Sleep…Shh, shh, it’s okay…close your eyes.

Part of living Paleo living healthily is taking care of your body with more than just food. Sleep is the cornerstone of health and fitness, and without it, you can’t have optimum health OR fitness. It’s the only time your body has to heal and repair all the damage that you have dealt it throughout the day.  Extended periods of sleep depravation has an effect on the body similar to aging and the CDC has stated that shift work “that involves circadian disruption” is a carcinogen

Let that sink in for a second

Cigarettes, Asbestos…disruption of the natural circadian rhythms.  All considered to have an equal, cancer causing, damaging effect on the body. And the real bitch of a down side is that you can’t exercise or eat your way out of it.  Exercise only exacerbates the negative feedback loop of sleep depravation, and at some point the system WILL force you to stop through sickness and potential death.

So let’s assume that you’ve just said to your self, “Self, I don’t think sickness, cancer or death are right for me,” and you’ve marked some time for a private meeting between you and your pillow for tonight…but eight hours is REALLY all you can offer, because, hey, you’re a pretty big deal.

  1. Turn off the lights
  2. Seriously…pitch black, and no, those little eye shade thingies don’t work.  Our bodies will respond to blue wave lengths of light through skin penetration alone (blind people have circadian rhythms too).

  3. No chemical interference
  4. If you want your body to treat you well, treat it well.  Caffeine and alcohol can destroy a good nights sleep.  Both of these things interfere with either your ability to sleep well or completely (or both), and completely jack with your bodies ability to release the hormones it needs for healing and rejuvenation.

  5. Ok, maybe one thing to add –  Magnesium
  6. Magnesium has been shown to help the quality of sleep when taken immediately before bedon an empty stomach.  Best in the form of Magnesium citrate (400mg) or ZMA (‘ware some funky dreams with this one at first –  it happened to me and others have said it as well) and Robb Wolf also suggests a dash of melatonin if your schedule is seriously jacked.

Finally, for a much more in-depth look at sleep as it applies to our mental and physical health I highly recommend the book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T.S. Wiley.  Also, check out Robb’s book for an excellent chapter on sleep, which has more depth, information and humor than mine.

About cacharbe

Software Engineer, ALM Specialist, Professional Improviser, Lv 1 Certified CrossFit trainer. I eat Paleo and coach others in being successful eating whole, unprocessed, nutritious foods.
This entry was posted in Theory and Discussion, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sleep…Shh, shh, it’s okay…close your eyes.

  1. Keith Davies says:

    I found _Lights Out_ to have a good message, but I was distinctly dissatisfied with the packaging. I got the core message in the first few pages, but the rest of the book felt a lot like it was trying to sell me on the idea.

    Not a product (what is to buy? Just go to bed!), but an emotional argument that I want more sleep. It turned me off the book, though as I said, the message is sound and I’m working on it.

    (note: site’s still old content that’s mostly moved to, I think I’ll be putting recipes and workout log and whatnot at, when I get it set up.)


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