Day 31- The Importance Of Sleep


We humans are slaves to many clocks. Clocks that tell us when to go to work, when to eat, when to watch a movie or TV show. These clocks can be analog or digital, electric or mechanical or both. One of the most important clocks to us is biological, it is called the circadian clock and it tells us when to sleep.

How is that possible? It starts in the eye. You may know that the retina of the eye contains rods and cones that relay sight information to the brain. There are also cells in the retina called ganglion cells that use a photopigment called melanopsin to detect the difference between day and night. These cells send their special message along the retinohypothalamic pathway to the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus of our brain. The SCN, for short, communicates with the brain’s pineal gland which then uses the secretion of melatonin to mark the day/night cycle. The signals from the eye are called a zeitgeber, or time giver, and help the brain to reset our 24 hour, circadian cycle.

While melatonin peaks in the evening and signals the body to sleep it is not like turning on a switch. Sleep comes gradually in stages. Most authorities agree that there are 5 stages of sleep ranging from the very light stage 1 all the way to REM sleep, the most important. We sleep in cycles, the first REM cycle lasting around 45 minutes before we go back to stages 2, 3 and 4 before entering REM again. Each REM cycle gets a little longer than the last. We need at least 3 hours of REM sleep each night so that we can recover from the day before. This is why scheduling at least 8 hours of sleep each night is so important.

my food
4 eggs(320 cal.)P28F21.2C0
1 tsp. coconut oil(40 cal.)P0F4.7C0
1 Can tomatoes and chilies(50 cal.)P2.5F0C10
total=410 cal. P 30.5 F 25.9 C 10

Protein shake
whey isolate(130 cal.)P20F3.5C6
16 oz. 2% milk(244 cal.)P16.2F9.6C24.6
Total=374 cal. P 36.2 F 13.1 C 30.6

1st lunch
2 cans tuna(180 cal.)P40F2C0

2nd lunch
5 oz. spinach(35 cal.)P4F.5C5
1/2 cup lentils(240 cal.)P20F0C40
2 tbsp. italian dressing(60 cal.)P0F6C3
total-335 cal. P 24 F 6.5 C 48

8 oz. pork loin(264 cal.)P50.6F5.2C0
1 onion(64 cal.)P1.4F.1C15.5
2 jalapeños(8)P.2F0C2
1 tbsp. coconut oil(120 cal.)P0F14C0
total=446 cal. P 52.2 F 19.3 C 17.5
daily total= 1745 P 182.9 F 66.8 C 106.1

my workout
2 hours mowing

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