One Step to Better Health

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One Step to Better Health

Rise and shineWhen you think about health and wellness, you probably conjure up images of delicious salads and lean sources of protein like salmon. You might also picture yourself taking long walks on the beach, riding a bike, or even competing in a charity race. And you definitely know that regular consultations with your weight loss physician, and routine preventive screenings for common illnesses, can keep you on top of your game. But there is one more component of wellness that is frequently overlooked… and it might even be the most important of all!

Sleep! Yes, sleeping requires you to lie down and do pretty much nothing at all. So it often slips our minds when we think about healthy habits and taking care of ourselves. After all, we tend to focus on actions like exercise or eating nutritious foods. But adequate sleep is actually so essential to good health, that a lack of quality sleep will impact everything from your mood to your fitness level to – yes – your weight loss plan.

Unfortunately, most of you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, you will notice the following symptoms:

  1. Weight gain, or difficulty losing weight, because a lack of sleep disrupts your hormone balance
  2. Mood swings, crankiness, irritability
  3. Headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory problems
  4. Cravings for sugary foods
  5. Lack of energy
  6. Lack of motivation to get through your exercise routine
  7. Sore muscles – your body needs sleep to recuperate from your workouts

If any of this sounds familiar, the best thing you can do for your health is to get more sleep! Yes, it’s easier said than done. But much like you rearranged your priorities to include healthy foods and regular exercise, you might once again need to reorder them to include a bit more sleep at night.

So, sit down and brainstorm about the causes for your lack of sleep (it can be different for everyone). Are you watching TV or using a smartphone during the hour or so before bedtime? That can disrupt brain waves that signal sleep to begin. Are you disturbed by bright lights or noise? You might need to purchase room darkening shades, ear plugs, or a white noise machine. Is your schedule the culprit? Make the necessary lifestyle changes so that you can get in bed a little earlier every night.

As always, give us a call to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing difficulty with your weight, a lack of energy, or other symptoms that concern you. Aside from needing more sleep, you might require additional medical attention or a referral to a nutritionist.