I wanted to really take some time to emphasize the importance of sleep. Time and time again, it is evident that we live in a sleep-deprived country. Too many deadlines, projects, commitments, responsibilities, and work keep us from achieving optimal sleep levels. When new patients come to see me, I often ask for them to state their goals. It’s funny that sleep is never on that list or it is the last thing on the list.
Sleep is the foundation of health. Many of us are not even getting a solid 7 to 8 hours per night. A single night of sleep deprivation can actually cause insulin resistance. You can imagine the long-term consequences if this persists to be a continuous problem. No wonder why many of us cannot lose weight despite so many changes in our diet and physical activity. So when I address this with my patients, my basic lifestyle suggestion is to make sure sleep is the most important factor to help you lose weight, increase energy and improve memory.
Here are some basic sleep tips to ensure you get a good solid sleep EVERY NIGHT.
1. Create a consistent BEDTIME and WAKETIME 7 days per week. Yes, including weekends!
2. Start preparing for bedtime around 7:30 pm. Start dimming lights to encourage melatonin production.
3. Insulate your room against sound and light.
4. Keep your room temperature moderate. Excessively warm or cold temperatures can disturb sleep.
5. Avoid caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, colas) in the evening
6. Add in relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation. This exercise helps systematic tensing and relaxation of muscle groups.
7. Journal, meditate and practice deep breathing before bed. This can help you minimize stress and encourage more relaxation.
8. Spray some lavender in the room.
Practice makes perfect. If you are struggling with weight and low energy, I challenge you to test this out for yourself and aim to make sleep a priority for the next 30 days. I bet you will lose a few pounds and have the energy to do what you love!