I hesitate talking about the need for sleep and bedtime routines because we are still heavy in the midst of nighttime wakings, babies in the bed, etc etc. If you are still waking up 2+ times a night to feed a baby/give a pacifier/ or calm a night terror, this post is probably not for you! Just stay the course and know the day will come that you’ll be able to sleep again. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!
However, if you have reached a time in your life where the possibility of a good night sleep is available and for whatever reason you aren’t taking it, here are a few reasons why you may want to change that.
Your cells repair themselves more rapidly at nighttime. The body produces higher levels of human growth hormone, which promotes cellular renewal, and your digestive system gets a break. So when you skip out on this, you are skipping these crucial processes.
Have you ever woken up from a short night’s sleep feeling starved? Research shows that sleep deprivation leads to increases in grehlin, the hunger hormone, and decreases in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain, ‘I’m full,” hence, less sleep equals more overeating.
Experts generally recommend 7-8 hours of sleep for healthy adults.
Some tips I have found helpful to getting a good night’s sleep include:
1. A little light stretching before you hit the sack can help put your mind at ease, steady your breath, and reduce muscle tension without revving up your heart rate. Stretching stimulates the release of hormones that relax the body. Click here for some of my favorite stretches you can do before bedtime.
2. Setting a regular bedtime and wake time will get you into a good-sleep rhythm. At least on week nights, try to stick to a similar bedtime and rise time each day. Your body is very good at sticking to a routine and learning to adapt to your patterns.
3. Turn off the electronics an hour before you go to bed. Stop sitting in front of your computer or TV or cell phone. They are too stimulating to the brain and interfere with your sleep. Ever wake up in the middle of a dream that incorporated a bunch of random people’s facebook posts you had seen just before falling asleep? Wild!
4. Keep the room dark. Our bodies need darkness for production of melatonin, the important sleep hormone. Again, if you still have the baby monitor glued to your night stand, this post is probably not for you yet! But I’ve realized by now, I will hear my baby cry if he needs me and that static and flashing lights of the monitor does interfere with a good night’s sleep. I even recommend turning your cell phones over so the notifications won’t disturb your sleep.
5. Cut back on the afternoon coffee. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant with a typical half-life of seven hours, which means that half of it is still coursing through your veins seven hours later. So you’re not crazy, that late afternoon pick-me-up really is keeping you up.
6. Exercise also tremendously helps improve quality of sleep. I’m not suggesting exercise right before bed, but rather at some point during the day try to fit in 30 minutes – 1 hour of exercise.
Hope some of these tips can help you get a better night’s sleep, and better results with your weight loss journey.
How many hours of sleep do you get on average?
Have a great week,
Classic Egg Salad
I had all good intentions of suggesting you make egg salad with the leftover died Easter eggs! Upon peeling these glittery beauties, I thought I could just rinse off any glitter that was left on the eggs. But then once I peeled off all the shells, I realized some of the die had gone into the egg and it wasn’t coming off with water!!! So I’m not suggesting reusing the kids Easter art projects. It was a good idea in my head, but I think you better just boil some more eggs for this recipe.
2 hard boiled eggs
1 Tbsp diced celery
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 cup pickle relish
Dash of paprika and salt and pepper
Coarsely chop the hard boiled eggs and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Place on bread with lettuce and tomato.
The best choice for the healthiest eggs is organic- it ensures good conditions and diet for the laying hens and no antibiotic use.