I had a question I asked on Facebook yesterday that you might be interested in.
What is the first thing you focus on when you want to increase your health?
I received lots of wonderful responses.
All the responses are correct to some degree, but there is a hierarchy when it comes to focusing on health.
To give you the shortest answer – SLEEP – is the winner.
It is a loaded question with several correct ways to answer.
Health is a loaded term as well.
So what is health?
Health is the state of being free from illness or injury.
So when we think about our health and wanting to focus on increasing our health the first place we need to turn is:
Sleep. (Most adults need 7-9 hours)
This is when your body repairs itself.
Less demand – heart rate falls, blood pressure drops.
Muscles relax reducing inflammation and repair begins.
Poor sleep is associated with an increase in oxidative stress, glucose (blood sugar) intolerance, and insulin resistance.
If you are not sleeping well we need to look into the reasons why you are not sleeping well.
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, overtraining, too much caffeine, blue light exposure, alcohol, type of food intake, the timing of food intake.
When we can start identifying some of the underlying reasons, then we can start adapting behaviors.
For example Stress what is causing the stress?
Can we reduce or eliminate the stress?
Do we need to develop better coping mechanisms? (Hot/cold therapies, cognitive behavior therapy, gratitude journal, meditation)
Then you will want to think about setting the stage for better sleep.
Is your room dark enough, are you going to bed early enough, what is your ritual…
As you can see there is several layers when it comes to getting better sleep which then can lead to better health.
Nutrition, hydration, exercise, Mindset are all critical parts but test this.
If you haven’t slept well, do you exercise well?
If you haven’t slept well, do you eat well?
If you haven’t slept well, are you happy?
It is proven that if you can increase your quality of sleep you will make better food choices, your inflammation is lower, hormones are better balanced, I could go on.
This is how I have been coaching my clients is to first focus on themselves.
Sleep is the first place, if they are not sleeping well, why?
Then we start to reverse engineer the plan.
When you start feeling better it’s amazing how much quicker nutrition adapts, exercise is enough, mindset is lifted consistently.
Reach out if this has piqued your interest and you would like to set up a quick chat to see what steps you can take for better health!