327/308 Wattle St, Ultimo, New South Wales 2007

Sleep like a nanna to perform like a beast

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Sleep like a nanna to perform like a beast

[Why 10pm is the ideal bedtime]

Which group are you in?

a) Those who scoff at people who go to bed early

b) Those who go to bed early and apologise for it

c) Those who go to bed early and own it

We hate to play favourites, but group c) gets our vote. Why? Because sleep is a non-negotiable foundation of health; true wellness impossible without it.

By now, most people understand the perils of insufficient sleep, with plenty of articles and studies bouncing around to inform us of the risks: everything from foggy thinking to decreased sex drive, and big-name chronic illnesses.

And yet, the cult of sleeplessness continues, largely due to modern lifestyles that exult work, play and screens, and cast sleep as a sign of personal weakness.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, getting sh!t done by sacrificing rest is a false economy - what you gain in productivity you lose in sanity. Not only that, but sleep deprivation reduces the quality of your work (or any activity you’re pursuing) substantially, making it a pretty feeble return on investment.

Note to self: NEVER apologise for needing sleep.

We don’t mean to make insomniacs feel sheepish, but we’re determined to bring awareness to the ways our modern lifestyle fundamentally compromises our wellbeing - and why to push back. After all, it’s only your health at stake.

Let’s take a deeper dive into sleep phases and what’s going on in your bod at different times of the night.

Between 10pm and 2am

...your body is in physical repair mode.

This is when natural anabolic and growth hormones are released that promote fat burning, lean muscle tissue and improved performance. Think: youthful metabolism (have you seen how fit and lean most kids are? And they’re serious about sleep!).

This time is also used for repairing muscles, bones, joints, organs and tissues, making it essential for injury prevention and recovery.

Still awake at 10pm?

Here’s a cool factoid.

Ever experienced that strange predicament where you’re super sleepy and on course for an early bedtime… only to become delayed and distracted? Once you hit the pillow (well after 10pm) you end up lying there, wide awake… sometimes for hours. What is with that? How can it be harder to fall asleep just that little bit later in the evening?

This is called ‘the second wind effect’, and happens because your body’s internal metabolic processes kick in around 10pm - whether you’re asleep or not. This extra activity is stimulating for the brain, and makes it harder to get to sleep if you aren’t already. Fascinating, huh?

Between 2am and 6am

...your body starts nurturing the nervous system.

This is psychological repair time, when the brain reorganize itself and removes toxic byproducts - kind of like swiping up to get rid of all those open apps on your iPhone.

Memories are formed, neurons are regenerated, and synapses make connections - vitally important for being a sharp, switched-on human being.


A sleeping schedule of 10pm - 6am is one of the healthiest habits you can develop in the New Year.

Rather than congratulate yourself for how little sleep you can run on, consider time on the pillow as precious and important as eating, breathing and working out. You’ll look better, perform better and be a nicer human with 8 hours sleep under your belt - so make like a nanna and nap by 10pm.

To your health,

Michael Wilson


Senior Exercise Practitioner

Holistic Health & Nutritional Coach

Manual Therapist

Functional Movement Specialist

Rehab Trainer

Posture Trainer

Personal Trainer


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