate which affects the performance of energy systems in terms of the fuel they use to create energy.
With a high respiratory exchange rate your body uses lean muscle for energy instead of burning excess fat for energy.
If there is one thing you should focus on improving it is your sleep. I will be talking about more strategies to achieve the perfect sleep in upcoming weeks so you can actually see the benefits of your fat loss or muscle building programs.