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Why Does Attaining Quality Sleep Matter?
By | March 31st, 2021 | Newsletter

March 2021 Newsletter

To have a great sleep every day makes a huge difference to your health.

Dear members,

This month we are going to focus on some questions which are often asked by our members, who generally are in good health. One relates to alertness, better learning and quality sleep. Generally speaking, we can say that light is the heavy deliver when it comes to moving our internal rhythm, sleep time and activity schedules. Exercise and feeding can help, but light is definitely the primary one.

Indeed, the so-called circadian cycle helps control our daily schedule for sleep and wakefulness. This rhythm is tied to a 24-hour body clock, and most living things have one. The circadian rhythm is vastly influenced by light. Every cell in our body adjusts its biology according to night length, using the melatonin signal. The longer this signal the more depressed our systems tend to be. Reproduction, metabolism, turnover rate of skin and hair cells, wakefulness mood are all influenced by this biological signal.

Maintaining healthy habits can help respond better to the natural rhythm of your body. It is important to understand that it is early in the day that the central circadian clock is looking for light, a lot of light, in order to trigger day time signal alertness. From the middle of the day we reach the dead zone of this cycle. So, the recipe for all of us is to open windows when waking up, have bright lights inside and ideally get outside longer after waking up. Everybody goes through natural fluctuation which vary from person to person. Some people are very closely related to that rhythm, particularly because of seasonal changes. It is common in winter time for instance when light is more limited to experience that less fat is burnt, hormones decrease and lipid metabolism is down. In that period of the year it is even more important to bring light to our morning routines in order to get quality sleep and help restore the mood.

Regarding learning in sleep more particularly, an interesting study published by the journal Science has shown that a cycle learning process should on average reach 90-mn followed by 20-mn non-sleep deep rest or short nap. It increases the rate of learning both in terms of quantity and retention of information.

Another common question relates to exerciseWhat forms are best for sleeping well? What time is best? First of all, we have to remember that there are different ways to exercise. You may choose a cardio-vascular activity (meaning the repetition of the same movement over and over, such as running or swimming) or something requiring more resistance from the body, such a weight-lifting. Again, there are important variations among individuals and types of exercise, so you should figure out what works best for you. As a rule, it is admitted that in terms of performance optimization and reduction of injuries, exercise is mostly productive 30 minutes, 3 hours and 11 hours after waking up. Therefore, for exposure to light and efficiency, exercising outside after waking up is considered optimal. Sleep quality is generally better for people exercising regularly. For people who are sensitive to the release of endorphins when they exercise in the evening, it is recommended to train at the latest 2 hours before going to bed.

Some of you wonder also about supplementation for mental health, also called emotional fitness. We all would like to hear about the perfect safe compound which may help feel more empathy, reach a broader spectrum of emotions, be more creative, have a better memory. Well, as we said earlier on, such a recipe does not exist simply because some of these requirements may be contradictory to one another, and given practice may not work for all individuals. Some people have more resilient systems than others for instance. Most components on the market stimulate specific points, such as caffeine-based drinks with focus on alertness.

At HECL, we are not responsible for your health, you are. However, we aim at providing information, tips and science which may contribute to a better health. We can encourage you to become scientists of your own physiology, of your brain and body. You need to experiment based on all possible harmless recipes in order to see how the different tools may affect your pattern of sleep and ability to focus.


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