FACT… if you catch the right amount of ZZZs each night, you will achieve better health!
Do you feel like you are exercising, eating healthy, and drinking plenty of water but still not losing the weight or achieving your health goals? If so, it may be time to evaluate your SLEEP HABITS. In our fast paced, stress-filled lifestyles, sleep can often be put on the backburner and is not considered a priority. However, sleep is a huge factor in metabolism, weight loss, overall health, and mental stability. If you aren’t getting your 7-9 hours of shut-eye every night, you may be self-sabotaging all your hard efforts that you put in during the day.
May is national Better Sleep Month! Celebrate by learning how sleep impacts your health goals and ways to improve your nighttime routine!
Plain and simple… Poor sleep = Poor physical & psychological functioning, which prevents a healthy body and mind. As the American Council on Exercise concludes while you sleep, your body is still working hard to repair, recover, rebuild, and strengthen itself. All these processes keep your hormones in check, digestion working smoothly, and muscles growing stronger.
On the flip side, sleep deprivation, leads to IMPAIRED HUNGER CUES (… especially increased cravings for unhealthy food) & LOW ENERGY, MOTIVATION, AND PHYSICAL FATIGUE (… which leads to decreased exercise and physical activity during the day). Lack of sleep can also negatively impact insulin levels and stress levels leading to an increased risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, and higher body weight. A single night of sleep deprivation results in burning as much as 20% fewer calories the following day.
In summary, if you are stuck in the downward spiral of poor sleep, your health is spiraling down with you.
Besides carving out 7-9 hours for sleep each night (as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation), you must make sure your bedtime environment is welcoming for QUALITY rest. Here is how to develop your best routine for restful sleep:
- Aim to go to bed and wake up around the same time each night, even on weekends
- Turn off all electronics an hour before bed – instead, read a book, talk with your spouse, or meditate to relax
- Make the room as dark as possible & ensure that the temperature is cool
- Avoid long naps – aim for only 20 minutes and take them earlier in the day
- Engage in regular exercise – early morning workouts make it easier to fall asleep at night
- Lower your overall caffeine intake & limit your daily alcohol intake
- If you get hungry at night, aim for smaller snacks in the evening so you don’t overload the digestive system