Looking to jumpstart your health and fitness regimen and lower your blood sugar? If so, there is an area of your life that you must put in order: your dream. For some people, the key to better weight control may be a good night’s sleep.
As challenging as it may be, sleep will be the biggest factor in how healthy you feel. You do not believe me? Get five hours of sleep for two to three weeks straight and see how you think and how many snacks you eat to gain energy. You will become miserable. You may be one of those few people who doesn’t need much sleep, but most people aren’t like that. They need sleep to survive and stay healthy. Therefore, it can be helpful to come to understand the main factors that influence your sleep to ensure that they do not interfere with your sleep.
For almost everyone, three things will have the most significant effect. I call these the three “S’s.” They are …
1. Stress. If you feel stressed, this will affect your ability to fall asleep. We all experience stress at times, but the more we can control our anxiety, the healthier we will be.
Not sure how to combat stress? Try meditation. Or even take a deep breath if you can’t meditate for whatever reason. Exercise is also a useful way to help reduce stress.
2. Screens. Electronic displays are another major source of stress to avoid. The problem is that the electronics are going to emit a type of light that tends to stimulate your brain. By doing so, it connects you so that you are awake, making it almost impossible to fall asleep.
Many people have a habit of looking at their cell phone before falling asleep – this is one of the worst actions to take when expecting to fall asleep. Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices at least one hour before bed.
3. Stimulants. Be careful with your stimulants – caffeine can get in the way. How many people drink coffee late into the afternoon and then complain of trouble sleeping? Too many to count. Cut out the caffeine if you can, and if you can’t, at least limit yourself to drinking no more than 100 mg before 10 a.m. In this way, caffeine will be mostly out of your system before bed.
Note that caffeine has a half-life of six hours, so after six hours have passed, half of the caffeine still remains. Caffeine consumed six hours before bed affects the amount of sleep in more than an hour. Because of this, if you have trouble sleeping, you should stop drinking coffee 12 hours before bed. Instead, try decaf.
Getting the rest you need is essential: Lack of sleep can put you on weight even if you eat right and exercise.