Have you been trying to make positive lifestyle changes, eat well, exercise - but aren't seeing the results you want? It could be because you're missing out on a good night's sleep - the third pillar of health, but arguably the most important! Extra sleep may just be calling your name.
If you aren't familiar with the 3 pillars of health, it may be time to get acquainted. Nutrition + Exercise + Sleep are the undisputed pillars you need for a healthy and happy life.
Google "How to be more healthy?" and you're bound to be hit with articles on fitness, food, weight loss and more. We spend thousands of dollars on improving our diet, and hitting the gym - but sleep remains relatively low on people's list of priorities when it comes to good health.
Don't take our word for it. Even the Queen herself (and we mean Queen Bey), swears by sleep.
"Having peace, happiness and healthiness is my definition of beauty. And you can't have any of that without sleep."
The fact is: you can't live your best life without sleep.
So why SHOULD sleep be the first pillar of health?
Simply put - sleep underpins everything. And we really mean everything.
Bad sleep wreaks havoc on your life in more aspects than one! When we don’t sleep properly our mental and physical wellbeing are seriously impacted, affecting everything - including how we utilise the other health pillars - nutrition and exercise.
SLEEP FACT! A lack of sleep causes a domino-like effect; decreased sleep → poor nutrition choices → lack of energy to exercise.
Sleep and Nutrition
A healthy sleep routine can work wonders for our cravings and diet! Increased sleep can lead to decreased sugar and fat cravings, and can also help to control and mitigate over-eating.
When we don’t sleep properly we often reach for ‘comfort’ foods and unhealthy choices because of the production of hormones such as leptin and ghrelin being thrown out of whack. These hormones help control our appetite and hunger. Chemicals in our brain are also impacted by decreased sleep our ability to make decisions is affected (cue afternoon sugary pick-me-up!)
So why shouldn’t sleep be the top priority?
Sleep and Exercise
Can’t get through your workout without feeling fatigued and unmotivated? YOU NEED SLEEP! Often we workout and eat healthily because we want to look and feel our best... But sleep is commonly the neglected and overlooked pillar of health when it comes to reaching these goals.
When we don’t get enough sleep, not only does our drive and strength decrease, but our concentration and focus during a workout is minimised. A well rested body and mind is much more reliable when it comes to fitness goals and an exercise regime. With an adequate amount of sleep we harness the energy to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves in terms of our health.
So when that 5am alarm goes off and your body is REALLY telling you it doesn't want to go, maybe what you really need is to stay in bed and get in that extra few hours of Zzz's. After all, your body knows best.
The Takeaway! Sleep is your superpower when it comes to your health.
- Enhances our ability to prioritise the 1st and 2nd pillars of health - without adequate sleep these pillars are not able to be maintained.
- Better sleep helps to minimise cravings of unhealthy foods
- Enhances the quality of our exercise through boosting our motivation, endurance, focus and concentration before and during a workout.
- Brightens our overall mood as our body and mind is well rested.
- Ensures we are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper rest and repair.
Whoever said superpowers were a myth clearly didn’t understand the power of sleep!