When we think about starting a diet, we usually think about counting calories and spending more time in the gym. Research has shown though that this one habit has just as much influence on our waistline -- Sleep!
However, with our busy lifestyle and constant stress that we go through in our daily lives, it can definitely be a struggle to hit the recommended 7-9 hours consistently!
But did you know that not getting enough sleep each night can have serious negative consequences? Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as;
✅ Type 2 diabetes
✅ High blood pressure
✅ Hypertension, Heart Disease, and Stroke
✅ Kidney Problems
✅ Weakened immune system
✅ Mood and mental health issues
✅ Impaired Immune Function
Getting good sleep isn’t just important for your energy levels—it’s critical for your heart health, too. The benefits of consistent sleep such as reduced cravings increased metabolism, and more appetite control makes this habit a top priority to add to your routine.
1. Start a sleep routine.
Routines can improve the quality and length of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining long-term healthy eating and physical activity habits. About 30- 60 mins before you go to bed, try taking a bath or doing a skincare routine every night. This will signal your body to start winding down.
2. Turn off all electronics.
Yes, that means putting away our phones and laptops. It's so easy to get stuck scrolling on social media while you are in bed BUT it definitely makes it way more difficult to get to sleep because the blue light from screens (TV, tablet, smartphone, or laptop) disrupts the release of melatonin in your body.
3. Turn off all the lights in your room.
When you’re exposed to light, your brain stops producing melatonin, this makes you feel awake and alert. But by limiting exposure to bright light in the evenings, will tell your body to start producing melatonin naturally, which is the sleep hormone, that will allow you to fall asleep easier.
4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule.
Choose a bedtime and wake-up time. Stick to these times every day, even on weekends or days off. Try to avoid staying up or sleeping in for more than one to two hours. Following a consistent sleep, routine helps train your brain to naturally feel tired when it’s bedtime.
5. Get regular exercise.
Working out during the day can help you feel more tired in the evening, but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may find it harder to fall asleep. If you start exercising today, you may notice better sleep tonight.
If you have difficulty sleeping or want to improve your sleep, try these tips tonight and be consistent with them! I promise you'll start noticing a difference!