The average working American gets less than five hours of sleep a night. The reality is that we need a minimum of 7 (optimumly 9) hours of sleep.
During sleep, our body releases hormones that regulate our biological clock, and benefit our body tissues by increasing muscle growth and speeds up fat-loss.
During a lack of sleep, our body increases a stress hormone called “cortisol”. The release of cortisol increases our appetite. Because of the lack of sleep, our body then has a difficult time metabolizing charbohydrates. This in turn leads to raised blood sugar, which leads to an increase in insulin. An increase in insulin is a signal for our body to store fat.
So, what can we do to get a good night’s sleep?
1) Make the room COLD : Yup, I hate it too, after all that’s why we live here! But, studies have shown that the ideal temp for sleep is between a chilly 60-68*
2) Make your room as quiet as possible: Consider wearing earplugs and keep the TV off, if you can, turn off the cell phone.- the radiation from them can increase the amount of time to reach deep sleep cycles. Not to mention the distraction created by the incoming text or email.
3) Make your room Really Dark: Our body’s naturally increase melatonin in the absence of sunlight, even a little bit of light can interfere with melatonin levels.
4) Set a sleep schedule: Avoid intellectually stimulating reading material, TV shows and instead pick up a book you wouldn’t normally choose and read for 15 min. before bed. To re-establish a normal sleep cycle, avoid sleeping in on the weekend and instead try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time that you do week days.
5) Sleep on a good mattress and pillow: A sprinkle of lavender oil on your pillowcase also helps to promote a restful sleep