A good night’s sleep is really crucial for health.
When you’re sleep deprived, your cortisol rises, which mimics the stress of the blood sugar roller coaster and all of its harmful effects, like weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, depressed immunity, and more.
Lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone called ghrelin. And ghrelin is produced mainly by your stomach, and it acts on your brain’s pleasure receptors, and it is what makes you reach for that second or tenth chocolate chip cookie because you remember how wonderful they taste. (I’ve never done that, I’m sure you’ve never done that! LOL)
So, lack of sleep increases ghrelin, therefore, it increases cravings. Add to that the common sense fact that when you don’t get enough sleep you don’t have enough energy, pretty simple. And when you don’t have enough energy, your body goes looking for quick energy sources. And usually it goes looking for quick energy sources in the form of sugar, or caffeine, which of course, send you on the blood sugar roller coaster.
So clearly, the lack of sleep can unbalance blood sugar. Thus getting a good night’s rest is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Not just physically, but emotionally too.
You may be wondering how many of hours of sleep you need. Well honestly, that is unique to every person. One thing I can say is that if you don’t feel rested when you wake up than for 1 week go to bed one hour earlier and see how amazing you feel.
There are many tips and tricks that I can give you to help you unwind at night and get ready for sleep.
For years I suffered from “insomnia” where I would lay in bed looking at my ceiling for hours, unable to turn off the chatter of my mind and go to sleep.
Choosing to “power down” and turn off all electronics an hour before bed will help your mind settle. Turn off the TV and choose to read or write before bed.
My personal routine is to practice light relaxing yoga for about 15 minutes, read for about 30 minutes and then write for 5-10 minutes. I write down what is on my mind. What I want to accomplish the next day, anything that is bothering me, and what I am grateful for that day.
I find that doing this helps my body relax and unwind as well as my mind. Instead of lying in bed worrying, rehashing the day’s events, or thinking about all the things that need to get done, I can relax knowing that it is all written down and easily available for me to read through tomorrow.
There are still times when I cannot fall asleep. That is when I listen to a nighttime meditation. Here is the one that I enjoy and helps me fall asleep.
Meaghan is a Health Coach and Personal Trainer who works with men and women who are problematic eaters and yo-yo dieters.