6 Tips for Better Sleep

Aside from food (and sex perhaps) what’s our favorite topic?

Sleep!

Only 30% of Americans reported their sleep as being “very good” or “excellent”, which leaves the vast majority of Americans surveyed in desperate need of increasing the amount and quality of their sleep.

So let’s flip the mattress and improve your sleep. Not only will this make you feel better overall by boosting energy, but you’ll be happier, reach your weight loss goals faster, and simply enjoy life more.

Those who are lacking the 7-8 recommended hours of sleep every night are 23% more likely to be obese compared to those who get those crucial zzz’s.

When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your hunger hormone (ghrelin) increases, your satisfaction hormone (leptin) decreases, and your stress hormone (cortisol) increases.

This is a formula for disaster.

It’s almost a guarantee that you’re going to crave worse foods the day after a poor night’s sleep, and you’ll likely retain weight in the worst way – your midsection.

I’m giving you six tips to incorporate into your life NOW to help increase the quality of your sleep. Even if you can’t make the change to do all six, try at least a couple of them.

Watch the difference it makes in your sleep, how you feel the next day, and in your overall health.

6 Tips for Better Sleep

 

8 Tips to Live a Better Life

So you wanna live a better life, do ya? You came to the right place! Today I’m talking about how to live your most Nutritious Life.

Learning how to live a healthy life is not all about the food. So many other factors in your life affect your weight and your relationship with food, so it’s important to make changes in and focus on all aspects of your life.

 

8 Tips to Live a Better Life:

1. Drink Up

Our bodies are up to 70% water! Being dehydrated can zap energy levels, slow down your metabolism, and make you feel hungry. I recommend grabbing a 32 ounce water bottle. All you have to do is fill it up twice a day and you’re good to go. Also drink two cups of green tea a day to stay hydrated and get in those great antioxidants found in green tea.

2. Eat Empowered

So many of us think of food in a negative way. Flip the switch to a place of positive energy and empowerment and know you’re in control, not the food. It’s not “I can’t eat the dessert.” It’s, “I can eat the blueberries!”

3. Live Consciously

The environment that surrounds us can impact both our mental and physical health. We can’t always control our environment, but we can do small things like making a clutter-free (and stress free!) zone in our office or home. Think of one area in your life that you can declutter.

4. Love More

Losing weight increases your libido, and having sex can help you lose weight too. Oxytocin, a hormone that acts as an antioxidant, is released during sex, a cuddle with your pet, or holding hands.

5. Nurture Yourself

Put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. We so often forget to take the time to care for ourselves. The time that you spend caring for yourself physically can reap huge mental and physical rewards.

6. Sleep Deep

When we sleep well we’re more energetic, make healthier food choices and are less likely to become obese. I want you to start practicing good sleep hygiene today! Your homework for tonight: give yourself a bedtime and try to stick to it.

7. Stress Less

We’re all experiencing way more stress than we should. Stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol in our bodies, which in turn makes our bodies crave carbohydrates, specifically high sugar carbohydrates, and store fat around the midsection. There are things you can do right now to take your stress down a notch. Try an eight count breath – breathe in for a count of eight and out for a count of eight. Try this for even just 4 minutes a day and you’ll sleep and feel better.

8. Sweat Often

When you exercise, you release endorphins, which make you feel good and motivate you to eat well. Set a realistic goal you can be super consistent with.

How to Sleep Better

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to sleep better, you came to the right place.

Confession: I’m super guilty of not taking care of my sleep when things get stressful (hey, I work on my pillars, too!). But I do know the things I should be doing when things get crazy, and they aren’t just to make me feel more alert the next day. There’s some serious biological stuff going on regarding sleep that you need to understand.

Research shows our circadian rhythms shift and change throughout our lives and so our sleep health needs to change, too.

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and while we’re resting up, our bodies are growing, repairing, digesting and more. You’ve gotta grab your zzz’s to let your body do these things, peops!

Lousy sleep weakens our immune systems, increases risks for disease and it also contributes to being overweight. {Tweet this} Learning how to sleep better could literally save your life.

The thing is, if you want to improve your sleep, you’ve gotta work on your nighttime behaviors to promote good rest.

What can you work on to better up your shut eye? {Tweet this}

I recommend all of us tuck ourselves in like babes and  brush up on our sleep hygiene.

For example, turn off your electronics at 10 PM. Then wash your face, brush your teeth, climb under the covers and read your book. Turn your lights and night off at 10:30 PM.

Do this every night, no matter what is going on. Consistency and routine will help your body shut down at the end of the day.

Nighty night. Let sleep rejuvenate you and put up your dukes against the exhaustion that we all experience a little too often.

 

3 Healthy Things to Do Every Winter Solstice

The winter solstice comes once a year. Some of us don’t notice it. Some of us don’t even know what it is.

But some of us look forward to it, knowing it’s the shortest day of the year and daylight will increase after it passes.

Like many milestones and holidays of the year, this event can mark a moment for personal reflection and action planning. Take a moment to consider the choices you make as you live your most Nutritious Life.

3 Healthy Things to Do Every Winter Solstice

 

1. Sleep deep. Shortest day = longest night. Take advantage of this and plan for it to be a perfect night of sleep.

Check in with yourself to evaluate your sleep hygiene. Sleep experts recommend that you establish a simple ritual before you go to bed to tell your body it is time to rest.

Brush your teeth, wash your face, read a book or meditate for several minutes before you close the light. Make your slumber environment clear of stressors by making your room as dark as possible, turning off the television and silencing your phone.

Set yourself up to be successful by making your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

 

2. Sweat often. It’s dark when we leave for work and dark when we return home. It’s only normal that motivation to move wanes without the friendship of the sun.

While it’s tempting to skip the gym in favor of extra time hunkered down, do your best to move each day, especially today.

Walk an extra few minutes to a bus or subway stop further away, take the stairs and walk the mall to incorporate a little more movement into your daily routine.

Also, you don’t have to be a weekend warrior to enjoy an hour or two of cross country skiing, a few minutes on the ice rink, or an afternoon sledding with the kids. Make time during the week for simple, active pleasure.

The benefits will show in your mood first. Remember these little bits of movement can not only add up but can also motivate us to move more and get in a “real” workout.

 

3. Live consciously. We spend a lot more time inside when it’s dark and cold outside. Spending time making your home or office a space that you like to be in will deflect some of the stress and help you lead a well and healthful life.

Winter cleaning isn’t so bad when you play your favorite music and the result often makes you feel great. Carve out an hour to freshen up your space today.

Light scented candles and shift some furniture around so that you can enjoy it in a new way. Take a minute to look at what is and isn’t working in the space you live in so that you can feel empowered in your world. Take time to appreciate your surroundings today – those in nature and those you created for yourself.

Acknowledge the winter solstice this year, and every year going forward. Honor yourself and your work as you pursue your personal Nutritious Life ambitions for another season. Make it a day every year that you press the reset button amid the chaos of the holiday season, and focus on you.

As you look forward to sunnier days, remember to enjoy the darker days, too!

 

3 Healthy Holiday Habits You Need To Take Up NOW

Even if the holiday party invites aren’t flooding your mailbox and inbox just yet, you know they’re coming. They do every year.

And every year you look forward to the fun but you also sort of dread the exhaustion, deviation from your routine and the fact that time feels like it moves in fast forward.

In the name of celebrating with wellness and fun in mind and not letting all those weight loss tips you stockpiled throughout the year go by the wayside, I want to set you up with a few healthy holiday habits in order to make this season of parties and celebration a little less draining and a lot more empowering.

 

3 Healthy Holiday Habits You Need To Take Up NOW

 

Don’t be creative with the food that is in your control. I know it sounds crazy, but if you keep your food simple, and stick to what you know works (where you can), then the party fare won’t be as stressful, damaging to your waistline or disruptive to your GI tract. You know how to eat healthy…don’t let the holidays completely push you off track.

 

If you’re eating all holiday foods all the time, you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel lousy and of course, pack on extra weight. Keep what you can control simple, and balance the holiday foods with your go-to healthy foods.

Healthy breakfast: There are usually not many holiday breakfast parties, so keep these in straight forward and consistent. Rotate between two to three choices. Here are my faves.

Healthy lunch / healthy dinner ideas: When these meals aren’t part of an actual soiree, keep them clean and don’t do leftovers. Rotate between your favorite lean proteins and choose 2 veggies with each meal and a little fat. More faves:

 

Make your space clutter-free. There is a saying about how horizontal spaces are a magnet for clutter. Clutter has a way of making us feel chaotic, out of control and less happy and productive in our work spaces. And guess what, there’s solid research to support this!

Make a habit of clearing your plates and cleaning up the kitchen right away, instead of waiting to do it later.

Set up one space for gifts to gift wrap in your home.

Organize and strategically arrange your holiday cards to enjoy them without them falling over and getting in the way. Creating a habit of organizing your stuff will make it easier to stick to your wellness goals. {Tweet this}. I promise.

 

Get your zzzs at all costs. The third healthy holiday habit you need to have down this holiday season is your bedtime routine.

Sleep hygiene is a really powerful tool in your wellness kit because the better rested you are, the less likely you will be to eat out of fatigue, stress, grumpiness or grinch-like energy.

Choose a few things that you can do each night to make sleeping well a top priority: establish a bedtime, wash your face, brush your teeth, turn off all of your technology, spend a few minutes doing something calming you enjoy (read a book, journal, meditate), then turn off the lights.

No staying up late wrapping presents. Your sleep is more important than that pretty bow.