Holy Moly, Even More Great Sleep Tips
Are you feeling exhausted or running on stress (and coffee) all day? Do not fear, I have some more great tips for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated, and growing. Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects I mentioned before, like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. Did you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? If you aren't convinced you need to focus on your sleep yet, don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory, and decision-making skills.
The three main purposes of sleep are:
● To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow, and revive our brains while we sleep.
● To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
● To conserve some energy so we're not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Here's some trivia that could change your daily life.
Do you know how much sleep adults need?
It's less than growing kids need, but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7-9 hours a night.
As promised, here are even more tips for better sleep
● Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. Eat less refined and processed food and more whole foods that are full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber. Also, make sure you're getting some protein every time you eat.
● During the day, get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening. This is the flip side of the sleeping in darkness tip from my last tip post.
● Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it's the “added” sugar we're minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (Bonus: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you this month).
● Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8-10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). Wind down by putting down the electronics and reading a (paper) book or just having some quiet time.
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