Sleep

Sleep is far more important than many people give it credit. We all know the „I only need 4 hours sleep“ sayers. Yes they can manage somehow, fueled by coffee and the stress hormone cortisol to power through the day, but people who sleep so little will over time do themselves quite some damage. People who sleep less than 5 hours will largely suffer from some form of sleep disorder and stress. Adequate sleep is essential to achieve weight loss, peak performance and longevity. In other words if you cut your sleep you risk living a shorter life.

Ideally we should sleep no less than 7 – 8 hours a night. This can be adjusted to seasonal sunlight exposure and latitude, sleeping a little less in summer and more in winter months. The book „Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival“ by T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby recommends 9.5h for Fall and Winter months where days are shorter and 8h or less for longer summer months. We should shoot for bedtime 1 – 2 hours after sunset in summer time and 4-5 hours after sunset in winter. 

Sleep is our time to recover

  • Testosterone and other adaptive growth hormones repair our organs during sleep, strengthen our immune system and rebuild muscles, rejuvenate our body system. 
  • Sleep also activates the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which supports fat burn. 
  • Poor sleep habits harm the immune and cognitive functions, hinder mood and energy levels and hamper fat metabolism. 

Blue Light:

Causes a big problem in today’s sleeping patterns and sleep disorders. Blue light which is emitted from your TV, Smartphone and Computer screen is is almost twice as strong as the ultraviolet sun at midday in summer. Exposing yourself to this amount of Blue Light at night and just before bedtime tells your brain it is broad daylight, which in turn will reduce your melatonin production and increase serotonin, messing up your sleep cycle. It also causes cortisol spikes (stress hormone) before bedtime. All of these things increase sugar cravings at night, something you do not want ahead of bedtime, as ingesting a bunch of cake or cookies will only result in these to not get burned while you sleep, but locked away in your fat cells as triglycerides. 

Recommended Reading:

  • Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival“ by T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby

Massage

Go for Deep Tissue Massage. It treats, relaxes and heals. No other forms of massage are needed according to A Primal Lifestyle Health Coaching. Try your best to get 2 – 3 massages per week. Find a therapist you like and stick with her/him. You can book ahead and buy blocks. This will save you money and time worrying about when to set up you next massage. Take massages seriously as part of your weekly routine. They are really very very important and can work wonders to our general state of well-being and mindset. 

Here is how it works, what to expect and what areas Deep Tissue Massage can help you with, besides it just being a wonderful 1 hour of alone time!

The benefits of deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).

Unlike Swedish massage, which has a relaxing effect and uses lighter pressure, deep tissue massage is done using deep finger pressure with strokes that are firm and slow. Deep tissue massage has several therapeutic effects and can be used to treat many different conditions. This type of massage is ideal for the treatment of major muscle groups like the neck or lower back. It can also be used to relieve strain and treat injuries in your joints and tendons.

What To Expect

The first thing to bear in mind is that deep tissue massage is used for therapy and rehabilitation, not relaxation. So you need to be prepared to feel some discomfort during a deep tissue massage and even after. You will most probably lie on your stomach or back while the massage therapist applies various degrees of pressure on tight muscles that have issues and are lying dormant in your body.

You will experience some pain during the massage as this form of massage concentrates on relieving strain and tension from tissues that go deeper. The pain could also be because the massage uses movements against the muscles rather than moving with them. But if you think you’re experiencing intense pain, immediately inform your therapist. The best way to make the most of a deep tissue massage is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to massage your pain away. That’s why it’s important to go to a certified and experienced massage therapist for a deep tissue massage.

  1. Lowers High Blood Pressure
  2. Treats Back Pain
  3. Helps Arthritis Pain/Symptoms
  4. Muscle Rehab
  5. Breaks Down Scar Tissue
  6. Relieves Stress
  7. Increase Joint Mobility
  8. Reduces Chronic Pain

Precautions

Because of the therapeutic nature of deep tissue massage, you should be careful on some fronts before you have one. Here are a few precautions to remember:

  • Do not opt for deep tissue massage if you have been diagnosed with blood clots in the past since the massage may dislodge the clots. Talk to your doctor of you have or are at risk of forming blood clots.
  • Check with your doctor if you have had chemotherapy, radiation, recent surgery, or any medical condition. Also, avoid deep tissue massage if you have osteoporosis.