Amanda Sewell

How Poor Sleep Can Sabotage Health

Have you ever wondered why you have zero concentration, cravings that are out of control, and injuries that take forever to heal?

Would you love to wake up feeling rested and ready for your day instead of hitting snooze six times only to rush out the door? Or still have energy at the end of the day to exercise? 

I want to ask you know… how have you been sleeping?

Good?

No.

Poor?

What’s worse than poor?

Poor sleep habits could be one of the reasons that you are stuck in limbo with your attempts at a healthier lifestyle. You set your brain up for poor choices. When you are not well rested your brains pleasure center goes into overdrive hunting for something, anything to make you feel better.

Coffee. Chocolate. Donuts in the office kitchen.

The hunger hormones that tell your body when it’s time to eat or stop eating become unbalanced which means you are set to eat more food than if you were rested. Cortisol, your stress hormone, will spike. This helps to keep the fat you wish would disappear hanging out happily in your problem areas.

It is recommended that adults get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night. When we sleep our body restores itself. Our hormones and natural body responses go into maintenance mode.

Stay on track on a sleep schedule

Get up and go to bed at the exact same time every day. If you are unable to fall asleep after 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Try again in 30 minutes.

Watch what you eat/ drink and how much before bed

This was my number 1 culprit for poor sleep. Be careful with caffeine as it can obviously keep you wide awake. Drinking alcohol before bed can also disrupt your sleep cycles. Also, depending on what you eat it may cause you to get up in the middle of the night to make a trip to the bathroom.

Start a self care ritual before bed

This is a great habit to get into. You will program your mind to start the relaxation process and why not love yourself up prior to bed.

Great things to add into this ritual are : oil pulling, drinking a relaxing tea and writing in a journal to reflect on positive events that happened that day, enjoying a detox bath, using a castor oil pack, massaging lotion into your hands and feet.

Brain cleanse prior to heading to bed

As woman many of us struggle with busy minds preventing us from falling asleep. We think about all the things we have to do the next day.

Grab a journal and before you head to bed spend 5 minutes writing down EVERYTHING that crosses your mind. This is one thing I do every night and it really does help me sleep better.

Move your ass

When you are more active, your body will burn off energy (obviously – that’s what calories are for) and increase your circulation. It will help you fall asleep faster as well.

Supplementation

One of my favorite health hacks is to periodically use USANA’s Pure Rest. This pharmaceutical grade, fast acting and ultra pure Melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates sleep and wake cycles. When I struggle with poor sleep after traveling or after a soccer game, I will use this to help me fall asleep. It works well for me.

Remove the electronics from the bedroom

This is a tough one. I love to lay in bed and catch up on my favorite shows. Occasionally fuel my Pinterest addiction before I catch some ZZZ’s.

Studies have shown that using electronics in the bedroom can be problematic. Our phones and whatever else we have in there emit electronic pulses or wavelengths that interfere with out sleep cycles. If you are willing to make changes in this area, try to keep tvs, alarm clocks or cell phones as far away from where you sleep as possible.
*This post was originally published on www.rebelhealthcoach.com. For more from Amanda, be sure to visit her site here.
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