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Sleep More – Weigh Less

Sleep deprivation is a vicious cycle that can sabotage your waistline and your health.

The body needs time to restore itself therefore getting an adequate night of sleep is an important part of life and weight management.   UnfortunPM.SleepMore.WeighLess Sleep More   Weight Lessately in today’s fast-paced world of stress falling and staying asleep and getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep is often difficult.

The day starts innocently enough with you coming off a bad night of sleep.  You’re tired so you have a cup or more of coffee and a pastry for a quick energy boost which is unfortunately a short lived boost.  As the day progresses your energy lessens; you skip your exercise, you look for an afternoon shot of vitality.    Since you are just too tired to cook you pick up or order in some takeout. When you finally are ready to go to bed, you are generally too wound up to sleep.     And the next day you are off to a similar start.  By the end of the week the scale reflects your behavior all week.

Here are some simple yet powerful tips to ensure the best sleep possible.

1.  Reduce your stress prior to the hour you go to sleep
Eliminate the use of computers, emails and other work related or other stressful things at least 3 hours before your planned time to go to sleep. . It’s okay to use them for casual, fun matters just as long as they are without stress or work related. Then at least one hour prior to sleep shut down the devices as researches tell us this light could interfere with the quality of your sleep.

2. Slow down your mind
When your mind is overactive late at night it can interfere with falling asleep and getting a good night of rest.  Give your mind some time to slow down prior to going to bed.  I often find reading an article or book that is not of high interest will help me fall asleep much faster than laying in bed milling over the events of the day, thinking about what I need to do tomorrow and other stress related issues.

3. Bed is for sleep and sex
Eat in the kitchen or dining room or living room but not the bedroom.  Watching TV should be reserved for the living room or family room. The bed is a place for sleep, sex and nothing else.

4. Sleep in complete darkness
The smallest amount of light can disturb sleep while trying to fall asleep and both before and during sleep. To eliminate this ensure the room you sleep in is completely dark during the night.  What can you do?  Consider “black-out” shades, remove the bright clock and get rid of night lights.

2.  Avoid stimulants after 3 PM
Besides the caffeine in coffee many teas (other than herbal teas) have a high-caffeine content.  Be mindful of the caffeine in soda, diet soda and other low calorie or reduced calorie drinks.  Read the labels before you indulge.    It takes about 6 hours for caffeine to be fully processed and eliminated by your body. To ensure falling asleep easily stop all caffeine at least 6 hours before your planned bedtime.   When you  eliminate the caffeine some of your sleeping problems can disappear.

Routine is key
It’s important to follow a routine when it comes to sleep. Try going to sleep and waking up the same time each day including the weekends.

Relax by taking a warm bath
Try an Epsom salt and lavender bath as this is one of the best ways to calm your body and your mind.  While the Epsom sale relaxing the muscles – the lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system and your mind.

Night Time Drinks
Night Time Teas: Herbal, non caffeinated teas: Chamomile tea, mint tea, lemongrass tea, to name a few all have relaxing qualities.  These and others are easily found in most super markets today. .
Tart Cherry Juice:  A tasty treat and double whammy: Recently when looking for an all natural remedy to fight joint pain and inflation I discovered tart cherry juice concentrate at Whole Foods.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn it actually contains a natural form of melatonin that helped me naturally get sleepy and more easily fall asleep.  For a double doze of a natural sleep to help your body and mind relax about an hour or two before bedtime add tart cherry concentrate to taste to your favorite night time tea or other non-caffeine drink.
Alcohol close to your bedtime may help you fall asleep easily but a few drinks can have an effect on the quality of your sleep. Too many drinks may find you waking up the next morning wondering if you got any rest at all.

Still having difficulty?
If you still have difficulty falling asleep after trying some or all of the above tips it may be due to being overstressed during the day which in turn can cause an imbalance in your natural cortisol cycle causing you to be more awake at night and more tired in the morning which is just the opposite of what you want.  Yoga, mediation and exercise early in the day can greatly help eliminate stress from you life. Give it a try.

Incorporate some or all of the tips as this will create powerful results that will relax you and lull you to sleep like a lullaby each evening without experiencing insomnia.  Start this evening.  Be ready to wake tomorrow morning feeling rested and ready for a more energetic and productive tomorrow.