Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.

Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.

by | Jun 18, 2013 | Lifestyle, Sleep | 0 comments

Even if you are eating whole foods, moving your body regularly, working on your emotional health and keeping tabs on your stressors, your health may still be in serious decline if you are not attending to one of your body’s most fundamental requirements: sleep. The main recommendation of sleep health is simply to get your 8 hours. But there’s more to it than that. To see how your daily habits may be affecting your sleep and your health,

Take this quick sleep quiz:

Are you a ‘night owl’, with lots of energy at night?

Do you often wake up feeling un-rested and in need of more sleep?

Do you commonly go to sleep after 10:30pm?

Do you often wake up between 1-4am and have a hard time falling back to sleep?

Do you sweat heavily when sleeping?

Do you have a job that requires you to stay up late at night?

Do you watch TV, use the computer and/or mobile phone before bed?

If you answered ‘YES’ to any of the questions, your sleep health habits need serious attention. The detrimental effects of insufficient sleep go far beyond being tired. As the final component of the Primal 6, sleep is an integral factor in whether your health flourishes or fails.

The health consequences of poor sleep habits are too numerous to mention, but here’s a few: headaches, forgetfulness, lack of focus, moodiness, depression, weight gain, adrenal fatigue, low immunity and high inflammation leading to serious disease, including cancers.

But I get the recommended 8 hours of sleep!

We’ve all been taught the magic formula of 8 hours of sleep for staying healthy. And it is true that we need at least 8 hours of sleep each day. However, it’s not enough to simply sleep 8 hours. You must also sleep the right 8 hours and manage your stress hormone levels.

Sleep cycles are in tune with the sun’s cycle

You see, as mammals, human beings have internal rhythms that are in tune with nature, and our sleep/wake cycle is called our circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm runs in tune with the rise and fall of the sun, and regulates which hormones our body produces at different times of the day. The light produced by the rising sun stimulates production of the stress hormone cortisol, which activates the body for movement, work and survival. These stress hormones peak a few hours after sunrise, then slowly decrease after midday. They eventually give way to increased production of melatonin and other growth and repair hormones, which are essential for growing and repairing the cells in your body, every night.

Natural Sleep Wake Cycle & Hormone Production

Natural Sleep/Wake Cycle & Hormone Production
Black Line = Stress Hormones; White Line = Growth & Repair Hormones
Pic: “How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy” Paul Chek 2004

Not all sleep is created equal

So not all sleep is restorative sleep, or sleep that ensures good health. The simple act of falling and staying asleep is not what ensures our body’s growth and repair. It’s all up to the hormone production.

If your body is releasing high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, it can NOT also release high levels of growth and repair hormones.

This chart shows a typical day where stress hormone levels are increased throughout the day, resulting in decreased growth and repair.

High cortisol levels disrupts the natural sleep cycle

High cortisol (stress hormone) levels greatly disrupt restorative sleep.
Pic: “How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy” Paul Chek 2004

How to ensure quality sleep

Therefore, the keys to a restorative 8 hours of sleep are to respect your natural sleep/wake cycle and to prevent your cortisol levels from rising unnaturally past their peak time in the morning.

1/ Be asleep by 10:30pm

Give yourself time to wind down and fall asleep, so that you are actually sleeping by about 10:30pm at the latest. Of course, there will be late nights here and there, but it’s what you do most days that will get your body back into it’s natural rhythm.

2/ Minimize light exposure before bed

Your circadian rhythm only knows that light = sunshine, which signals cortisol release for the day’s activities. So bright electric lights, computers and TV screens will also stimulate cortisol production. Try candles, light dimmers and less screen time a few hours before bed. To learn more about dealing with artificial light, read Chris Kresser’s tips for technology before bed.

3/ Sleep in the dark and wake up with light

For the same reason, it’s very important to sleep in as dark a room as possible. Use good blinds on the window, and dim or cover up any bright alarm clocks and electronic standby lights. Reversely, get exposure to bright light (preferably outside light) as soon as you wake up and throughout the middle of the day.

4/ Avoid stimulants

Caffeine, sugar and tobacco all stimulate the nervous system to produce cortisol. If you must have them, ensure it’s not after midday, so your body has time to process the stimulant out of your blood stream in time to start producing healing hormones for sleep. The all too common afternoon coffee and dessert after dinner are detrimental to your sleep quality.

5/ Exercise, but not too late

Daily physical activity will help you sleep better at night. However, lengthy cardio or intense exercise can increase cortisol levels, so don’t overdo it too late in the day.

6/ Regulate your blood sugar

Your body considers low blood sugar a major stressor, and responds to that stress with, you guessed it, cortisol. Keep your blood sugar levels stable by minimizing processed grains and sugars, and eating regularly. Some people do well with having a small protein rich snack  before bed, while others should ensure they are not too full before going to sleep. Listen to your body.

7/ Minimize electromagnetic pollution

Electromagnetic energies can disrupt your sleep/wake cycle. Keep your alarm clock and other electronics a distance from your bed, avoid electric blankets, and unplug or completely turn off most all electrical household appliances at night (especially the wireless modem).

8/ Follow daily routines

Eating and sleeping at regular times helps establish biological rhythms which properly regulate our digestion and hormone production. If your body has been synchronized to a dysfunctional schedule, it’s time to retrain your system to release growth and repair hormones in time for a more restorative sleep.

9/ Manage your daily stressors

In today’s world of hectic schedules, financial pressures, violent entertainment, and deadlines, it’s no wonder that our cortisol levels are out of control. Even if we wind down physically before bed, our minds may still be rushing around, worrying and stressing – even after we’ve gone to sleep. It’s essential that you take steps to slow down, relax, get perspective and nourish your body and soul. Practice some easy ways to meditate and think about the importance of getting your stress hormones down. Now you can really understand one way that stress ruins your health, and have a new perspective on the term ‘a good night’s sleep’.

What factors do you think might be influencing your quality of sleep?

Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz. – June 2013


How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek

Related Posts

Keto Reboot by Pruvit – No chewing food for 60 hours?!

60 hours without food all in aiding the process of ‘autophagy’. Brad’ account of the experience using the Pruvit Keto Reboot Kit to enhance the effects.

Pruvit Keto OS Pro – 1 Month Experiment

Brad’s 1 Month Experiment with Pruvit’s Keto OS Pro hybrid protein powder containing Exogenous Ketones, Amino Acids and MCT.

Ketosis in 59min Using Keto OS by Pruvit

This is a summary of the last 16 months since Keto OS came into Brad’s life. His experiment and personal results, customer results examples and feedback, and how you can try it out yourself.

My Ugly Rosacea Face Rash – Learnings PART 2

This is a continuation and update from my first article about The...

Shed Bodyfat and Increase Your Energy! – Keto Os and Ketosis

If you want to shed or shred bodyfat and increase energy like never before, check out this experiment that I’m doing and join me!

The Effects of Magnesium and Calcium on Blood Quality After Beer and Coffee

This is the most amazing supplement I’ve ever come across. Natural ingredients, safe to use every day and so damn effective in what it does so quickly! Check it out!

How Meditation Improves Your Blood Quality

See how a simple 5 minute meditation improves the blood quality of Brad and his friend Maz Compton, measured using Dark Field Microscopy.

How Milk Became So Dangerous

The conflicting information is driving us all mad!! On the one hand we hear: Milk Does a Body Good!. It’s essential for calcium requirements, Vitamin D, strong bones and healthy children. On the other hand we hear: Milk causes mucus. It leads to lactose intolerance and ear infections. It’s too fatty. It contains Bovine Growth Hormone. Our societal response to this confusion is low-fat milk, skim milk, no-fat milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, organic milk, BGH-free milk, no milk. Just more confusion. So what’s gone wrong and where do we go from here?

How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress

Do you get back pain? Headaches and migraines? Skin problems? Weight gain? Weight loss? Funky inflammation to all parts of your body? Don’t ignore your body – listen to it! It’s telling you something.

Is Biodynamic Organic Wine Healthier? – Part 2

Ross McDonald from Macquaridale Biodynamic Wines in Australia’s Hunter Valley wine region, explains the difference between commercial, organic and biodynamic wines.

Parasites 101

Don’t freak out, but you should know it’s very possible that you have a parasite. You may only think of parasites as something that gives you diarrhea on holiday in a tropical third-world country, but actually, parasites are just as rampant in the Western world, and are related to illness and disease of ALL kinds. Yes, even we, your gurus for all things Primal, have both had parasites that have significantly affected our health.

POOP: What To Do if You Don’t Have At Least One a Day

In a perfectly primal world where our bodies thrive in pristine health, this is something that comes as naturally as breathing, and we wouldn’t ever have to think about it. But today, millions of people develop disease which often starts from not doing this incredibly important daily ritual: pooping.

Primal Cleanse

Primal Cleanse

Blog Categories

Pruvit Keto Reboot – 60 Hours

Pruvit Keto Reboot

Ketosis, Ketosis and Keto OS!

Ketosis in 30min!


Related Results

Offers from the CHEK Community