Sleep more, weigh less
Michael writes "According to recently published research, sleep can have a large effect on weight
gain - and if you didn't guess: less sleep means more pounds!
According to an article in Medical News Today about research done by Care Western University in Ohio, women who get 5 hours of sleep per night are 30% more likely to gain 33 pounds over a 16 year period than those who get 7 hours of sleep per night. Women who slept 5 hours a night put on 1.6 pounds per year more than those who slept 7 hours per night. Over the years, that number adds up! Less weight gain is not the only advantage of good sleep. Those who sleep more have fewer accidents, feel better, perform better, and are in better general health. Keep in mind that 8 hours of sleep per night is not a magical number, but rather an average. Your sleep needs may be higher or lower. Here are some tips for good sleep:
- Avoid stimulants as much as possible. These include caffeine and nicotine. The half life of caffeine in the blood is about 6 hours. That means if you drink a cup of coffee at 4PM, you'll still have half a cup of coffee in your blood at 10PM.
- Try to establish a regular sleep schedule. Many people will sleep less during the work week and then sleep more during the weekend. However, this irregular schedule means that you are sleep deprived most of the week. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Take a closer look at your bedtime if you need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning. Try going to bed soon
- Establish bedtime rituals. Drink a cup of hot herbal tee or read a relaxing book. Give your body clear signals that it is time to go to sleep.
- Avoid big meals shortly before bedtime. Having a full stomach during sleep often leads to trouble falling and staying asleep. Herbs and herbal tees such as peppermint and chamomile relax your digestive tract and make digestion more comfortable
- Avoid other foods that lead to indigestion and heart burn.
- View sleep as something positive rather than something negative. If you are a student, you may be tempted to stay up all night studying for an exam. However, studies have shown that those who are well rested perform far better than those who cram (cramming can also make you tense, which, again, can lead to poor performance). You aren't missing out on life if you sleep enough, and you certainly aren't lazy!
If you think you have sleep problems, consult your doctor. Many sleep problems and disorders are very common and many can be treated rather easily. Good night. Sleep tight!"