Catch Plenty of Zzzzs: Tips to Sleep Like a Baby
For more information on saying goodbye to insomnia and how you can sleep like a baby, please click HERE.
There is nothing more restorative for the body than getting ample sleep night after night after night (or day after day if you work at night and sleep in the daytime). A good night's sleep is one of the most important parts of a wellness lifestyle and an essential component of being vibrantly healthy. Sleep is when we reset our appetite control and pain control. Sleep is when our energy regroups for the day to come. Below you will learn about some of my favorite tips for daily, restorative sleep, including my favorite mattress, hydrating water, heat therapy, the best superfood, and more.
The costs of sleep deprivation are irritability, falling asleep at work, wavering attention, and not fully processing the outside world. Tension, physical or psychological, keeps us from relaxing sufficiently to fall asleep. People are literally taking their worries to bed. Learn techniques for coping with stress and "winding down" before bed. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, stretching, and meditation are very helpful. Regular exercise is also a terrific way to help you sleep better. But don't exercise right before you are about to go to bed.
Lack of sleep undermines your body's ability to deal with stress. Research suggests that even one or two nights of sufficient sleep (experts recommend eight hours) can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol more than a number of other stress management techniques combined. Granted, stress often interferes with sleep, but do your best to increase your chances of getting quality sleep by avoiding caffeine after noon, establishing a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and doing something relaxing in the hour before bedtime (no electronic devices!).
Here's a tip to remember: Don't associate the bed with wakefulness. If you can't sleep, get up and read a book, knit, watch television, or write in a journal until you feel sleepy. Avoid sleeping pills and alcohol. On the link above, I write about some of my favorite natural, effective, herbal remedies to help with getting deep sleep.
Need to Lose Weight?
Sleep plays a major role in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function. Research shows that getting a good night’s sleep is a critical part of losing weight. In a 16-year study involving 70,000 women, researchers found that women who slept five hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese, compared to those who slept seven hours a night.
“Sleeping less may affect changes in a person’s basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn when you rest),” says lead researcher Sanjay Patel, MD., of Case Western Reserve University.
In Hong Kong, researchers found that children who did not get sufficient hours of sleep were more likely than their well-rested peers to be overweight.
It’s possible that reduced sleep means adults and kids are tired and therefore less likely to exercise. There is also some evidence that lack of sleep produces changes in levels of satiety and the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, according to Brown University Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Mary A. Carskadon.
Too little sleep also makes you hungry, especially for calorie-dense foods, and primes your body to hold on to the calories you eat. It also boosts your insulin levels, which increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
So if losing weight is one of your goals, make sure that you make getting enough sleep a nonnegotiable daily practice in your life. And here are some more surefire tips to help you sleep like a baby.