(For the previous tips, go here.)
Tip #7: Get 6-8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period.
In a prior post, I outlined tips for sleeping soundly through the night (or day, if you are a night shift worker). If you must catch naps during the day to meet your tally, go ahead. Your biggest pulse of growth hormone happens during your deeper sleep stages. This increases fat burn and muscle toning.
A lack of sleep minimizes your ability to control blood sugar, causing insulin to inhibit your overall fat-burning as a result. Lack of adequate sleep also increases grehlin and decreases leptin sensitivity. These are the yin and yang of your hunger hormones. Without enough sleep, you will find yourself wth insatiable cravings, and your metabolism will decrease. You will feel too fatigued to exercise with vigour, if at all.
Before bed, decompress with a good book or meditiation tape and some herbal tea, such as chamomille. Turn off the computer at least an hour before bed, and turn off your cell phone or hide it in a bedside drawer, so it is close for emergencies. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and allow yourself enough hours of sleep per night to “sculpt” your muscles. Your recovery process happens when you sleep, and your cells are healing as protein synthesis occurs.
(Tomorrow: Tip #8 for Losing Those Last 10 Pounds)