Sleep is SO important to over all health, maintaining weight, and weight loss.

Sleep is the most over looked factor in achieving optimum health in the 21st century. The amount of sleep one gets has a direct bearing on obesity, coronary heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, immune function, cognitive performance and overall longevity. The main function of sleep is to refresh the brain, but also to improve metabolism hormones and immune functions. The reason sleep has dramatic effect on weight is the relationship between sleep and hormones. Lack of sleep causes blood levels of leptin(hormone produced by fat cells), helps regulate appetite and metabolism, high levels of leptin make you eat less, while low levels of leptin make you eat more.
The amount of sleep we need doesn't decrease with age but the ability to sleep does.
So how do you get a good night's sleep:
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Sleep in a dark, cool warm.
  • Take a warm bath an hour before bedtime, why, because the boost in body temperature triggers a corresponding drop in body temperature, which induces sleep.
  • If you exercise in the afternoon it should not be less then 4 hours prior to bedtime.
  • Minimize alcohol consumption. It may help you fall asleep but not a deep restorative sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine 8 to 12 hours before bed.
  • Don't eat dinner close to bed.
  • Complex carbs boost serotonin levels in your brain which in turn relaxes and helps induce sleep, so if you do have an evening snack have a slice of whole wheat toast with some peanut butter.
  • Be careful of supplements that you use that are suppose to promote sleep.
  • Try to take a melatonin supplement.
  • Check any medication you may take and make sure they don't interfere with sleep.
  • Have a great pillow.
  • Drink warm milk before bed, milk and dairy products contain tryptophan, a natural sleep enhancer.
  • If you smoke throw out those cigarettes!
Happy Sleeping!

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