Just as we include nutritious food and daily exercise as part of our healthy lifestyle, we also need to make sleep a priority. Recent studies have shown that adequate sleep is essential not only for overall health, but for weight control as well.
Lack of sleep drives up your levels of ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates your appetite and prompts you to eat more), and at the same time, drives down your levels of leptin (the hormone that lets you know when you are satisfied and prompts you to stop eating when you're full). No wonder we feel ravenous on the days we don't get enough sleep!
HERE ARE OUR TOP TIPS FOR IMPROVING THE QUANTITY & QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP:
Be aware of what time you need to be in bed in order to get a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep.
One hour before your bedtime, start getting ready. Turn off computers, televisions and cell phones. Wrap up any tasks you need to complete, brush your teeth & put on pajamas.
Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This may include taking a warm shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Relaxing activities done with lowered lights can help ease the transition between wakefulness and sleepiness.
Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Make your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and comfortable. Adjust the lighting, temperature, humidity and noise level to your preferences. Use blackout curtains, eye covers, earplugs, extra blankets, a fan or white-noise generator, a humidifier or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Don't eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner at least two hours before sleeping.
Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. These are stimulants that can keep you awake.
Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, for some people, exercising in the evenings may boost your energy & make falling asleep more difficult. We recommend a morning exercise routine.