Catch Those ZZZZ's


As Daylight Savings Time just ended, changes in our routines can be a little challenging in the next couple of weeks. My puppy, Tyson, was definitely confused and got us up at the crack of dawn, gipping us out of our extra hour of sleep—no fair!

With holidays just around the corner, I’m guessing that getting extra sleep is NOT on your to do list. But did you know that lack of sleep is linked to various health issues, including your weight?

The National Sleep Foundation, recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night for adults aged 18 – 64. If you are interested in the full sleep duration recommendations, you can find that information here.

Are you productive, healthy and happy or are you hitting the snooze button several times before making a beeline to the coffee pot?

Are you sleeping through the night? Or are you having troubles with getting to sleep and staying asleep?

If you are missing out on all of your ZZZ’s, you may be interested to know that lack of sleep both increases ghrelin, your hunger hormone, and decreases leptin, your satiety/fullness hormone. These hormonal changes may lead to overeating and eventually weight gain. Uh-oh!

Most people at one time or another have experienced sleep issues. Lack of sleep leaves us feeling drained to deal with simple daily life experiences, both physically and emotionally. Here are some of my strategies to help with a better night’s sleep:

  1. Avoid drinking coffee, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. This might seem pretty straight-forward, but for most people, this means no caffeine after 3pm in the afternoon. Alcohol inhibits a night of quality of sleep as well. Reserve the alcohol for the weekends if at all possible.

  2. Try eating at least 3 hours before going to bed. The stomach has to expend energy to digest food, so the earlier the digestion process happen, the likelihood for a more peaceful and restful sleep.

  3. Unplug – Try to make it a rule for no screens after 9pm and especially in the bedroom if possible. Keep the bedroom for reading and extracurricular activities, which we won’t get into here. J

  4. Drink herbal teas such as chamomile, valerian and orange blossom for their sedative effect.

  5. Get as much natural light as possible during the day. Take a work break outside, play with the kids in the backyard or go for a walk.

  6. As you lay down in bed each night, close your eyes and think about 3 things you are grateful for – something great to start this month if you haven’t already. Research has shown that people with positive thoughts are correlated with nodding off faster and sleeping longer and better.

Sweet dreams!

Your biggest cheerleader,

Nat

#sleep

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