By Team Best Life
Skimping on sleep on occasion won’t cause much damage, but if you do so on a regular basis you’ll begin to see the effects, such as a decrease in memory and attention and possibly even weight gain. How can you make sure to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night? Your first step is to be aware of seven common sleep saboteurs:
1. Alcohol: Many people believe a nightcap helps you sleep, and while it initially can help you relax, it ultimately interferes with your ability to stay asleep. In fact, one study found that men who consumed an alcoholic drink before bed spent more time in the lighter first stage of sleep and less time in the later deep stages of sleep compared to those who drank an alcohol-free or lower-alcoholic drink. And, as the effects of alcohol wore off, the men experienced more awakenings. Limit your alcohol intake, and if you are going to drink, try to do so earlier in the day.
As we move into spring it’s the perfect time to become more mindful of our sleep patterns. Adequate rest is important for so many reasons. Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour of Step it Up with Steph points out that adequate rest can help reset and cleanse our bodies to get back on track. “Some people even look at spring as a rebirth or revival and a chance to start over,” she said, suggesting more rest can be a “spring resolution” of sorts.
Mary Hartley, RD, agrees, noting good rest is necessary all year long. “Health wise, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise,” she said. “Getting enough sleep may also be a critical factor in a person’s weight.”
While 7-8 hours is recommended and a new study even suggests Americans are getting more shut eye than usual, it’s also important to ensure it’s quality rest. Otherwise, the benefits of those precious ZZZs can slip right through our fingers.
To help, we’ve gathered eight simple tips to help you start sleeping better and longer, tonight. (more…)
Being overweight or obese can cause a number of negative health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. However, if you’re carrying a few extra pounds and having difficulty sleeping at night, it’s entirely possible that sleep apnea may be to blame.
Sleep apnea, a condition that causes interruption in breathing during sleep, can be difficult to overcome. However, according to a new study reported by FYI Living, obese men with sleep apnea who lost an average of 25 pounds over the course of a year experienced a dramatic improvement in their condition.
This study, which analyzed 63 obese men between 30 and 65 years of age, measured a number of factors, including the number of times a person’s breathing was interrupted per hour at the baseline, again after nine weeks and finally after 52 weeks.
Researchers have reported that after the diet, participants with severe problems showed more improvement than those with milder sleep apnea and that those who lost more weight showed a larger improvement after the diet.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just shed unwanted pounds while you slept soundly in your bed each night? It might sound far-fetched, but according to Dr. Michael Breus it is entirely possible. In fact, he recently shared this idea of a “sleep diet” with Glamour Magazine, and together they did a study on a group of women to see how much weight they really could lose while catching their Zs. The results were quite remarkable. The women were encouraged not to change their diet or exercise habits, and instead get a solid 7.5 hours of sleep each night. Ten weeks later, the women had lost anywhere from three to 15 pounds! Dr. Breus says everyone was quite surprised, some were really shocked and some enjoyed significantly more energy. (more…)