According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Yet millions of people don’t get enough and suffer from numerous sleep problems.
In fact, more than 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different types of sleep disorders! That’s a lot of sleep we’re missing out on!
Now here’s the thing… it’s not like all you have to do is sleep 12 hours a night and the weight will fall off. Instead, it’s what’s happening when you’re sleep-deprived that impacts your ability to drop the pounds.
Researchers have found that lack of sleep directly impacts your sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar. And, insulin insensitivity is directly linked to obesity.
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when participants were sleep-deprived, you burn fewer calories!
And if that wasn’t enough, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who slept only 5.5 hours a night increased their nighttime snacking and chose high-carbohydrate snacks over healthier options.
To get a better, longer nights sleep, start implementing these 5 tips:
- Stop eating two to three hours before your bedtime. If you’re body is trying to digest food, you won’t be able to fully relax, fall asleep, or stay asleep.
- Eliminate fried and fatty foods, refined carbs, and limit spicy foods before bedtime. The effects of these foods can really interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- If you’re hungry after dinner, enjoy a light snack two hours before bedtime. Your snack should contain mostly carbohydrates with a little bit of protein to increase the availability of tryptophan (an amino acid that helps induce sleep) to your brain. A sliced apple with an ounce of peanut butter is ideal!
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime (or completely!!). Although it may help you fall asleep quickly, it also disrupts your sleeping patterns and leaves you feeling un-rested in the morning. Aim to have your last drink at least 5 hours before you snuggle in.
- This may seem obvious, but avoid caffeine before bed! Caffeinated foods, teas, and other beverages delay your sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Caffeine stays in your body for 8 – 12 hours after you drink it so keep this in mind as you reach for that last cup!
Article by Cynthia Pasquella. Reprinted with permission.
Cynthia Pasquella is known as The Transformational Nutritionist®. She is a clinical nutritionist, holistic life coach, media personality and best-selling author. She is the co-founder of SoCal Cleanse, an award winning cleansing and detoxification company, and the best-selling author of The Hungry Hottie Cookbook and PINK Method. She is a nutrition expert for The Doctors, The Dr. Phil Show, and The Today Show and has been featured in popular media outlets such as Access Hollywood, E! News Live, Harper’s Bazaar, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine and Marie Claire.