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6480297645_f71f3bd4f5_bEstablishing good sleep hygiene is crucial when starting or maintaining a diet program. Sleep hygiene is best defined as practices and habits that lead to regular, restful, and continuous sleep. Going without sleep renders your body unable to appropriately repair itself and your metabolism does not function properly. Insomnia can also lead to an imbalance of hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. Your ghrelin level increases when you are sleep‐deprived and tells your brain to eat. Conversely, leptin tells your brain to stop eating and is in short supply when sleep‐deprived.

If you are someone that experiences sleep issues, remember these 5 tips:

S ‐ Schedule your sleep. This means going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day. Create a nightly bedtime ritual. Some good ways to wind down your body are enjoying a warm bath, reading, or listening to calming music.

L ‐ Light your home correctly. In the morning, use bright lights to signal your body that it is time to start the day. In the evening, use dimmer lights to unwind and prepare for sleep.

E ‐ Exercise regularly. Cardio workouts are best, but even low‐intensity workouts are beneficial not only for a successful diet program but also for sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 66% of vigorous exercisers report that they rarely or never experience insomnia‐related problems. The group of non‐exercisers reported waking up during the night 50% of the time, and 24% of the group had difficulty falling asleep every night or almost every night. Moreover, 61% of the non‐exercise group claimed they rarely or never have a good night’s sleep during the workweek.

E ‐ Establish an environment that is favorable for a good night’s rest. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. The perfect sleep temperature is somewhere between 55 and 75 degrees. A lower or higher temperature will usually disrupt sleep.

P ‐ Power off. A bedroom should be used solely for rest. Having distractions such as TVs, computers, and work in the bedroom top the list for sleep deprivation. The light from your smartphones and tablets are more powerful than you think and will keep you from a good night’s rest.

Additional Sleep Hygiene Tips: ‐ If your mind races a mile a minute after you close your eyes, try putting a small notebook and pen in your nightstand. Jot down whatever is on your mind, so you can rest. ‐ If you cannot sleep, do not stay in bed. Try going into another room, and do something relaxing (like reading) until you feel sleepy again. ‐ For even more sleep tips, check out our Pinterest board.

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