How can Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

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Let’s talk about something I know we all loveSLEEP! 
There are some pretty awesome benefits to getting the recommended amount of sleep! On top of that, if you do have trouble with falling asleep… stay tuned for some tips that can help.  Let’s not forget the weekly challenge! So here we go straight to SLEEP.. well… not yet guys! Otherwise you’re going to miss all this awesome info!

Whether you’re a mom, or a dad, or a young sprout making their way into adulthood…their way into adulthood… sleep is a very important part of your day.  In fact, it’s actually recommended that adults get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  The average adolescent needs between 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep a night.

13 year olds need even more! About 10 hours! But lets face it! With school, and work, and now our cell phones and other electronics, it’s pretty hard to get those much needed and recommended Zs.

In fact almost 26% of adolescents get less than 6.5 hours of sleep on weeknights. Crazy!!

Really though, how many of you have stayed up all night cramming for a test? Or stayed up watching TV and can’t get to sleep? I have…Or woke up extra early so you could skip traffic on your way to work and even school? Yup.. me too.  Whatever the reason, there are a few awesome benefits you are missing out on.  So for those of you who love sleep like I do but for some reason can’t get as much as you need, today is a great day for you!

Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

First, sleep is super important for memory! That’s right! Sleep is crucial if you want to put anything you learn in school into long-term memory.  Sleep helps solidify new knowledge, and even helps you find creative ways to understanding tough concepts! So if you find yourself having some trouble learning a tough task or studying a tough subject…. SLEEP ON IT!Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

Not only is sleep great for memory, but its also important for alertness and paying attention! Sitting in class for hours is daunting…

I know.. I bet you think your parents forgot what it was like to try and absorb everything like a little sponge all day long… some might have… others remember better than you think.  Bottom line.. if you want to pay attention for all those hours without dozing off the best thing you can do is get a good night’s sleep!

So when it comes to anything academic.. sleep is a great study buddy! 

The same goes for work! Getting the recommended amount of sleep increases productivity. 

Having your boss say you’re productive is a great thing! So make sure you get those Zs so you can impress those around you with your awesome work performance! But sleep isn’t just important for your BRAIN! That’s right all the things I just mentioned are Brain benefits. Sleep is also important to avoid getting sick! In fact..getting good sleep not only keeps you sick free from things like a common cold.. it actually helps your body make more anti-bodies when vaccinated. Okay so it affects your immune system in a good way! Keeps you healthy!

Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

But did you know getting enough sleep is also important for a healthy balanced diet???. 

Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

Studies have shown that if you don’t get enough sleep you might prefer to eat foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates.

So getting good sleep helps you stay on the balanced healthy streak so you can fit into your favorite clothes all year around!

Sure lots of things can also affect the things you crave or how much you want to eat like exercise. 

You might also just have cravings so remember to replace them with healthier options.

BUT sleep definitely plays a role here too.  In fact, if you don’t get enough sleep you end up messing around with the hormones that tell you “I’m full” and “I’m hungry”. 

To the point that your body will say “I’m not full” and “I’m still hungry”.  So you eat more!  Did you know that people who sleep 5 hours or less per night are at higher risk of becoming overweight/obese compared to those who get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep?  Crazy what good sleep can do for your body huh?

Granted it’s not the only factor that plays a role on maintaining a healthy weight, but aside from helping you maintain a healthy weight.. sleep is important for another thing too. Your mood.

If you’ve never tried to pay attention to how you feel when you’ve lost a few hours of sleep….

you should this week!  Getting the recommended amount of sleep also improves your mood.  You’re happier!  In fact, not sleeping well can make you irritable, and can even bring on some feelings of sadness and depression.  Your mood plays a huge role on how you interact with other around you like your friends and family.

Don’t forget your emotions also change your healthy behaviors like what foods you choose to eat, and how much.  So like I said….sleep plays a role on maintaining a healthy weight! But also maintaining your healthy lifestyle.  Who feels like working out when they’re sad and gloomy… who feels like eating all the right things and avoiding those high carb zero nutrition snacks if you’re feeling down?

Getting good sleep is important for your overall health!

Lets talk a little about blood pressure.  For you teens.. this doesn’t sound like it should be an issue.. but for parents this is very important.  Did you know that short sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure?

So as you can see…there are many reasons to do your best to get a good nights rest.  Not only does it help with your school and work performance, but you’re also better able to fight off any infection, you’re in a better mood, and you protect yourself from having high blood pressure.

Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors. But what if you have issues falling asleep? What if you lay there and try and try and stare at the clock wishing you could just fall to sleep but just can’t??

Here are a few tips to improve your sleep routine… what is known as sleep hygiene.

Tip 1:  Do your best to have a schedule… go to be and wake up at the same time every day.. yes.. even on weekends! It helps your body naturally fall asleep because we are after all creatures of habit.

Tip 2: Exercise!  Exercise is a great way to help you burn energy and get you ready for bed… for some though exercising too close to bed time will actually prevent sleep… but everyone is different! See what works for you and go with it! But in general it’s a good idea NOT to workout 2-3 hours before going to bed.

Tip 3: No coffee and no nicotine!  Anything with caffeine and even chocolate can keep you awake.  The stimulating effects of these can last up to 8 hours! Nicotine is also a stimulant.  Now obviously its not a rule for everyone… some coffee drinkers can get tolerance to its effects so even a cup at night won’t keep them up…Like me ha! So like I’ve said… see what works for you!

Tip 4:  No alcohol before bed! For many having a glass of wine or a cup of just one drink helps them relax. The problem is that it prevents your body from getting DEEP sleep, so even though you sleep your 7-8 hours.. the quality isn’t that great.

Tip 5: Snacking is okay, but avoid huge meals and drinking too many liquids before bed.  First off, huge meals before bed can lead to indigestion, and it will affect your sleep.  Second, if you drink too many liquids before bed, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to urinate! Bye bye sleep.

Tip 6:  Don’t take naps late in the day.  The National Institute of Health recommends not taking a nap after 3pm.. but this is when schools are often released. I know when I was in middle school and high school, taking a small nap when I got home was heaven. So why not too late or even after 3pm?  It might prevent you from falling asleep when its bedtime.. but like I keep saying.. we’re all different!

Tip 7:  Relax before bed!  You can take a bath, or listen to some music.. don’t go straight from working and studying to trying to fall asleep.. your brain is wired! So make sure you give it time to settle before trying to go into sleep mode.

Tip 8:  Have a good sleep environment.  This means don’t use your phone or tablet in bed.  Even the temperature is important. You sleep better if its slightly cool.

Tip 9:  Did you know that your sleep cycle also depends on how much sunlight you’re exposed to?  Yes! So if possible go outside and get that Vitamin Sun at least 30 minutes every day!

Try waking up with the sun! Frozen had the right idea! “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake”!

There you have it! 9 tips to help you get your needed sleepBut what if you don’t get the sleep you need? What then?

Nap!  Even though naps don’t actually replace a good nights rest. 

It does improve your mood and attention enough to get work done. 

So if you’re feeling sleepy… take a nap. But do your best to limit them to 20 minutes.  Any more and you might find yourself having a hard time waking up or feeling refreshed. 

Anyone work the night shift? If you do here are a few tips to help regulate your sleep.

  • Add naps to your regular sleep time
  • Get the workplace bright and shiny!
  • Avoid switching shift hours too often so your body’s biological clock can get used to your new hours
  • Daytime sleep is tough, especially if your room is bright and loud… so do what you can to get a dark room (blind folds), and quiet (ear plugs).
  • Don’t drink TOO much coffee as your shift comes to an end.. only towards the beginning… unless you’re used to it and it does nothing to you.

I hope these help!Lack of Sleep can Affect your Eating Habits and Behaviors.

                     

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