Are Your Sleep Habits Causing Weight Gain?
Master trainer Serena Wipper “weighs in” on the connection between sleep, workouts, and weight gain
Ever have one those nights where you just can’t get to sleep?
Or worse, you wake up at 2 a.m. and can’t fall back to sleep?
This topic comes up a lot with our early morning workouts. Poor sleep has been associated with depression, anxiety, poor work/school performance, and weight gain.
Here are some suggestions to try to help you get some ZZZZ’s while improving your workouts and overall health:
Comfort: We all know that a comfy bed, dark room, and quiet environment can help us sleep. Did you know that the ambient light from your clock or the delivery truck can also disturb your sleep cycle? Hide the clock or try wearing eye patches if you are light sensitive. With two children, I have found an ear plug works great in one ear to drown out some noise. Some people use white noise or fans to block sounds. Whatever works for you, make your sleeping area a quiet and relaxing place.
Food/Alcohol: I’ve heard many times from clients that wine/alcohol helps them to sleep. Alcohol is a depressant and can help you initially get to sleep. However, it is also hard to process on the liver and dehydrating. After a quick sleep, you may find your body waking you up to process the effects of wine/liquor. High fat/heavy foods are also hard on the system before bed.
Try to stop eating 3 hours before bed. Night is when your body slows down and rests. A heavy meal will not only inhibit sleep, but cause weight gain.
Anxiety : “Worrying about things never got us anywhere” Well, that’s easy to say if you can shut off your brain!
Some tips if you are thinker at bedtime:
1) Keep a note pad next to your bed. If you wake up, jot down your thoughts/worries/to do lists
2) Redirect your thoughts with a “happy place” – Imagine yourself in your favorite calm environment like the beach or mountains so your brain doesn’t keep spinning.
3) Let it go… Find a mantra or saying to repeat to yourself to get your mind off of the to do list.
Technology: switch off your phone, tv, pc at least 1 hour before bedtime and try an evening sleep routine. A calm bath, lavender lotions/scents, comfy jammies, and a good room temp approx.. 68 degrees will all help you sleep.
Calm/Meditate/Breathe – this is a new one for me and has been working great when I wake up in the middle of the night. Download an application on your phone like CALM. This app has calming sounds and guided meditation to get your mind off of life and back to sleep. You can use this app for free or upgrade and use it to incorporate more mediation and mindfulness to your life. Or try deep breathing techinques to slow your thoughts and heart rate
Teas/Supplements- Calmomile, melatonin, valerian and other supplements have been show to help people sleep. Check out your local store or visit www.bodybuilidng.com for healthy sleeping teas and herbs that might work for you.