Regular, peaceful sleep is one of the key missing ingredients in many women's attempts at getting in shape. Common sense tells us that a lack of enough good sleep sets us up to feel too tired to meet the demands of a busy life, feel calm and peaceful, and still find time to work out and eat well.
When we fail to sleep well on a regular basis, we pretty much guarantee failure with our efforts at weight loss and more importantly, fat loss. A lack of sleep and slimming down just do not go well together.
On a more scientific level, when we do not get enough sleep, our body produces too much of a substance called cortisol. When your body makes too much cortisol, that means you will most likely experience an increase in appetite.
So how can you achieve regular nights of peaceful sleep? Here are some ideas that have helped me at different times. I hope they will help you, too.
(Do you have some tips of your own to share? Please use the form at the bottom of this page to share your thoughts!)
Start with prayer. Pray for God to give you wisdom to know what you may need to change, to get more peaceful sleep each night. Pray God will show you the best ways for you to make those changes. God cares about you. He created you, and created sleep.
He knows all about everything in this universe. Including you and every detail of your struggles.
Establish a daily exercise routine (you knew I would say this, right?). Maybe you find you are not tired at a decent bedtime. Or you wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. You might need to give yourself some more physical activity.
Or maybe you need to drink more water. And drink it earlier in the day. Dehydration can limit your energy level in the early part of the day. Then you might find you get a burst of energy around the time you should be slowing down and going to sleep. This can be corrected with small, simple changes.
If you have children who are otherwise healthy, but wake you up at night, you owe it to yourself, your husband, and your children to do what you can to fix this problem. There is a lot of good advice on available to help healthy children, and even babies, sleep better. Find the tips that fit with your family's ways, and use them!
Establish a healthy bedtime routine, that includes going to bed at a decent hour. And stick to the right kinds of healthy snacks in the evening, if you have to eat after supper. Some find chamomile tea helps them wind down for the night.
Don't forget a good morning routine! This may be the best time of day for your workouts, if you are trying to sleep better at night.
Are you comfortable enough to sleep well each night? It is a good idea to sleep on a good quality mattress. (Though we have had a few problems with our Sleep Number Air Bed, we still love it.) Use a good pillow under your head. A soft down body pillow helps me feel comfortable, so I can sleep well.
One other thing I recommend you do is memorize scripture while you are awake, and meditate on it while you lie awake in bed. Especially if anxiety is keeping you awake. Click through to get some tips on how to memorize Bible Verses, and learn some great verses of encouragement to get you started.
What helps you sleep well? What is your biggest challenge with getting enough sleep? Have you noticed how sleep (or lack of sleep) affects your weight? Share your story, tips or other thoughts about sleeping well.
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