As the weather changes, our energy takes a slump. It's so easy to underestimate the effect that lack of sleep or a bad nights rest can have on our body and our mood too. Too little sleep can affect your memory, skin, libido and even your fitness goals . Here are just a few of the reasons to indulge in a little more shut eye:
While getting a good nights sleep won't prevent all illness, many studies have shown a direct link between lack of sleep and serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. While in a lot of cases these health risks only develop after an extended period of insufficient sleep, the more immediate health risks, such as colds and viruses, are 3 times more likely to catch up to you if you get 7 hours or less sleep a night.
Sharpen your memory
While your body rests during sleep cycles, your mind is surprisingly busy. This is the time for it to consolidate and strengthen all the memories and skills you learned while awake, moving them from short term to stronger long term memory . Without the correct amount of sleep, these memories are often not stored correctly and can be forgotten. Being well rested will also improve your concentration, productivity and problem solving skills, plus you're less likely to lock your keys in the car or forget your phone at home.
Improve sports performance
Sufficient sleep is proven to improve athletic performance, from speed to strength and mental wellbeing. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina. So getting to bed early before your morning dynamic Vinyasa class is a wise move.
Cut down on unhealthy food cravings
When you're overtired, not only are you more likely to lack the energy needed for that jog or evening Cycle class, but you're also more likely to indulge in high calorie and high fat snacks to keep your energy up.
This happens because, without enough sleep, Leptin levels in the body drop. This is the hormone that plays an important role in making you feel full. When the levels are unbalanced, it's that much more tempting to reach for sugary snacks.
Rest and Restore
Stress and sleep are very closely linked, as during sleep our body performs various tasks and activities to restore us to balance. With too little sleep, our adrenals can become overextended, making it harder to deal with stressful situations. It can also affect blood pressure and concentration, making it harder to prevent burn out with ultra busy schedules. Regular restful practices will train you to relax.
Come and recharge your batteries in Restorative Bliss. These classes have been designed to nurture the parasympathetic nervous system ( the part that deals with rest, healing and digestion) with a carefully constructed series of poses, calming or revitalising breathing techniques and mindful, flowing movement. The perfect counter balance to stress, anxiety and fatigue. Thursday 7.15pm, Fitzrovia, Friday 6pm and Sunday 3.15pm, Covent Garden. Book in.
Improve your flexibility and sports performance in Sunday Yin Yoga. Working through a series of guided and supported poses, each one held for several minutes, you will start to cultivate a deeper awareness of your body, learn how to let go and find a deep sense of relaxation within the poses which will ultimately lead to the lowering of stress levels, greater stamina and a balanced mind and body.The perfect addition to a more dynamic yoga practice. Saturday 3.30pm, Covent Garden. Book in.
Have you tried Flo's new Monday Meditation yet? The perfect way to find focus and calm for your week ahead. It is well documented that Meditation reduces stress, can help you to sleep better, feel more patient, tolerant and understanding of yourself and others. It can help you to get in touch with how you feel emotionally and physically. It provides a space in your day where you are a human- being, not a human doing! Monday 8.30am - 9.15am, Fitzrovia. Book in.
If you’re often finding yourself filled with looming Monday dread as your weekend draws to a close, meaning you're robbed of restful sleep, join Ben Wolff and guest teachers for Yoga Nidra Sunday Sessions to find calm, focus and empowerment. Experience these life changing sessions on the first Sunday of every month, next up Sunday 2nd October, 4.30pm, Covent Garden, £16. Book in.
Improving the quality of your sleep can have untold benefits for your overall health. Join Ruth Mcneil for a delicious 2 hour Restorative Yoga for Better Sleep workshop. Empower yourself with a better understanding of how the nervous system functions and ways to create the right environment both internally and externally crucial to activating the relaxation response through practical means that help to will minimise insomnia & sleep related issues.Friday 14th October 7.30 - 9.30pm, Covent Garden. Book in.
Join me as we get Calm before Christmas.This 2 hour Restorative Yoga workshop is the perfect opportunity to take a moment for yourself before the festivities begin. We will explore deeply restorative poses as well as breathing practices and end with a yoga nidra ( guided meditation) on being content with your life just as it is.
Friday 2nd December 7.30pm - 9.30pm, Covent Garden. Book in.
Members, call 020 7240 6111 for 20% off all Good Vibes workshops. Not yet a member? Join us today!
Lastly, if you're battling to get to sleep, lie back, relax and switch on Yoga Nidra for Better Sleep. Available to download to your phone or iPad, this guided meditation will transport you to a state between wakefulness and sleep, putting your body and mind into the perfect state to drift off to peaceful slumber. Just £5, download here.
Nahid and the Good Vibes Team x
19 September 2016