Published February 10, 2016 My health challenge to you for the next week is to get to sleep before 10pm (although 9pm is ideal)! Why? Because every hour that you sleep BEFORE midnight is equivalent to sleeping DOUBLE that after midnight! The extra energy that your body has before midnight can explain this. You see, the repair and detoxification that makes us feel revitalized after a good night’s rest is actually energy driven. Your body needs energy to sweep away the clutter and rejuvenate your organs – it’s a LOT of work! The brain is just as active during sleep as it is during the day, and your brain is a major consumer of glucose/energy/calories. Have you ever said, “I’m so tired that I can’t sleep”? Maybe you’ve had an experience where you drank coffee and it actually made you sleepier? That’s because your body needs energy to enter the sleep cycle in the first place. Caffeine is energizing, and can actually give your body the jolt it needs to fall into a repairing slumber. Believe it or not, sleep is the most important part of your day. Scientists at Pittsburgh University discovered that just one hour’s less sleep could mean a child would be twice as overweight. Sleep loss changes hormone levels, makes you crave unhealthy foods, and lowers your motivation levels. During the first period of deep sleep, growth hormone is released, which rebuilds old, damaged cells (especially in the skin, thus the name “beauty sleep!”) Getting to bed at a time where your body still has energy to burn allows all that life force (Qi) to go towards healing and rebuilding.