Counting Sheep?: Catch Some Quality ZZZ's!

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Can’t recall the last time you had a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. Quality sleep seems to have become a thing of the past, with the “busyness” of life taking a toll on our health and well being, in endless ways.

Research shows that a lack of quality sleep may have a noticeable effect on appetite and cravings, with certain hormones releasing in the body, that can leave someone feeling hungrier, less satisfied, which may lead to weight gain, from excessive eating, while attempting to satisfy the cravings. A higher BMI (Body Mass Index is more common in people who do not get enough sleep compared to those who do.

I can easily notice how different my appetite is on days when I have slept well the night before. I am less likely to eat impulsively, and do not seem to reach for high carb and sweet foods to satisfy my hunger, and boost my energy. My body is more relaxed throughout the day, my mind is clearer, and I am more productive, which in turn, helps me to maintain a positive attitude throughout the day, and helps to set the tone for my evening, and ultimately another good night’s sleep.

What about you? How does a lack of sleep affect your life? Take a moment for an honest inventory of how your body, your life, is negatively impacted from a lack of sleep, and make a commitment to make some positive changes in your life that will have you sleeping like a baby.

A FEW SUGGESTIONS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP:

1. Honor your body’s biological clock with a nightly routine that helps you prepare for a restful and refreshing night of slumber.

2. Create an atmosphere and environment that supports your “sleepy” time. A darkened room, cooler temps and soothing sounds from a fan or sound machine may help, if being in the “quiet” is too quiet for you.

3. Be mindful of drinking later in the evening. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but can disturb your sleep throughout the night, by blocking REM and deep restorative sleep. Be mindful if you are consuming beverages that contain caffeine, as the effects can last up to eight hours.

4. Keep the TV and the computer out of the bedroom. Allow your bed to be a special space for pleasant and enjoyable experiences, sleep and sex, and activities which are relaxing, soothing, that can greatly improve your quality of sleep.

5. If you’re tossing and turning after twenty minutes, still unable to fall asleep, get up and do something else that is relaxing, other than turning on the TV or the computer. Consider reading, taking a relaxing bath, listening to music, or my personal favorite: meditation and deep, relaxing belly breathing.

6. And last but not least…learn to be still, and spend some time in prayer. A perfect prescription for all things…in my opinion. Works wonders!!

SWEET DREAMS!!

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