In our fast paced “get ahead” world the last thing most people look at as being extremely beneficial is sleep. However, not getting optimal sleep affects hormone function and ultimately affects are ability to burn belly fat and perform at are best daily.
We’re taught by are society to focus on the amount of hours we sleep, but not so much about our overall sleep quality. You can sleep 8 hours a night and still wake up feeling groggy and not refreshed to start your day. Two key hormones that affect the quality of our sleep are human growth hormone (HGH) and melatonin. These two hormones are secreted optimally between the hours of 10pm and 2am.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is an important hormone that allows us to remain young and vibrant. Ever notice how and why little kids seem to recover and have so much energy day in and day out? Its because they produce incredible amounts of HGH in order for their little bodies to constantly grow. Normally around the age of 30 HGH production starts to drop. I believe this cycle begins much earlier in are 20’s when we leave for college because we no longer follow a consistent sleep routine, we’re also drinking booze and partying.
Melatonin is the most popular and abused sleep hormone produced in pineal gland of the brain. It’s not actually the hormone that puts us to sleep, but its key in setting up the show for us to get a great night's sleep. Melatonin has a huge connection with are gut health. There’s a huge amount of brain-like tissue found in our gut; consisting of more than 100 million neurons which is more than the spinal cord or peripheral nervous system. Research has shown that about 400 times more melatonin is produced in our guts than pineal gland. This megasleep hormone can be found in great quantity right in are guts!
So I hope you can see how the food we eat affects our guts ultimately affecting the amount of melatonin we produce which sets off a cascade of other hormone processes (i.e growth hormone) that allow us to have a great night's sleep.
Simple Tips To Optimize Sleep Quality
Set up your bedtime around 10-11 pm
Sleep 6-9 hours a night
Turn off all screens (Phones, TV’s, Laptop) at least 45 minutes to an 1 hour before bed
Sleep in a completely dark room
Avoid caffeine at least 8 hours before bed