When it comes to a healthy way of living the Mediterranean’s always seem to get a mention.
They are renowned for their longevity and wellbeing. Many attribute their diet to the reason behind this.
Although over the years I’ve come up with a hypothesis. The premise is that it’s more to do with their geography and culture.
Yes the Mediterranean diet is pretty good, (if you delve into it they get a balance of fats in their diet; monounsaturated, saturated & polyunsaturated and it is high in nutritional value.
But if you look deeper into their lifestyle they also have geography and culture working for them.
The abundance of sunlight they receive provides them with sufficient vitamin D. Something that us Northerners (hemisphere that is) lack.
And, the most salient point, the emphasis they put on sleep.
Biphasic sleep is sown into their culture. Think about it. They down tools every afternoon for a nap.
Not to mention they have such stringent laws on light pollution.
They protect their sleep and it pays off in spades. Especially when it comes to their national health bill.
The same can’t be said for us in the UK. Incurring a £197.4 billion health bill in 2019. And that cost has increased every year since.
Our geography is not as favourable, and our culture not as health conscious or cognisant. And that my friend is a problem because;
when everyone is sick, we no longer consider it a disease!
We wear sleep deprivation as a badge of honour when it’s work related.
Which is ironic seeing as though sleep loss over an extended period of time can cause decreased cognitive performance.
Essentially with poor sleep you’re not in control of your emotions and your emotions can control your behaviour.
This leads to the inability to make sound judgments. Poorer choices and below par performance. Along with it health concerns.
Which is why to be at your best you have to optimise your lifestyle. Nutrition, Stress management, Exercise and Sleep.
All these things done well will see you operate at your best.
You’ll have emotional regulation which aids self control, which is a superpower. I would say better than invisibility or flying.
Ultimately you will be making better decisions.
And you are the sum total of all your decisions!