Really, there are studies showing that a lack of sleep or lack of
good quality sleep can contribute to weight gain. We live in a
society that is increasingly becoming sleep deprived. According
to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans getting 8 hours of
sleep a night dropped from 35% to 26% in a 7 year period. So what
does this lack of sleep have to do with weight gain?
Studies have been done showing a relationship between lack of
sleep and increase in weight. There are basically two theories
being put forth. One is that a lack of sleep causes you to have
less energy to exercise and the second has to do with lack of
sleep affecting hormones that control appetite. With these
hormones out of whack, you go for high carb, high calorie foods.
Here are some suggestions for ways to get good quality sleep and
thus keep off the associated weight gain.
The quality of your sleep determines how refreshed you feel when
you wake up in the morning, and how much energy you have during
the day. Adding some probiotics, enzymes and blue green algae to
your nightly regimen can really help you recharge while you
sleep. Here's how they work to help your sleep.
- Cut caffeine out of your diet or at least don't consume
caffeine too close to bedtime. Caffeine can stay in your system
for up to 12 hours.
- Avoid alcohol before bedtime. Many people think drinking
alcohol makes them sleepy, but it leads to increased waking up
during the night and can interfere with the REM cycle causing
sleep not to be quality.
- Use your bed only as a sleeping place. Avoid working or eating
in bed. Using the bed solely as a place to sleep trains your body
to prepare for that activity when going to bed.
- Make the bedroom as dark as possible. Also make it as quiet as
you can. You may need to use an eye mask or ear plugs to
accomplish this. Some people find using small earphone plugs with
meditative music or nature sounds helpful.
- Develop a sleep routine and pattern to get the body trained for
when it is time to sleep. Many people don't get the sleep their
bodies' need during the work week and then sleep late on the
weekends to "catch up" on their sleep. This doesn't really work
though for good quality sleep because if you have spent the
weekend sleeping late and then have to get up early Monday for
work the pattern is thrown off. It is better to set up a routine
for every day of the week of going to bed and getting up at the
- Avoid exercising too close to bedtimes as this causes the body
temperature to rise which is not conducive to going to sleep
easily. It is better to do your exercise routines in the morning
or early in the afternoon.
- Valerian root has been used successfully for some people to get
to sleep easier and maintain a restful sleep overnight.
- Chamomile can also be a useful herb in relaxing the body before
going to sleep. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime
can be part of establishing a nighttime routine and a signal to
the body that it is time to start preparing for sleep.
- Meditation is helpful for some people to relax mind and body.
Doing meditation before bedtime not only can help with
relaxation, but can also become part of the nighttime routine
that signals the body to prepare for sleep.
- Increased muscle tension and intrusive thoughts can interfere
with sleep. Therefore, it is not surprising that techniques aimed
at relaxing muscles (progressive muscle relaxation and
biofeedback) and quieting the mind (meditation) have been found
to be effective treatments for insomnia. Several studies show
that regular meditation practice, either alone or as a part of
yoga practice, results in higher blood levels of melatonin, an
important regulator of sleep.
Blue green algae:
Can support relaxation in the brain and allow you to get a
peaceful night's rest. Take 1-2 capsules before bed.
Bifidus is an important part of early childhood development, and
strongly affects our self-esteem, confidence and sense of
wholeness. Adding 2-4 bifidus capsules to your evening regimen
can help you wake rested, confident and ready to charge into your
While digestive enzymes certainly help us digest our food, on a
metaphysical level, they can also help us digest and "work
through" the knotty problems of the day. If you're facing a
difficult situation or problem and need some solutions, take 2-4
enzymes before bed. Chances are that you will awaken with the