Trouble Sleeping Through the Night?
This feeling is all too familiar in the day to day lives of busy women. Oftentimes, this feeling is the result of a lack of good quality sleep.
A lack of sleep can mean different things to different women. Some women might be dealing with the effects of menopause with it's hormonal shifts and night sweats, and therefore have trouble sleeping through the night. Other women might be stressed and overextended with professional and personal commitments, and therefore get to sleep an hour or two later than they should every night (who else can relate to this feeling?). Many women simply have trouble clearing their mind and truly benefiting from a full night's rest, for what seems like no reason at all.
Do not fear, although sleep disturbances can be very normal, there are many things that can be done to address them. To help us do just that, today I will be talking about how sleep affects our health, as well as sharing an amazing caffeine-free chai latte recipe!
We Are Always Learning About Sleep
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in our bodies and minds. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and inflammation. And, let's not forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Did you know that lack of sleep may even lessen the health benefits of your exercise regime?
Wow! What aspect of health does sleep not affect?
The 3 Main Purposes of Sleep
- To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even detoxify our brains while we sleep.
- To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as synaptic plasticity.
- To conserve some energy so that our brain does not need to feel 100% active, 24 hours a day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It's less than your growing kids need, but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7 - 9 hours of sleep every night. For real!
Make sure you don't skimp and get the sleep that your body needs by reading the actionable tips listed below. They will help you do just that!
Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
- Most importantly, try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you'll be more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights (and cellphones...and computers...) 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks, your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
- Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. Eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (they are full of blood sugar balancing fiber). Choose whole grain bread instead white bread, choose the whole orange instead of the juice. Make sure you're getting some protein and a small amount of fat with each meal.
- During the day, get some fresh air and exercise. These things let your body know that it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day, you will be able to wind down more easily in the evening.
- Stop caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it's the added sugar we're minimizing. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below).
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your lights out time (8 - 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This might include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading a book or having a bath.
How many of these tips can you start implementing today?
Caffeine-Free Chai Latte Recipe
- 1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 pitted medjool dates (optional)
- Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.
- Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender.
- Blend until creamy.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavour combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?
"I will always remember the day I went shopping to start this program and cried in the grocery store! I was so overwhelmed! You were so supportive and told me I could do this. I didn’t believe in myself but you did! From the bottom of my heart and I want to say thank you!"
-Simple Swaps Member Bonnie.
Want Help Feeling Your Best?
Do you want help planning your meals to maximize your down time, find out more about how food can improve your sleep cycle, or simply talk about what you can do to increase your overall well-being?
In order to help you determine your specific needs and personalized steps so you can feel your absolute best, I'd love for you to book a free health coaching call. I want to find out what you are struggling with and give you my best tips to start you on a journey toward a lean and healthy body for life.
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