Sleep more and lose weight – now that seems like a program that a lot of people can commit to! Although it may seem like it’s too good to be true, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain. Recent literature is touting the importance of sleep in terms of optimal health and fat loss. It is now clear that when the body doesn’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep every night that it needs to rejuvenate, repair and heal, it finds ways to compensate for the lower levels of serotonin and dopamine caused by lack of sleep. The body reacts by increasing appetite and craving foods with sugar and fats that instantly give you the immediate release of serotonin and dopamine. It also causes you to store more fat as a defense mechanism to provide you the energy to help manage the longer days. So get to bed early and allow your body to function as it’s designed it! As an added benefit, if you’re in bed at a decent hour, you’ll be less likely to be munching of high calorie, late-night snacks.
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For those who struggle with getting enough deep sleep, here’s some tips:
Those who exercise regularly experience less issues with sleep. It makes sense that fatiguing your body during a
workout will cause you to be more tired and fall asleep more easily. Plus if I’m asking you to sleep more, it goes without saying that I’m going to also ask you to exercise more! The one caveat is that if you struggle with falling asleep, avoid working out right before bed.
Practice the same activities that will trigger your body to know it’s time to shut down. For example, brush your teeth,
turn down the lights, meditate, practice some deep breathing, listen to relaxing music, read a book…Figure out a routine that works for you.
Stick to a Bedtime Schedule
As much as possible, get up and go to bed at the same time – even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body’s internal clock so it becomes accustomed to waking up and falling asleep at the same time every day.
Avoid electronics 30 minutes before bedtime
Put your phone away, shut off the TV and wind down. If you are on your phone, but it on nighttime mode so the light is adjusted to not negatively affect your ability to fall asleep.
Adjust the temperature of your room to between 60-68 degrees which is most conducive to sleep.
Keep it Dark
To help aid sleep, your room should be dark. Use blackout curtains, sleeping blindfolds and make sure no light is on in your room.
Keep it quiet from distractions
Consider using ear plus or white-noise machines to block out any sounds that could disrupt your sleeping patterns.
Invest in a good mattress and pillow
If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for over 10 years, it’s probably time to get a new one. Think of it this way – we spend 1/3 of our lives in our beds so let’s make sure our mattress and pillow are comfortable and allow us to easily fall asleep.
Avoid eating too late at night
Try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Eating a large meal right before bedtime can make it difficult to sleep
well as the body is trying to digest.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed
Drinking caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep so try to avoid it right before bedtime.
Yours in health & fitness,
Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.