Here’s an extract from my latest article on The Huffington Post about the importance of sleep for health and high performance.
Sleep is tough. Getting enough of it. Falling into it. And staying that way for a good amount of time — restfully and without waking. A “solid” night’s sleep? Who gets that nowadays?
According to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30 percent to 40 percent of men and women get less than seven hours of sleep per night. About one-third of adults unintentionally fell asleep during the day over the past 30 days, and more than 41,000 people are killed or injured due to nodding off or falling asleep behind the wheel each year.
I started incorporating fasting about a year ago into my weekly health and fitness program. I had done a number of extended fasts over the years but the logic and practicality always escaped me. You fast in order to cleanse and detoxify but then what happens? Invariably most people go back to the same habits until the next New Years resolution or some other new fasting fad comes along.
I wanted to incorporate fasting in a manner that would provide consistent health benefits in a practical manner that was also sustainable; so that is how I started practicing what is called Intermittent Fasting (IF).
IF is nothing revolutionary. It basically involves a day fast once a week – on a consistent basis where you don’t eat anything for a defined period.
I recently had a full blood and nutritional profile undertaken by the head nutritionist for Red Bull — the guy that looks after all their professional athletes: 20 vials of blood and a report that came back as thick as a Jack Reacher novel . Comparing the amount of data in my report to what you get from your local GP blood work-up was like comparing an instruction manual to build a model airplane to one to build a 747. I spent days devouring it.
When I eventually had a follow up consultation, the first thing out of his mouth was, “You know you have the best omega-3 profile of anyone I have ever tested – ever — what do you take? “Well, I eat a lot of sardines” I said.