Who doesn’t love to wake up feeling refreshed after a restful night of sleep? Unfortunately, the daily grind of modern life seems to get in the way of our snooze time these days. Staying up late and waking up early – bad idea. Not only does that lead to extra awake time to raid that fridge, you’re also going to be too tired to get a good work-out in to burn those extra calories. Plus, not getting enough zzz’s throws your appetite hormones – ghrelin and leptin – off whack, leading to weight gain. Decreases in leptin trigger us to eat more to replenish energy stores and increases in ghrelin levels make us more hungry. When we sleep, our body naturally produces leptin, so we are not hungry while sleeping. Studies have shown that people who get less than 7.5 hrs per night experience an increase in body weight or BMI due to imbalanced ghrelin levels. So turn off the boob tube, dim the lights, get cozy and start counting sheep. Shhhh…
7 Tips for Better Sleep According to the National Sleep Foundation:
- Exercise regularly – regular exercise has been shown to aid in a sounder sleep. But finish exercising at least three hours or more before bed for a restful night.
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine–take a bath, read, or listen to soothing music.
- Create a healthy sleep environment – find out which bedroom conditions are most comfortable for you.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress with supportive pillows.
- Keep the TV, work, computer, and other distracting things out of the bedroom.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening and before bedtime – coffee, tea, and soft drinks which have caffeine may interfere with getting enough sleep.