Sleep restores the energy level, rebalances the hormones, while physical exercises improve the quality of sleep and mood, increase the energy level and accelerate the metabolism. If you had to choose, which one would you prefer? Which do you think is more important for your own health?
Lack of physical exercise results in obesity and cardiovascular diseases. But lack of sleep can also favor the appearance of obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. In addition, when you do not sleep enough, the body secretes inflammatory mediators such as C-reactive protein, cortisol and adrenaline. Sleep “cleanses” the toxins accumulated in the brain during the day, such as the protein or beta-amyloids, which favor the formation of plaques involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is obvious that both exercise and sleep have an important role in our health. But, for the sake of discussion, if you were in a limited situation, where you could only choose one of them, then sleep should be that one. In the long run, the lack of sleep will cause more harm than the lack of exercise.
If you belong to the category of people who have problems sleeping, here is what you can do:
Eat healthy foods
Avoid eating fatty foods or sweets at dinner or before bed. Every time you consume them, the body secretes hormones that initiate the response necessary for digestion and assimilation of the resulting products. If you are used to eating foods with a high glycemic index, there is a large secretion of insulin, then cortisol and adrenaline to counteract this phenomenon. When this stress system is activated at night, it will be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Therefore, it is important to avoid the consumption of caffeine, alcohol and foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates, a few hours before going to bed. Although alcohol and these foods can induce sleep momentarily, their metabolism induces the stress response.
No electronics before bed
The blue light emitted by a laptop, mobile phone or TV slows down the secretion of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body, the level of which begins to increase in the afternoon, to encourage sleep. It is recommended to give up these devices at least two hours before going to bed, in order to increase the body’s ability to fall asleep and keep you asleep during the night.
Choose a good quality mattress
A quality bed and mattress represent an investment in your own health. Both are necessary for restful sleep. Sleep is important for rest and recovery of the body, muscle repair and for the proper functioning of the brain, forming new connections at this level.
Call for supplements
There are many food supplements that can induce sleep, but they should only be used with the specialist’s advice. For example, most of them contain melatonin, to induce sleep especially in the elderly, but they can inhibit its natural secretion.