You can lose weight without changing what you eat or taking a minute of exercise! It’s a bold statement. And don’t get me wrong: nutrition and exercise are important! But there is another key to losing weight – and most people don’t even know it. It’s sleep.
In fact, in addition to eating whole foods and moving your body, getting enough sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health. On the other hand, sleep deprivation makes you fat – E leads to depression , pain, heart disease, diabetes e more. Your biological rhythms keep you healthy and produce cyclic pulses of healing and repair hormones, including melatonin and growth hormone.
That’s why on today’s blog I want to talk about the impact of sleep on your health and give you 18 tips you can use to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy all the health benefits sleep has to offer.
We evolve along with the rhythms of day and night. They signal a whole cascade of hormonal and neurochemical reactions that keep us healthy by repairing our DNA, building tissue and muscle, and regulating weight and mood chemicals. The advent of the light bulb changed all that.
When you don’t sleep, your cortisol rises – and so do all of its harmful effects, including brain damage and dementia, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and more.
The reality is that most of us need at least eight hours of restful sleep a night. But achieving that goal is becoming increasingly difficult. Partly because good sleep doesn’t just happen (unless you’re a baby or teenager). There are clearly defined things that interfere with or support healthy sleep. Here’s what you need to do:
• Practice regular sleep rhythms – go to bed and wake up at the same time every day • Use your bed only for sleep and romance – not for reading or television
• Create an aesthetic environment that encourages sleep – use calm, relaxing colors and eliminate clutter and distraction
• Create total darkness and silence – consider using shadows and earmuffs
• Avoid caffeine – may seem to help you stay awake, but actually makes your sleep worse
• Avoid alcohol – helps you sleep but causes sleep disruptions and poor sleep
• Regularly expose yourself to daylight for at least 20 minutes a day – sunlight enters your eyes and activates your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones such as melatonin, which are vital for healthy sleep, mood and aging
• Eat no later than three hours before bed – eating a heavy meal before bed will lead to a bad night’s sleep
• Don’t exercise vigorously after dinner – this excites the body and makes it harder to fall asleep
• Write down your worries – an hour before bed, write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you might have to do the next day to reduce your worry. This will free up your mind and energy to go into deep, restful sleep.
• Take a hot aromatherapy salt bath – raising your body temperature before bed helps induce sleep. A hot bath also relaxes muscles and reduces physical and psychic tension. By adding one and a half to a cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and one and a half to a cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to your bath, you’ll get the benefits of the magnesium absorbed through your skin and skin. Alkaline Balance Effects of Baking Soda That Help Sleep
• Do a massage or stretch before bed – this helps to relax the body, making it easier to fall asleep
• Avoid medications that interfere with sleep – these include sedatives (used to treat insomnia but eventually lead to dependence and disruption of the normal sleep rhythm and architecture), antihistamines, stimulants, cold medications, steroids and medications for headache containing caffeine.
• Use herbal therapies – try passionflower or 320 mg to 480 mg of valerian root extract (valeriana officinalis) standardized to 0.2 percent valerenic acid one hour before bed
• Take 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate before bed – this relaxes the nervous system and muscles.
• Other supplements and herbs can be helpful to close your eyes – try calcium, theanine (an amino acid in green tea), GABA, 5-HTP, melatonin and magnolia.
• Try one to three mg of melatonin at night – melatonin helps to stabilize your sleep rhythm.