Sleep Habits

Contributor: Leslie Bobo
Photographer: Saffron & Sage
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You’re working out and eating healthy, but you’re only getting 5 hours of sleep per night – sound familiar? Getting any less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night can actually promote weight gain. When you aren’t getting enough sleep your hunger hormones are out of alignment. Ghrelin, your hunger hormone, increases, and leptin, your satiety hormone decreases. That’s right, when you haven’t had enough sleep your body is basically going to tell you to eat more.  As well as increasing your hunger hormone, too little sleep can lead to inflammation, increased cortisol levels, and slower metabolism. So, now that we know the downfalls of not getting enough sleep, here are some tips to make sure you are winding down at the right time and getting good quality sleep.

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  1. Turn off all electronics one hour before bedtime. When we stare at electronics before bedtime our brain is continuously being stimulated by the light, not allowing us to wind down and fall asleep.
  2. Limit coffee intake to 1 cup (not one large cup – 8oz.) before 9 a.m.  The later we have caffeine during the day, the harder it is for our bodies to know when it’s time to calm down. Limiting your caffeine intake to a small amount in the mornings only will let your body and mind know when it’s time to rest at night. (If you’re still in need of an afternoon pick me up try adding adaptogens in to your routine).
  3. Diffusing essential oils is another great way to get relaxed and ready for bed. Scents like lavender, frankincense, and chamomile are all known to calm the mind and promote tranquility.
  4. Lastly, if you can’t seem to shut your mind off at night try journaling. It’s hard to fall asleep when you are thinking of all of the things you have to do tomorrow. Writing them down can get them off of your mind for the time being, and in the morning you have a list reminding you of what needs to be done.