How To Master Good Health With Sleep, Water and Rest
08.23.2021 • Blog,
How To Master Good Health With Sleep, Water, and Rest
When people think about healthy living, it usually centers around diet and exercise. But your success with an optimally healthy lifestyle depends on many other factors. In this lesson, we’re going to focus on sleep, water, and stress and how it all fits together for your healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to sleep, everyone tends to be on a bit of a different schedule. You might feel rested after 6 hours of sleep while your spouse might need 8 hours. According to the consensus in science and medicine, most of us need and do best with between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re sleeping less than 7 hours every night, you might be walking around a little sleep-deprived. And you might not even realize it. If you’re sleeping more than 9 hours, you’re probably throwing off a number of other body systems.
The reason that getting “enough” sleep consistently as it relates to your journey to a healthy weight and your overall healthy lifestyle, is that sleep affects hormones and systems that help with weight control, mental stability, sex drive and so many others. At night, when you lay down to rest, your body’s production of melatonin goes up to bring you into sleep while other bodily functions kick in (production of testosterone, for example). When you wake, your body produces an increased level of cortisol, which in turn creates energy through the morning and then decreases again into the later hours of the day.
What’s really bad for your healthy weight goal is that sleep deprivation leads to imbalances in two really important hormones that regulate weight: leptin and grehlin. Grehlin is produced in the stomach and tells the brain “I’m hungry.” Leptin is produced in fat cells and tells the brain, “We’re good, there’s plenty of fat stored already.”
If you are sleep-deprived, you don’t produce enough leptin and too much grehlin, which increases appetite without any of the normal balance from your fat cells. And you see, it can be a vicious cycle. You eat more, you gain more weight, your sleep is affected by your appetite and your discomfort from conditions associated with being overweight, and the cycle continues the next day. When you’re tired, your stress hormones also cause you to eat out of emotion and frustration too, which results in more fat cells, more weight, and so on.
So sleeping regularly each night is essential to your ability to control your appetite and your eating. Here’s more good news. When you take steps necessary to establish good sleep habits and get a consistently normal amount of healthy sleep, you’ll wake up with the right appetite, your stress will go down and you’ll have the energy to exercise more productively, which in turn will make you more likely to be tired at night when you should be turning in for more sleep at the right time. As you’ll see during this program, as all of these pieces line up (healthy eating, exercise, sleep), you’ll start to gravitate naturally toward a healthy weight.
Are you getting enough water? Like sleep, hydration is essential to your success. On the most obvious of levels, not drinking enough water can cause you to be dehydrated, which can be misinterpreted as hunger. Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation. So if you’re not hydrated, you’re going to feel tired and sick and not accomplish any of the goals of your weight loss program. Your goal is simple. Try to drink 8 glasses of water a day, which is about half a gallon. During the program, you’re encouraged to track your water intake every day to stay on track.
Mindfulness is a term you may have heard of but may not be practicing. Most of our stress (which in turn causes adrenaline, cortisol, emotional eating, and other problems), comes from simply not staying in the present moment. Instead, we worry about the future (even what might happen an hour from now) and we regret the past. This causes anxiety and stress which can be avoided by focusing on what you’re doing right now. That’s called mindfulness. Try out this mindfulness practice:
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