Are you getting enough sleep? Did you know that about 20% of Americans report getting less than 6 hours of sleep every night and the number of Americans that get 8 hours or more is steadily decreasing. We live in a 24/7 society and its ruining our sleep which in turn effects our overall health and well being including our weight. In Fact, Getting adequate and quality zzz’s—is essential for regulating so many of our hormones, hunger cues, and physical capabilities which can make or break the amount of weight we loose or gain. Being tired throws off hormones and chemicals in your brain that control appetite, leaving you hungry all the time. Loosing sleep also causes your metabolism to slow down. And because the body searches for ways to energize itself through food when its tired you could end up eating all the wrong foods and not working out due to lack of energy...which can lead to significant weight gain. Here are 3 ways to improve your sleep schedule!
Set a Bedtime and Stick To It
It may sound juvenile but having an ‘adult” bedtime can have positive effects on your overall sleep health IF you stick to it. When going out ask yourself if you are staying out past your bedtime. Make it a routine that is a must to your everyday schedule. Find a time that is doable with your schedule and try to go to bed around that exact time every night as fluctuating sleep and wake times can wreck havoc on your body. Research has shown that the ideal time to go to bed is between 10pm-11pm. If a set bedtime isn’t ideal for your household situation or because of work then aiming for an adequate amount of sleep is important. It's recommended that adults get between 6.5-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Make bedtime not only a routine for your children if you have any but also for yourself for your overall sleep health.
Right before bed and after the kiddos are asleep our first instinct is to pick up that smart phone or head to the couch to watch T.V.. Instead start turning out lights and use this time to take a warm bath, read a good book or even journal for the day. That way you are sending signals to your brain that you are winding down and getting ready for a good nights sleep. When you go to lay down, have your alarm set, set your phone down across the room and not on your night stand and make sure your room is dark and the right temperature. That way when you lay in bed your brain gets the signal that its time to sleep and not just relax.
Pay Attention to Your Sleep Hygiene
It sounds like a checklist that includes, brushing your teeth, washing your face and showering before bed which can help but sleep hygiene also goes beyond this. Do you get energy after a workout or feel more calm? Adjust your workout times so that your workout will impact your sleep in a positive way. Enjoying an afternoon cup of tea or coffee could jolt your body with enough caffeine that can effect you for as much as eight hours which can make it hard for your body to fall asleep. Avoid heavy meals at bedtime. Instead eat lighter meals so that your body isn’t busy working for hours too digest hearty fatty meals which can make it harder to fall asleep. The list can get long but paying attention to these tiny details throughout your day can make or break the quality of sleep that you’re getting which has a great impact on that waistline.
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