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Tag Archives: sleep

Summer Essentials for a Good Night’s Sleep

Posted on June 22, 2015 by

your choiceSummer has officially started, the kids are finished with another year of school, and you’re planning a much-needed, relaxing vacation.  Perhaps you’ve lost a few pounds, feel healthier than last year, and are ready to put on those new shorts!

Packing, traveling, airports, sight-seeing, sleeping in unfamiliar places….it can leave you feeling exhausted!  As fabulous as the getaway sounds, your vacation could be sabotaged if you’re too tired to enjoy it.

Don’t forget how hard you’ve worked to achieve a healthier lifestyle.  Getting sufficient rest is an integral part of that new lifestyle.  Less sleep means more health problems.   Sleep deprivation often causes you to reach for comfort foods.  Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain when to stop eating.  It’s less abundant when you’re sleep deprived.  The hormone ghrelin tells you when to eat, and is more abundant when you’ve haven’t gotten enough Zzzzzzzz’s.

Strategies for ensuring enough rest before and during vacation:

  • Plan Ahead:  don’t wait until the last minute to pack or finish a work project.
  • Plan for Rest:  fit rest times into your vacation.
  • Stick to a Sleep Schedule:  go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
  • Maintain Sleep Rituals:  bring your favorite pillow,  blanket, or relaxing reading  material.
  • Bring your Sleep Aids:  noise machine, fan, sleep mask, or ear plugs.

Have a great time!


Forty Winks? Tips to Great Sleep

Posted on May 11, 2015 by

Sleep Deeply~

Sleep Deeply~

Did you feel rested when you awoke this morning? Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep EVERY night? Can you stay alert and focused every day without chugging the coffee and/or soda? If you answered yes to at least one question, you could be sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Chronic insomnia is the most common sleep disorder among adults. Whether your problem is insomnia, stress, or hormonal, your health depends on a good night’s sleep. It’s crucial for your overall health, mood, and productivity. There are healthy ways of getting sufficient sleep. I’m going to talk about how exercise can help you get your ZZZZZZZZZ’s.
Research is ongoing with respect to exercise and how it facilitates sleep cycles. Although researchers aren’t exactly certain WHY exercise helps, they are sure of this: exercise reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increases the length of sleep. Another great reason to grab your workout gear and get moving!
Regular, consistent exercise reduces stress levels, depression, and anxiety. These are the reasons why exercise could help you sleep more effectively. However, improvements in sleep occur over time, not immediately. For example, when you begin an exercise program to improve health and lose weight, a transformation doesn’t occur overnight. It can take a few weeks to notice the benefits.
The intensity and duration of the exercise are key factors. Athletes who engage in hard-core workouts don’t necessarily achieve the advantage of a good night’s rest. Studies have shown that moderate intensity exercise is preferable.
Time of day is also important. The optimal time to exercise is in the morning with natural light exposure. It’s best to avoid exercise late at night, especially less than two hours before bedtime.
A good night’s sleep is so critical to your well-being. Regular exercise can help relieve insomnia and the stress that’s preventing you from sleeping.

If you need help with an exercise program, come see one of our fabulous trainers!! FORTY WINKS!!

Do You Need A Little Help Sleeping?

Posted on April 27, 2015 by

Sweet Dreams!

Sweet Dreams!

How long to you lay in bed staring at the ceiling or counting sheep? If it takes more than 10-15 minutes to fall asleep, you may find that a supplement will help you drift off easier.

You’ve no doubt seen entire shelves of products available at the drugstores that are meant to   induce sleep and aid you in a restful night. Which ones are safe and yet effective?

Melatonin is a hormone produced within your pineal gland (a light-sensitive organ inside our brain). The hormone production is stimulated by the dark and suppressed by light. Melatonin is the key to helping our body know when to sleep, and when it is time to wake up. When you have insufficient exposure to natural light, your body may not produce what you need. A supplement taken 60-90 minutes prior to bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.

People have used Chamomile Tea for centuries to induce sleep. Studies seem to back up its calming effect. The FDA considers chamomile tea to be safe with usually no side effects.

L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that is essential to the natural production of melatonin and     serotonin within your body. It may be purchased as a supplement and is found naturally in eggs, seaweed, spinach & soy proteins.

L-Theanine helps your brain to relax, reducing your feelings of stress and anxiety. This helps you sleep. Stress and anxiety are two of the main issues associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders. L-Theanine has been found to increase your “Alpha” brain waves, which are small   electrical impulses your brain emits when it is in a relaxed state. L-Theanine is derived from green tea leaves and also mushrooms.

Known for its calming effect and sedative properties, Valerian is often used to treat depression, insomnia and anxiety. Valerian comes from the root of an herb does not contain a habit-forming ingredient, like some prescription medications and generally will not leave you feeling groggy or hung-over the next day.

Lavender Oil, either used in a linen spray or rubbed onto the skin may also help you relax and fall asleep.

Melatonin is available in both 1mg sublingual tabs and 3mg capsules at the CFWLS Nutrition Store.


Tips for a Restful Night’s Sleep

Posted on November 17, 2014 by

Sleep Deeply~

Sleep Deeply~

It is a well-known fact that stress causes a number of negative side effects – exercise helps and so does something we take for granted every day of our lives. Sleep!

According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night.  Are you average?  If so, you may be getting enough to get by but not enough to function at your best!

Your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life. Mental sharpness, your productivity and emotional balance, creativity and physical vitality, even your weight can be tied to the amount and quality of sleep that you get. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.  While you are asleep, your brain stays busy.  Biological maintenance is taking place!  Hormones are coaxed back into balance.  Energy and efficiency are being restored.  But it’s not just the number of hours  – the quality of those hours really makes a difference. You may have noticed at times that your sleep is disrupted.  Your internal clock can be affected by shift-work, traveling across time zones, irregular sleeping or even too much artificial light at night.

Melatonin is one of the naturally occurring hormones produced as a result of light exposure.  It helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.  Spending time away from natural daylight and too much time around bright light at night may suppress your body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.  Try getting in some time in the sun each day and step away from the computer or TV before you turn in for the night.  Melatonin is available as a supplement as well, see Cat or Tina in the store if you think this might be for you.

Tips for a Restful Night~

  • Set a regular bedtime and don’t change the routine on weekends just because it’s tempting to stay up late.  Create a relaxing routine and make sure that your bed is comfortable.
  • Wake up at the same time every day.  You should be able to wake up without an alarm clock.  If this isn’t the case, try going to bed a little earlier.
  • Nap to make up for lost time instead of sleeping late.  Try an early afternoon nap (30-45 minutes) so that you don’t disturb your natural sleep pattern.
  • Avoid falling asleep on the sofa.  If you find yourself drifting off after dinner, get up and do something that is mildly stimulating to avoid throwing off your routine.
  • Stay away from big meals at night and cut back on caffeine.  Caffeine has been known to cause sleep problems as much as 12 hours after drinking it!
  • As little as 20-30 minutes of daily exercise will help.  The more strenuous  exercise should be done earlier in the day but relaxing exercises like yoga or gentle stretching can be done in the evening.

‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy & wise.’  There may be something to that proverb after all!