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  • Jill Maher Wellness

How Important is Sleep?


For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.


Sleep...dear sleep. This is very near and dear to my heart right now with a newborn living under our roof! I've spent many late night hours googling newborn sleep patterns, and this segued into thinking about clients' sleep patterns as it relates to weight loss and overall health.

I have a number of clients with very demanding jobs, which translates to elevated levels of stress and decreased hours of sleep.

Let's talk about what repeated sleep deprivation does to your body and overall health...

1. Weight gain

2. Decreased energy levels

3. Depression and decreased overall mental clarity

4. Negative impact on hormones, especially those regulating appetite

5. Premature aging

6. Development of more serious health problems, including: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.


How can you improve your sleep?

1. Unplug at night! If you must use your phone or computer, use a program like f.lux to reduce blue light, which disrupts peoples' circadian rhythms.

2. Incorporate stress-reducing exercises, such as low impact Yin and Restorative Yoga, which encourage deep breathing and low impact stretching.

3. Reduce sugar and caffeine intake - especially in the evenings. Too much sugar and processed carbohydrates spikes your blood sugar, which makes it difficult to fall asleep. Consuming caffeine too late in the day also makes it difficult to fall asleep.

4. Sleep with the sun. Attention all of you night owls! Your circadian rhythm should synch with the sun. In the morning, your cortisol, adrenalin, and serotonin (awake hormones) levels should be at their highest and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels should be at their lowest. These hormone levels reverse in the evening as the sun sets. What does this mean? To get quality sleep you need to go to bed early and wake up reasonably early with the sun. As my hubby's grandfather used to say, "Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise!" (I'm not sure about the wealthy party, but I agree with the healthy and wise!)

I found this sleep needs chart, and thought it was a good reference for how many hours you should be getting each night:


http://www.uninterruptedsleep.com/sleep-matters/sleep-deprivation/

For more information and help achieving your health and nutrition goals, contact me today! I work in-person, by phone, or by skype/facetime with my clients.

#cleaneating #Nutrition

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