If you're in the process of losing weight, there is something to consider besides your exercise and diet. Of course, making sure your diet is on point and you're getting plenty of exercise is essential for achieving your intended fitness goals. But another thing to consider in your fitness journey is getting enough sleep.
You wouldn't think that sleep is a necessary factor when it comes to getting in shape. We can put a lot of emphasis on healthy eating and exercise that we often forget about other elements that help you become successful with your goals. Sleep is one of those factors. Pay attention.
Poor sleep has been scientifically proven to impact weight gain. Getting less than seven hours of sleep can affect your weight over time....and not in a good way, unfortunately.
When you're tired and you are not getting enough sleep, it is said to increase your appetite. This is related to certain hormones in the body that induce hunger and suppress hunger. When you do not get enough sleep, this produces the hormone (called ghrelin) that signals hunger. Its function is to secrete into the bloodstream, travel to the brain, where it triggers the neurons in the hypothalamus to signal what we know as hunger. When you're hungry, of course, you're more likely to find something to eat. And if you're counting your calories, this may negatively affect your weight. Some studies show that not only do you feel hungry, but you're more likely to crave high caloric or sugary foods.
On the other side of the coin, a second hormone (called leptin) suppresses hunger. When you have eaten sufficiently, more leptin is released into the bloodstream while ghrelin is decreased. Further, when you get enough sleep, the same correlation is achieved. This is the equation we want to strive for while losing weight.
If you're getting enough sleep at night and you feel rested, your brain actually functions better. You're able to make more conscious and healthier choices when it comes to eating and meal-planning. You think more clearly; this results in the ability to stay on track with your fitness goals. When our brains are tired, thinking coherently is weakened. This may make it harder for you to make the decisions that are related to your weight loss plan. Instead, you may tend to waver off course.
And because you're getting enough rest, this can positively affect your physical activity. If you're out on the trail running 3 miles a day or in the gym pumping iron, a good night's rest is key to having enough energy to take part in these activities.
Think of your body as a machine that runs efficiently on three types of power: exercise, food, and sleep. When these three things are in balance, you will have a finely tuned running machine. However, if one is low, for example, sleep, you'll compensate by eating more. This results in an imbalance that causes you to stray from your desired plan. These three things: exercise, eating right, and sufficient sleep are all necessary to achieve your goals.
Your last meal should come 2-4 hours before going to sleep. Otherwise, your metabolism and digestive systems may keep your body awake making it harder for you to sleep. If you go to bed at 10pm, for example, ideally, you want to have had your last meal around 6pm. That way, you can digest enough so your body can come to a state of rest when it is time to go to sleep.
If possible, do not have a television in your sleeping quarters. Watching television in bed could potentially keep you awake longer thereby not getting enough rest. Let your bedroom be a sanctuary; a place for respite. It's also a good idea to keep any work out of your bedroom. Any outside energies that can potentially distract your restful space should remain outside of your chambers.
If possible, charge your electronic devices in another room so you are not distracted by games, emails, texts, and social media on your mobile device. If you use your phone as a clock or alarm, place it across the room so you're not tempted to stream through message apps while you're lying in bed.
Having a darker room will help signal the brain and body to relax so you can fall asleep faster. Any way that you can reduce stimulation in your sleeping space is key to getting good rest. Blackout curtains or even a night mask can create the darkness needed to invite restfulness.
Often, regular night-time sleep can be interrupted our disturbed. Even though you may be in bed for 7 or 8 hours, it deosn't necessarily mean you're getting the full rest that your body and mind need. Take a quick Power Nap during the day, if you can. What's the ideal time limit for a power nap? A short nap that lasts between ten and twenty minutes is sufficient and quite helpful for the brain and body. This short period of time allows you to wake up before you enter a deeper form of sleep. If you sleep over thirty minutes, you're more likely to slip into the deep sleep. And upon waking up, you'll actually feel more tired than before. What you want to achieve here is a moment of rejuvenation so that you can continue with your day, continue to think clearly, and have the energy to hop on that treadmill at the gym!
If you're looking for that magic pill that's going to help you lose those few extra pounds, your winning ticket is probably a good night's rest. Consider some of these tips, put them to practice, and watch the pounds drop!
Yoga isn’t just beneficial for improving core strength, flexibility, and stress levels; it can also help you sleep better—especially if you suffer from insomnia. When people who have insomnia perform yoga on a daily basis, they sleep for longer, fall asleep faster, and return to sleep more quickly if they wake up in the middle of the night. This is also true for older people who have insomnia—those who are 60 and older experience better sleep quality, sleep for longer, and feel better during the day when they perform regular yoga.
The MajiAcu Neck Pillow can be used to treat any sore muscle areas on the neck along the cervical region of the spine. Lie on your back in bed or any flat with legs extended first. Place the MajiAcu Neck Pillow underneath the base of your neck and rest your head as you would on a pillow. Place a cloth at the base of your neck if needles are too intense.
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