On the START Wellness intermittent fasting and water program you greatly benefit from quality deep sleep.
If you feel like you have no energy, you feel apathetic and stressed, you may be neglecting your body. It can be caused by sleep deprivation, overeating, or hydration.
In order to regulate the natural rhythm of your body, it is important to have a well-established daily schedule in terms of meals, sleep, and work. Define a way to sleep and repeat it. The body will get used to it and after a while, when you start preparing for sleep, it will automatically go into sleep mode. So, set a bedtime and stick to it. Even on weekends! Your START Wellness app will help inculcate these good habits.
On START Wellness we recommend you sleep for around 7.5-8.5 hours per night. But the quality of your sleep also matters. An average 8 hours of sleep is composed out of 4-5 cycles of sleep, each one around 90 minutes. Every cycle has 5 stages:
- In the first 2 stages, which are non-REM (non-rapid eye movement), your heartbeat, respiration, and eye movements begin to slow, your muscles relax and your brain waves start to slow down.
- In stages 3 and 4 you experience deep sleep. Your heartbeat and breathing become slower as your muscles relax. Your brain waves are at the lowest level.
The fifth stage is REM (rapid eye movement). Now your eyes move rapidly from side to side, meaning that you are dreaming. Your heart rate increase and your breathing become faster and even irregular.
The part of sleep that truly matters is deep sleep. The first stage of deep sleep lasts anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes and becomes shorter with each sleep cycle. Deep sleep represents about 13-23% of all 8 hours so that’s about 60-110 minutes per night. Stage 4 is known as the healing stage. In this stage:
- Glucose metabolism in the brain increases memory and learning.
- The pituitary gland secretes important hormones, like human growth hormone, leading to growth and development of the body.
- Energy is restored.
- Regeneration of the cells takes place.
- Blood supply to muscles is increasing.
- Repair of tissues and bones takes place.
- The immune system strengthens.
- The brain is detoxified.
Without deep sleep, these functions cannot take place, and the symptoms of sleep deprivation start. The time interval in which most people die in their sleep is 3-4 a.m. and this is because in this interval the body is the most vulnerable, so make sure that by this time your body is sufficiently rested and restored. If you are in a deep sleep and you suddenly wake up, this event can cause heart problems. Hence on START Wellness we recommend you log in your heart rates on a daily basis to check your health status.
Snoozing the alarm clock with 5 minutes is just a delusion. A complete sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes. In five minutes you only struggle even more. So get enough sleep. On the START Wellness app, your biological clock will soon adjust and you should wake up before your alarm naturally.
There is a relationship between the quality and quantity of sleep and health problems:
- Shallow sleep affects the secretion of ghrelin and leptin (hormones that control satiety and hunger). If the level of leptin drops, the appetite gets higher.
- Interrupted sleep can affect the normal decline of blood pressure during sleep, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
- Insufficient sleep reduces the body’s ability to produce insulin, which leads to diabetes.
- Superficial sleep also affects the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) released.
- During sleep, at night, the body produces a hormone called melatonin. A higher level of this hormone tends to lower the risk of breast cancer.
While sleeping, the whole body, including the face, sweats more, which smooths wrinkles.
Effects of START Wellness intermittent fasting and hydration on deep sleep
Digestion is a process where the body breaks down food into smaller particles to absorb them into the bloodstream. From the moment you ingest food, it takes around 3 hours to pass through your stomach into the small intestine. Then, for another 3-5 hours, it passes through the small intestine and into your large intestine (colon). It takes about 36 hours for food to move through the entire colon.
But the key part here is the first 3-4 hours. Huge meals, before bed, diminish growth hormone production because the pancreas and liver will continue to consume the ingested food. Eating too much before getting to sleep is the number one cause that blocks cell regeneration, which leads to wrinkles and water retention in the body. So, if you haven’t eaten on time, it is better to skip dinner.
The START Wellness intermittent fasting and water program endorses the 16:8 method where ideally your fasting window should include your sleep cycle of 7.5-8.5 hours. START Wellness also recommended to not eat anything 3-4 hours before bed to get maximum benefits and the deepest sleep and leave the first hour of waking for hydration only.
Today fasting programs have become increasingly common but has been so for a long time among human beings. Early primates and ancient hunter-gatherers used to eat when they found the food, not on a regular program. So, our body is programmed to store fat and use it later. Routine eating patterns during the day will help your body adopt a consistent sleep schedule at night.
Most weight loss methods lead to muscle loss of some form, but the START Wellness intermittent fasting and water program retains lean muscle mass. Short-term fasts also tend to boost metabolism. In either scenario, the common denominator is consuming adequate protein for your body’s needs.
On START Wellness we recommend you should eat no later than 4 hours before bedtime. The question that remains is: what to eat?
Four main vitamins and minerals that can be found in food, that help in promoting sleep, are:
- Tryptophan – after ingestion is transformed into serotonin and then melatonin which induces sleep.
- Magnesium – is a natural relaxant that helps deactivate adrenaline. A lack of calcium makes you hard to fall asleep.
- Calcium – helps the brain make melatonin. A lack of calcium can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep.
- Vitamin B6 – converts tryptophan to melatonin. A deficiency in B6 links to depression and mood disorders which can lead to insomnia.
Natural resources for the these vitamins and minerals are: milk, low-fat yogurt, turkey, chicken, chese, salmon, tuna, almonds, sunfllower, cashews , wheat, rice, barley, corn, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, soynean, spinach, avocado, banana, walnuts, peanuts and beans.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are a couple of food and drinks you should avoid before going to bed:
- foods and drinks that contain caffeine: coffee, energy drinks, sodas and even smoking. These will make you hyperactive and it will be harder to fall asleep.
- spicy foods: They can cause heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux.
- alcohol: It can make you more likely to fall asleep faster, but it can block you from entering deep sleep.
- Foods high in fat triggers the digestive processes and causes a build-up of stomach acids. While lying down, it can creep into the esophagus causing discomfort.
- heavy meals before bedtime. Big meals will rise glucose level during the night, your pancreas will release more insulin which can cause a sugar crash. This sudden drop in your blood sugar levels can stimulate the appetite centres in your brain, causing you to feel hungrier when you wake up. We are better of consuming more of our calories earlier in the day.
Besides food, another reason for poor sleep is dehydration. Effects of dehydration during sleep are:
- Dehydration causes a dry mouth and nasal passages, which leads to snoring and hoarseness in the morning.
- If your body is not hydrated, during sleep you will suffer from nocturnal leg cramps that may keep you awake.
- A bad habit is to breathe, while you are asleep, through your mouth, because you lose fluids; more than when you breathe through your nose. So, it is a good practice to clean your nose passage before bed.
- A warm bed or a warm room will make you lose more fluid, so it is a good practice to keep a temperature around 20 degrees and comfortable clothes.
- Hydration is a long process during the day. While your START Wellness app optimises hydration through the day, drinking a lot of water just before sleep will cause nocturia, making it difficult to achieve quality sleep and making it tougher to wake up in the morning. Hence the START Wellness app recommends your last heavy water intake an hour before bed at least.
If for any reason you feel dehydrated at night before bed (won’t happen on START Wellness intermittent fasting and water program), in the body gets released adrenaline in order to clean it from toxins. Beside the fact that you feel a wrong sensation of hunger, adrenaline increase will interfere with your sleep. In this case, drink a glass of water before you go to bed. If you get up to go to the bathroom when your body is in its REM period, don’t worry, you will fall asleep right away after.
Here are some bonus tips, to keep in mind, for a quality deep sleep:
- Perform the START Wellness Dynamic Stretch 30-60 minutes before bed. It greatly helps giving you quality deep sleep and also helping you wake up fresh with loads of energy.
- Buy a comfortable mattress. You will spend 1 third of your time on it.
- Serotonin is responsible for the level of light that enters our body, so light puts human body in active mode, and darkness into regeneration mode. So, be sure that it is dark in your room.
- What you do in the last 30 minutes before sleep, it is what your mind will work on all night, so try and do things that relax you. 4-7-8 breathing for 5 min is incredibly impactful.
- There are 2 positions recommended to achieve good deep sleep: a) on your back (because all your organs relax), and b) on you’re right side (because the organs do not press on your heart and the gastric juice does not spill in your mouth causing reflux).
In just 7 days you’ll FEEL the change.
In 30 days you’ll BE the change.
All you have to do is START!
Learn more about START Wellness – Best Intermittent Fasting & Weight Loss App 2021