I’m visiting Vermont this month and enjoying the lush green scenery, temperate weather and oodles of historic charm. The one thing I haven’t been enjoying is my sleepless nights!
I was complaining about my sleepless nights to a friend of mine this weekend and he suggested that I might be missing ‘city noise’. I assured him this wasn’t the case and that I love the peace and quiet, but who‘s to say what might trigger a brief stint of insomnia?
One thing’s for sure – losing sleep stinks! It affects your energy level, diminishes your cognitive skills, creates lethargy (which makes it challenging to exercise) and increases hunger. Not to mention the strain it puts on your body and organs.
There’s more news (albeit not new news) on sleep deprived adults. A recent Australian study (they can’t be more stressed than Americans – can they?), reports that only 3% of all adults get the recommended 8 hours of sleep.
Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM speaks about the negative effects that sleep deprivation can have on efforts to lose weight:
“Studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet suggests that sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the body’s metabolism, which may make it more difficult to maintain or lose weight.”
Can’t Sleep? Here are 10 Tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.
7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
8. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
9. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
For more helpful information on getting a better night’s sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation website and learn more about ‘Healthy Sleeping Tips’.