Have a Good Night

How to get better, longer sleep-it can help you succeed!

What is quality sleep?  You know it when you wake up:  It’s the feeling your body has had enough time to be truly rested and replenished.  As with eating well and moving more, getting enough sleep contributes to a healthier lifestyle.  Research has shown that regularly getting enough sleep can improve your mood and your overall well being.  While sleep needs vary from person to person- logging seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night seems to be the sweet spot for most adults.  Not only is getting enough sleep good for you, not getting enough sleep has been linked to overeating and weight gain.  Personally I know this to be true, I crave all the sweets and carbs when I haven’t gotten enough sleep.  It’s the worst feeling, you are trying to make up for the sleep deprivation with the very things that make you crash!  They say that inadequate rest can make it harder to stick to a healthy lifestyle too.  Studies have shown that people who sleep six hours or less a night tend to eat more snacks in the evening (me!) and also get in less physical activity the next day.  Plus when you’re exhausted, you’re less likely to want to pack your own lunch or prepare a healthy dinner (also me!).

Weight Watchers Weekly provides a bedtime routine that reminds you that having a routine isn’t just for children, everyone can benefit from a pre-bed schedule.  Here’s what they suggest:
  1. Choose pre-sleep activated that help you wind down to get a better nights sleep.  Some things that you can try:
    1. Turn off the electronics an hour before bed, leave them in another room
    2. Take a warm shower
    3. lay out clothes for the next day
    4. Pack lunch
    5. Brush teeth
    6. Write down three things you’re grateful for
    7. Read a chapter book
    8. Practice meditation or breathing exercise
  2. Choose your bedtime.  Work backward fro your wake-up time and pick a bedtime that allows for the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
    1. What time I need to wake up_________
    2. What time I will go to bed _________
    3. How many hours of sleep is this? ____________
  3. Figure out when to start your bedtime routine.  How long will it take me to choose an outfit for tomorrow?  To take a shower?  Make sure you start in early enough to hot the hay at your desired bedtime.
Now I know, some of you are laughing hysterically while reading this.  You’re saying to yourself-I have a family and getting these kids to sleep at a reasonable time is hard enough!  Or my other personal statement of when the kids are asleep I have 5 million other things to do while they’re out of my hair!  HOWEVER!! I have a goal of laying in bed by 10:30 each night and my alarm goes off at 5:50 each morning.  This gives me 7hours and 20minutes of sleep if I hit this goal.  With that said my iPhone tells me that I have averaged 6hours and 54minutes.  Not too shabby!

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