My first article of this year listed 6 rituals to implement to get the Bride Fit body you desire in 2017. I wanted to focus today on one of those habits on the list that I believe most don’t take as seriously compared to the others because of lack of understanding of how absolutely necessary it is in the success of your fat loss goals, reaching optimal levels of health and positively impacting the quality of your life. The great news is that I’m NOT talking about fitting more hours in at the gym, eating more vegetables or replacing food with shakes. I’m referring to SLEEP. Did you know that by not getting enough shut-eye you are greatly reducing your ability to release fat because your metabolic system is not able to function the way it should? I’ll go as far as to say that sleeping an extra one to two hours will be more beneficial to achieving your Bride Fit body than doing extra workouts if you are currently not sleeping enough. Yep, I said that! Sleep deprivation is a condition of not having enough sleep. Side effects to it include:
- Daytime sleepiness– hello carb and sugar cravings!
- Lack of brain function– tendency to make poor food choices!
- Depression- serious lack of energy and motivation!
- Decreased fat loss– can undermine all fat release efforts!
According to Dan Pardi, MS, a leading authority in the science of sleep world and CEO of DAN’SPLAN, the amount of sleep a person needs per night is very specific to that individual. Most brides get all the sleep they need if they are in bed between 7 and 9 hours per night. The goal is to feel energetic and alert during the day without requiring multiple cups of coffee to feel functional. There are some suggestions to optimize your time in bed to promote quality sleep, which is the magic bean! Dan defines high quality sleep as the most restorative night of sleep that you can attain, both for the body and mind. This is the type of sleep that makes you feel ready to perform at maximum capacity in life, and also helps you age healthfully and control body weight. WOW! I think that’s something to write down and read daily. You’re body is healing and restoring while sleeping so it can function optimally!
According to the National Sleep Foundation, we are getting 20% less sleep than 40 years ago. Technology has greatly contributed to this sleep deprivation epidemic. Setting boundaries with phones, computers and TV’s is necessary to get adequate sleep and will also have the added benefit of getting more joy out of your relationship. Spend that 30 minutes of social media time you may be indulging in at night while laying in bed, cuddling with your love or reading a good book instead. Social media can increase anxiety and unhappiness and decrease natural production on melatonin, which is the hormone that keeps your internal clock working and plays a critical role in when we fall asleep and wake up.
You may be thinking that you don’t have the time to sleep anymore and accomplish what you need to do in a day. I promise you will increase your productivity and prioritize what needs to get done more efficiently by getting the proper sleep. Don’t fall into the mindset that it’s a badge of honor to sleep less!
The following are “sleep hygiene” suggestions to release fat and get “wedding dress ready”:
- Routine. Going to bed and getting up the same time everyday tells your body when you should sleep and when you should wake up. Getting sunlight exposure in the morning helps anchor your biological clock. Getting outside in the morning for a brisk 15-minute walk is a great way to start your day.
- Activity. Movement and mental activity during the day help you sleep better at night. Don’t give up sleep to fit in workouts. If you workout in the morning be sure to go to bed early to ensure you get the adequate amount of restoration time.
- Light and Dark. Light exposure techniques help you feel more awake during the day and sleepier before bed. A brisk walk in the morning supports feeling robustly alert during the day and facilitates deep sleep at night. Getting too much blue light (light bulbs, TV, computers, phone) can mask natural sleepiness and shift your natural sleep rhythm. I just learned that I could enable Night Shift on my iPhone for a softer light to lessen the negative effects of the blue light that our gadgets emit. Set your phone to reduce exposure to blue light at night! If you want to take a step further, check out amber tinted glasses to wear around at night, not the most fashionable statement but they work well!
- Food and Drink. Avoid big meals, alcohol, or heavy exercise 2 hours before bed. Stay away from caffeine at least 6 hours before bed.
- Environment. Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best; if it’s too hot it will be uncomfortable. It should be very dark and free of noise and artificial light. Cover or block illuminating light coming from your electronics and window. Blackout shades are a great idea! Use earplugs if the house is still up when you want to sleep without distraction.
- Clear Your Mind. Maintain a “to do” list or a journal next to your bed. When you have many things to think about, the mind works hard trying to remember them all. By writing down your thoughts and ideas it frees your mind. It is not uncommon to wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you have been dreaming or thinking about something you need to remember to take care of. Writing it down can help your mind relax and go back to sleep.
Getting quality sleep is a key factor in getting Bride Fit! I hope this information causes you to improve your sleep and sets you free of the ignorant pressure of “sleeping less and doing more!” Sleeping well and for the correct amount of time will accelerate your fat release. To get more guidance and support on how to achieve the Bride Fit body you desire and secrets to living “happily & healthily ever after,” JOIN my on-line Bride Fit program today and become an Extraordinary Bride!