Sleep: The Short Cut to Being an Intelligent and Handsome Bastard.

Since the disastrous decision from my compatriots in the United Kingdom to drag me kicking and screaming out the EU, I am not ashamed to say that I have been losing sleep.

…and it’s beginning to show.

More and more this week, I have heard myself utter that infamous alpha-male rhetoric, “I only need about four hours”. For some bizarre reason, during the teenage male years it becomes a sign of masculinity to not sleep. I’m not sure where this started, I mean I can’t see why sitting up until 3am re-watching Community Season 2 and masturbating suddenly makes you the ideal partner for anyone…

The truth is, that it doesn’t.

Sleep is an incredibly important support system for our body composition. Everything from our mental capacity, strength and feeling of overall well-being can be easily linked back to our levels of sleep.

The experts say (not me…) that the average amount of sleep necessary for males between the ages of 17 and 35 is between 7-9 hours. However, much like in nutrition and calorie intake, your lifestyle and activity levels can play a huge factor in your own needs. The “harder you live”, the more sleep you will need. Play around with your levels and find your own unique levels.

By this point in the article you’ve probably scoffed at least once, but I promise you I can back my preaching up. To highlight the importance of sleep, I’ve pulled together some reasons why it is important for us … not just mentally, but physically too.

 

MENTAL IMPORTANCE

Sleep levels have been proven to be heavily linked to various aspects of necessary brain functions, such as cognition, concentration and productivity. You will have found in your day to day life that a good night’s sleep can improve your speed, accuracy and reaction times. It’s important to remember that your brain is like a machine. Much like all other machines, there needs to be rest periods otherwise the machine will overheat and performance will no longer be optimised.

However, your brain is actually incredibly active during this “rest period” too. During your much needed slumber your brain acts to strengthen memories and “practices” new skills you’ve learned during the day. Which means whether you’re learning Spanish, samba dancing or just learning to breathe – you’ll do it better after sleeping!

Finally …you know that cranky co-worker that no one really wants to speak to?

They probably don’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep speeds up our tendency towards anger and mood swings. It can increase feelings of sadness, causes a lack of motivation and has even been linked to depression.

Summary: Sleep = Good.

 

PHYSICAL IMPORTANCE

You want to be handsome? You want to be fit? Get some sleep.

The non-ironically named Growth Hormone (GH) is responsible for making you grow big and strong like Schwarzenegger. Your body produces most GH when you are asleep, providing you with bigger and more impressive biceps.

Sleep also promotes fat loss and reduces the storage of fat within your body. Those with a lower sleep duration tend to weight significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. This is believed to be due to a number of reasons, including genetics, calories intake and the motivation to exercise.

Therefore, sleep reinforces everything you do in the gym. Most people buy ridiculously overpriced powders to do that job, when in reality, all they needed to do was finally step AWAY from their own reflection and get their regular 8 hours a night…

So Sleep helps you manage your weight and build muscle, what else does it do?

Your skin repairs itself during the sleep process, so without that period of rest, your skin’s ability to rebuild itself diminishes, which results in blemishes, dark circles around your eyes and an acceleration of the aging process.No one wants that.

So let’s put it another way; they don’t call it beauty sleep for no reason.

The more time you spend in bed … the more time you’ll spend in bed 😉

 

So what can you do to help yourself improve your sleeping patterns?

 

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

1.Prioritize Sleep

As discussed at the start of this article, men tend to view sleep as secondary to …well, procrastinating. In order to realistically make a change to your patterns, this needs to be altered.

 

  1. Create your own Bedtime Routine

The human body loves repetition. It loves to know what lies ahead and so that it can prepare itself. In order to create your own bedtime routine, give yourself 20/30 minutes to play with before you want to fall asleep. In this time, relax and cement your routine; brush your teeth, wash your face, put on your Pug Pyjamas and read something.

This leads me perfection to Point 3.

 

  1. Avoid Electronic Devices In Bed

Words can not describe the improvement I found in my sleep when I moved my mobile phone away from my bedside cabinet. The modern worlds reliance on electronic devices have greatly impacted on our ability to obtain adequate sleep quantity AND quality. So if you are going to read in bed, make sure it’s not “14 Greatest Movie Scenes Recreated by Cats” on Buzzfeed.

Switch off your device… it will help your brain switch off!

 

  1. Exercise

Who’s heard the infamous line “You’ll sleep well tonight!”

It’s funny that no one ever tells you that after a nine hour House of Cards marathon.

Tiring the body out is key to landing a deep, rewarding, sleep. Also, it has great benefits for your snake-like waistline.

 

  1. Create The Right Sleep Environment

To get the best sleep, try to reduce light bleeding into your bedroom as much as possible. This can be a large culprit in keeping you awake. Subconsciously your brain has paired light with day-time. Distracting noise can also keep you tossing and turning for hours.

It would be beneficial to look into purchasing black-out blinds and sound proofing if necessary.

 

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My “SPRING” Wishlist

Regular readers will know that my blog is usually reserved for my writing about style mistakes which I have witnessed each week or gleefully boasting about the wonderful trips that I have managed to wrangle unsuspecting people into accompanying me on. However, this week is a little different.

With this being the first week of the Spring season … I was reminded of New York’s SPRING store which I was introduced to at roughly this time last year. I love rediscovering online stores; however, I ALWAYS end up flicking through the site and adding approximately 60% off their offering to my “TO BUY” list that I keep on my phone. It’s an expensive process…

So below…is a Top Ten Wishlist from SPRING this Spring.

1) Comme De Garcons Play – Peek A Boo

Living in Scotland, wearing canvas trainers is the equivalent of living on a knife edge. Even in the height of Summer we have the ever-present threat of rain. However, for these Peek A Boo beauties, I am willing to take this wet-sock risk. I think I have found the ideal pair of Summer trainers for me this year. I’d pair these with a some light blue slim-leg jeans and a plain white tee to create the perfect Summer barbecue outfit.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Peek

 

2) Uniqlo – Oxford Shirt (Pink)

I have big-love for the brand Uniqlo. It makes the staff uncomfortable. Unfortunately, Uniqlo haven’t yet opened a store in Glasgow, resulting in me always finding the nearest Uniqlo store whenever I travel out of the city. This particular shirt mixes Uniqlo with two of my other Menswear passions …oxford shirts and pastel colours. A great item for the office during the Summer months.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Uniqlo Pink Shirt

 

3)  Uniqlo – Short Socks

Nothing fancy. These were added to the list because I need new short socks. Carry on…

Gallus Lad - Spring - Short Socks

 

 

4) Pintrill – Speech Bubble Pin 

Those who know me personally will be aware that I am a big collector of pins. Whenever I travel I buy one of these tourist pins you see being sold in shops with titles like “I LOVE LONDON”. The SPRING accessories store (unisex) has a good collection of day-to-day pins …but this one was definitely my favourite.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Speech Bubble Pin

5) Ray-Ban – Clubmaster Wood

When buying Ray-Ban glasses you can always be guaranteed both style and quality. The Clubmaster Wood only further enforces this reputation…

Gallus Lad - Spring - RayBan

6) Gents – Matt Paint Splatter Cap

There are two types of people who can successfully pull this cap off. Body Builders and professional football players. I fit into neither of these categories (clearly). However, I do fancy taking a risk on it and seeing what sort of feedback I get…

*Bonus Note* …and the need for this model to be topless is??

Gallus Lad - Spring - Gents Matt Paint Splatter

 

7) Scoop – Knit Jacket

Another article for my office wardrobe. Combining the polished look of a smart blazer with all of the comfort of your favourite house-sweater. Superb.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Knit Jacket

8) Axel Arigato – Chukka White Marble Sole 

Drool. Everywhere.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Axel Arigato

9) Everlane – Large Backpack

Backpacks are an essential item for me, especially when I am travelling or attending some kind of convention. It is also an item you need be extra careful when selecting though. There is only a tiny line between the stylish gent look and the private school-boy look! That’s why I included this Everlane Large Backpack on my wishlist. Simple, elegant, stylish.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Large Backpack

 

10)Uniqlo – Dry Stretch Pants 

I love these. Uniqlo does it again!
Combine this with an open neck white shirt for a casual summer look.

Gallus Lad - Spring - Dry Stretch Pants

 

 

Let me know what you guys think, what is on your TO BUY list this Spring?