The holidays are approaching fast! Didn’t New Years’ just happen last month? (head spinning!)
To stay sane for the holidays, it really starts with your health. Your mental health can change your physical health, as your physical health can also change your mental health.
I decided to roll out some holiday tips for you over the next several weeks to reduce stress and help your body stay under control. One step at a time!
Remember, this body you have is the only one you’re ever going to get. You can make repairs to it over time at an expense, but you can’t trade it in like you can a car when it breaks down.
So for my first tip, I offer you probably the most important thing we don’t think about.
Good ole shut eye. Not just laying in bed, but actual good quality sleep.
Do you average 7-9 hours of good sleep a night? Didn’t think so, let’s take a look at
Why you need good sleep.
Sleep is good for your appetite
Sleep helps you balance hunger. When you’re low on sleep, your stomach releases ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry.
Sleep helps you feel satiated. Leptin levels go down with lack of sleep. When your leptin levels are good, you are left with feeling full.
Sleep helps battle sugar cravings. You know that feeling of reward when you eat something sweet? Your brain’s reward center is stimulated. Lack of sleep causes this feeling to increase, causing your system to get a case of the munchies (the same system stimulated by marijuana).
Did you know that sleep deprivation increases stress, and other health problems? Some of these could include obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Harvard Med states that there is evidence of a link between sleep and performance. “Sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher-level cognitive functions.”
How to increase good quality of sleep
Melatonin supplements are helpful when your body and mind is overstimulated and has a hard time falling asleep. Melatonin lowers your body temp and reduces arousal. This causes sleep-propensity to rise (the ability to go from awake to asleep, or the ability to stay asleep).
Establish a solid and consistent routine. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking the same time each day helps you not only make sure you’re getting enough sleep, your body will respond much easier to sleep hormones that aid sleep.
Turn off the screens
Phones, televisions, computers, anything with a screen suppresses certain hormones that help you sleep, even if you’re exhausted. Blue light is what causes this to happen. Two to three hours before bedtime, pick up a book or do something that doesn’t involve a screen.
Where you sleep matters. This is where you spend 1/3 of your life (if you’re getting 8 hours recommended). That can be anywhere from the quality of your mattress, a TV that is on while sleeping, a snoring companion, temperature, light, noise, the list could go on! Get comfortable so your sleep isn’t hindered.
If you can’t get in 7-9 hours of sleep per night, nap! Naps may be needed if you didn’t sleep well the night before. A little shut eye might be what you need! Careful not to nap too late in the day as that could cause difficulty getting to sleep at night.
Avoid foods that cause heart burn, caffeine rich foods at least six hours before bed, and alcohol at least two hours before bed.
Prioritize your sleep.
Schedule it like your life depends on it, because it does. Be consistent, know when to shut it off, and create a good environment for your rest. You need your beauty sleep to keep looking that good!
From Your Life & Nutrition Coach,
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