Fri | Nov 16, 2018

Get some - Sleep

Published:Monday | January 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

It's supposed to be lights out, but you have so much on your mind - pending projects, unattainable goals, family crises, friendship saga, relationship drama, the works.

You close your eyes, but it's only a blink as you discover you're wide-awake, with no shut eye in sight. Your mind races at the thought of trying to solve and balance everything, including having a proper diet and incorporating some exercise into the mix. Before you know it, hours have passed, the sun rises in all its glory, and you're stuck in misery because you have yet to really get any sleep.

But as the late great Bob Marley said, "None but ourselves can free our minds," and the best way to do that is by getting quality sleep.




General practitioner, Dr Zanya Henry, explained that sleep allows your body to reset its clock and organise itself, as far as system functions are concerned. "It allows the body to reset its biological clock for different systems. With digestion, the body, while asleep, is able to assimilate whatever macronutrients it has broken down while awake. And also provides ample circulation for the kidney and heart to function effectively, without having to deal with the stress of running up and down during the day," she explained.

The act of sleeping for the necessary eight hours per day has also been known to help in stimulating and improving memory, fuelling creativity, curbing cravings, and ensuring efficient mental and physical performance.

When it comes to exercise, personal trainer Xavier Grey noted that sleeping is just as important as working out, and plays an equal role in the complete process required for strength and muscle building, as well as endurance. Resistance training, he said, specifically breaks down body tissue and the resting period assists in allowing those nerves, muscles, and bones, along with connective tissues to restore and rebuild themselves. "Rest not only includes getting a good night's sleep, but it also incorporates having rest days during workouts for recovery as well," he shared.