R.E.M. Not the pop rock band. Not the sleep state. But rather what we at Derek Rose believe to be key to physical and mental well-being, and therefore the essential ingredients of the ‘Feel-good Living’ philosophy and lifestyle.
The Holy Trinity
Almost - though more like the three pillars of good health. It is well documented these days that a sensible and considered approach to sleep, nutrition and exercise is important for our overall health. This is an area I’ve been interested in for some time, especially since the Rose family has been in the business of helping people get great sleep since the 1920s. Sleep in our pyjamas and you'll know what I'm talking about!
One of my favourite books on this subject is ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker. It’s a great read filled with fascinating information about the nature of sleep and how it contributes to our overall well-being.
There are also jaw-dropping statistics, for example, Ken Berger1 references how different studies involving NBA players showed cases where those with more than 8 hours sleep had a 29% increase in points/minute and 9% increase in free-throw percentage versus those that had less than 8 hours sleep. In a big money sport like basketball, these numbers are incredible.
Or, on a more concerning note, according to Matthew Walker2, micro sleeps among US drivers cause 1.2 million accidents a year. As if we needed more proof driving sleep-deprived was a bad idea.
If you’re over 45, Walker writes: “Adults forty-five years or older who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven to eight hours a night”.
I think you get the gist. Quality rest is crucial for all of us; not just professional sportsmen. I highly recommend you read Matthew Walker’s book and invest in some beautifully soft and comfortable loungewear.
The single most important takeaway from my reading is that Rest is the central pillar that impacts the paradigm. Rest poorly and your ability to Eat and Move well is compromised.
When I think of the phrase, ‘you are what you eat’, I don’t feel particularly proud; I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
However, the truth is not far from this. We are machines that need energy. We can get this energy in many ways and our bodies react differently to these energy sources.
While there are many experts out there who know far more about the subject than I do, it is my understanding that there is a general consensus around the following principles:
1. Everything in moderation.
2. Plant and fibre are essential parts of a healthy diet.
3. Keeping hydrated is important.
I will avoid going into more detail here as this is a world of its own, but the point I wish to make is that what we eat is important to all aspects of our health and will also affect our ability to Rest and Move. The three pillars are inextricably linked.
There is a great phrase that, in my view, sums up the importance of choosing the right food: “you can’t out-train a bad diet”.
The science of food is a fascinating area and I can recommend some good reads here. I especially like the information around leptin and ghrelin - the appetite hormones - referred to in Matthew Walker’s book.
Another personal favourite is ‘10% Human’ by Alanna Collen3. She writes about the world that is our gut, or microbiome. The opening observation is that non-human microbes make up 90% of the cells on or in our bodies. These guests have a significant impact on our physical and mental well-being with studies suggesting they impact a breadth of areas from our immune system to obesity, allergies to childbirth. The science is still in its relative infancy and should be taken with a pinch of salt but nonetheless it’s a really interesting area to keep an eye on.
It’s also worth thinking of the timing of eating, something that people don’t often talk about. I don’t know about you but I find a late meal at night negatively impacts my sleep.
The science around exercise and it’s impact on a healthy lifestyle is well-documented and not an area I would preach about. That said there are some very interesting reads out there on the subject.
One of my favourites is a book called ‘Spark!’ by Dr John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman4 which covers the relationship between exercise and the brain. I won’t spoil it for you but essentially, exercising helps your brain and body function and improves your mental health. As ever, all key attributes associated with Feel-good Living.
One of the most remarkable takeaways for me was the premise that doing exercise results in the growth of new brain cells – this ran contrary to the science I was taught at school and was quite a shock. Not sure I can do enough exercise to make it into Mensa, but watch this space...
So why am I writing about all of this? I want to put some context around our brand philosophy of ‘Feel-good Living’. The team here at Derek Rose always discuss how free time is the most valuable time we have – whether with friends, family or time alone – it’s central to the enjoyment of life and our wellbeing.
Rest, Eat, Move are the essential elements that I and the team find interesting in relation to those free time moments. A ‘How Do You Spend Your Free Time?’ kind of thinking. If discussing R.E.M. means we can share knowledge, tips and hacks, then we think we will all benefit.
We've made a handy R.E.M. Edit for men and women; curated with our moments of relaxation, healthy eating and physical activity at the forefront.
I will be interviewing people with interesting stories and reviewing goods and services that relate to the world of R.E.M. with the aim of sharing the best advice to help us all make the most of our free time. Feel free to let me know your thoughts by emailing me at email@example.com or directly to me via my Instagram and Twitter handles @derekroseceo. If you have any expertise or recommended reading in any of these areas, please get in touch with us as we’re always happy to learn.
1 1 Ken Berger article can be found here: https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/in-multi-billion-dollar-business-of-nba-sleep-is-the-biggest-debt/
2 Matthew Walker, ‘Why We Sleep’, available from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-We-Sleep-Science-Dreams/dp/0141983760/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2YTGJWP5NKCPG&keywords=why+we+sleep+matthew+walker&qid=1582284419&s=books&sprefix=why+we+sleep%2Cstripbooks%2C129&sr=1-1
3 10% Human, Alanna Collen, available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/10-Human-Microbes-Health-Happiness/dp/0007584059/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=10%25+human&qid=1582285392&s=books&sr=1-1
4 Spark!, Dr John J. Ratey & Eric Hagerman, available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spark-Dr-John-J-Ratey/dp/1849161577