Pillar #3: Sleep

To say that sleep is massively important to your overall health and well being is a huge understatement.

If you go one week with restricted or interrupted sleep, meaning you get some but not enough, it sets off a whole cascade of hormonal shifts in your body with harmful biological effects. You will have higher levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and the stress hormone cortisol, keeping your heart rate elevated and your nervous system on constant alert, preventing you from getting that deep restorative sleep where your pituitary gland secretes HGH, human growth hormone; HGH repairs muscles and bones.

Sleep deprivation also throws your hunger hormones completely out of whack, increasing levels of gherlin, the hunger inducing hormone, and decreasing leptin the hormone that makes you feel satiated. So you feel hungrier, which causes you to eat more and now you gain weight!

Sleep deprivation also suppresses your immune system leaving you susceptible to infections, causes mood swings, resulting in feelings of depression. You are also at risk of developing chronic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.

So do me a favor, no… do YOURSELF a favor… get your ass to bed!

Here are some great tips to try and you'll get a better nights sleep.

  1. Shut down all caffeinated drinks no later than 2:00 in the afternoon.
  2. Your last meal should be at least 3 hours before going to bed.
  3. Some people like to take a nice warm bath before hitting the hay.
  4. You should shut down all electronics TV, phone, computer etc. 1 hour before bedtime. Otherwise, you will knock your melatonin out of whack, your sleep hormone.
  5. Your bedroom should be your haven:
    • Black out curtains (light is the enemy of sleep.)
    • No electronics in bedroom — pitch black.
    • Don't skimp on nice mattress, sheets, pillows, etc.
    • Room should be a comfortable temperature. 65-72°
    • You may want to do Dr. Andrew Weil's breathing exercise.
    • 5 minutes on a foam roller to relax your muscles.
    • Soak your face in a bowl of ice cold water for 5 minutes.

If you improve your quality of sleep, you will dramatically improve your life. If you have a nutritional plan in place and you are getting some good exercise, but you are skimping on your sleep, you are throwing away your good efforts.

5 Tools for Faster and Better Sleep

Tim Ferris shares the latest tools, gadgets, and tactics for faster and better sleep. (20-min audio episode)

Resources:

Bulletproof founder and author Dave Asprey: bulletproofexec.com
The School of Greatness Lewis Howes: lewishowes.com