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Snooze To Lose

Shirra Haddad Averbuch,, holistic health coach certified in nutrition, personal training, yoga, and group fitness

It’s been well established that getting quality sleep is an integral part of health. Studies indicate that alongside diet and exercise, sleep is a pillar of wellness and plays a critical role not only in mental and physical health but also aids in maintaining a healthy weight.

People who skimp on sleep are more likely to be overweight, and even one night of poor sleep raises ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Those who are chronically sleep deprived are also more likely to crave sugar and processed carbohydrates to get a quick boost of energy, which long-term, leads to weight gain and other health issues. As such, it’s vital to create healthy sleep hygiene and prioritize good sleep.

One way to do this is to get out in the sunlight for at least 15 minutes a day before 10 am to regulate your circadian rhythm. This will signal your brain to produce melatonin which will naturally make you sleepy in the evening. It is also important to refrain from drinking caffeine past 1 pm as it affects your ability to enter deep sleep.

The last and likely most challenging tip to getting better quality sleep is to minimize your blue light exposure, including cell phones, computers and other devices, 3 hours leading up to bedtime. The blue light activates the brain and keeps it from producing melatonin. While this may be a challenge for many, start small by reducing your screen time each night.

Finally, try to create a sleep schedule where you go to bed and rise around the same time each day. I know many people who have improved their nutrition and exercise, however until they regulate their sleep they struggle to reach their goal weight and feel their best.

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