a. I am in bed by 10 PM each night
b. I stay up much later most nights
a. I fall asleep easily
b. I have a hard time falling asleep
a. I wake naturally at a fairly regular time
b. The alarm usually jolts me awake
a. I sleep a solid 7-9 hours most nights
b. I sleep 6 or less hours most nights
a. I wake up energized and ready for the day
b. I’m dragging until I get a cup of coffee in me
If you answered b more often than a, your sleep hygiene (practices for good sleep) could use some improvements and here’s why:
🌀 Chronic lack of sleep alters hormones that control appetite and promote weight gain. Your sleep deprived brain gets more signals to eat and less signals that you are full or satisfied.
🌀 Sleep deprivation is similar to the impairment of drinking 2-3 beers. You can’t exercise well or make good food choices (or other decisions) when you are drunk.
🌀 Inadequate sleep leads to lost lean muscle mass because you miss out on the chance to repair and rebuild, as well as getting that all important human growth hormone that is released most during sleep. As we age, we cannot afford to give up our muscles.
🌀 Lack of sleep releases the stress hormone cortisol which leads to a day where you are irritable and easily agitated. Menopausal women suffer greater damage from this kind of stress, which may lead to visceral fat deposits and blocked weight loss.
🌀 During sleep, the biological waste products are removed from our bodies through an essential process called autophagy – like little tiny garbagemen. This process improves metabolism and slows aging. Our brains are particularly susceptible to damage, with little room for waste. Lack of sleep is like having those garbagemen on strike.
What can you do to improve your sleep?
Take a look at my FREE Best Sleep Guide for ways to up your sleep hygiene starting tonight! Don’t waste your good eating and exercise habits with a bad nights sleep.