Healthy Living: It Starts with a Good Night of Sleep

Sleep PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

Sleepless nights can lead to unhealthy decisions. How many times have you gotten only a few hours of sleep, and then craved a salad or fresh veggies? I can honestly say NEVER.  People always say “you can sleep when you’re dead” but we can’t live by that. If you have trouble sleeping, or are looking for a better night of sleep, here are some tips and tricks.

Don’t just live with a sleep problem…do something about it. Let’s start with napping.

Napping can be a bad habit. A nap can either be helpful or harmful. If you got less than 6 hours of sleep during the night, you are more likely to feel sleepy during the day and want to take a nap. Timing of a nap is very important.  The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep says “unless your safety is in danger and you need the nap to stay awake for the next few hours you are usually better off toughing it out until you get to your regular bedtime.” If you try to stick it out and don’t nap during the day, your night of sleep to come will be deeper and more successful.

Exercise regularly. We know that exercise if good for our health, but it is also beneficial for your sleep as well.  Exercise reduces stress and anxiety allowing you to have a more comfortable night of sleep. Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep believes “that regular exercise and subsequent increase in physical fitness boosts the brain’s production of serotonin, a chemical that promotes sleep.” This has been tested and proven. So there is another GREAT reason to workout!

Maintain a healthy diet. The pros and cons of particular food changes all of the time. There are always new and amazing bars, drinks, and treats that they say “will help you lose weight”. The trouble with this is, how do we believe it? Here is a simple tip…just remember to eat clean! Typically, the fewer the ingredients, the better it is for you. If you can’t pronounce it, then it’s probably not good either. Eating healthy keeps your body on track and allows you to relax and get a better night of sleep. Too much sugar will keep you up at night. I am not saying to NEVER eat candy or anything, because we all need a treat once in a while, but try to avoid eating sweets close to bedtime.

None of this should be new to you. Be healthy, and be happy.  Sleep well, and go conquer the world! If you are looking for more tips on sleep, check out The Harvard Medical School Guide to A Good Night’s Sleep. A great read!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman