You may be sleep deprived if you…

  • Need an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Rely on the snooze button
  • Have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
  • Feel sluggish in the afternoon
  • Get sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Get drowsy after heavy meals or when driving
  • Need to nap to get through the day
  • Fall asleep while watching TV or relaxing in the evening
  • Feel the need to sleep in on weekends
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed

How sleep deprivation can add to your waistline

Ever noticed how when you have a night filled with disrupted or lack of sleep you crave sugary foods to fill your energy needs? There’s a good reason for that. There are two hormones in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. However, when don’t get the sleep you need, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal. Then your leptin levels go down, meaning you don’t feel satisfied and want to keep eating. So, the more sleep you lose, the more food your body will crave, and who wants that?

Sleep deprivation is linked to: Fatigue, lethargy, lack of motivation, irritability, reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, reduced immunity, concentration and memory problems, impaired motor skills, difficulty making decisions, and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Yikes, let’s get some sleep!! It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, however there are so many other benefits to proper sleep. For me, it enhances my mood. How do you feel when you get a good nights sleep?

Have you thought about journaling track your sleep and see areas that can be improved upon? Visit here for a sleep journal.

Below are some tips that you can try to increase your sleep:

Create a perfect sleeping environment

  • Make your room dark: Purchase and install black out blinds or curtains to minimize the external stimulus of light.
  • Turn your phone away from you: Place technology at least 2 feet away from you while you sleep to avoid temptation and harmful EMFs.
  • Make your room quiet: Consider using earplugs to mute disruptive noises such as outside chatter, vehicles, or a partner snoring. A fan, humidifier, or air filter can create white noise and be soothing.

Develop a bedtime ritual

  • Try deep breathing to relax your mind and body: You can find some techniques here
  • Workout earlier in the day: Make sure your workout is at least 3 hours before your bedtime if possible
  • Make a to-do list: Write down tasks for the next day so you can relax
  • Turn off electronics: At least a half hour before falling asleep
  • Drink some tea: Bedtime, sleepy time, chamomile, kava kava, or an herbal tea of choice is soothing to the soul
  • Read a book or magazine: Choose something that won’t cause any anxiety like a non-fiction book or health magazine
  • Go to the bathroom: Directly before going to bed you should empty your bladder fully
  • Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time: Even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening: They can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. Finish eating dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Eat a bedtime snack: If you have gone longer than 3 1/2 hours of eating your dinner have may try a small bedtime snack that consists of a protein, healthy fat, and carb. This can stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the night and assist in a full night’s sleep
  • Sleep 8-9 hours a night for optimal health and mental alertness

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get some shut-eye!