Are you up late nights – burning the candle at both ends? Up in about 5 or 6 hours, or dare I say 4. Woo, girlfriend – that’s like a nap for me. Have you been struggling to keep the pounds down? All the other ducks are lined up, so to speak? Like you eat well and get daily movement in, but don’t know where the weight gain is coming from? Have you been easily agitated or stressed at work or in your home life? I know I have, we all have been there.
Let’s talk about cortisol – It gets a bad rap, but it’s an important hormone for our system. Cortisol affects our entire endocrine system – the metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, etc…
We want cortisol to be balanced, not too high or too low. Which, brings us back to sleep. Sleeping well (quantity and quality) is one way to keep your cortisol in check.
Lack of sleep causes our energy to slump during the day. Lack of energy often times causes us to reach for more caffeine or some pick me up. I know often times myself, if I get a coffee after 12pm, it’s a done deal for my sleep that night. I think we don’t realize how much stimulants affects are sleep patterns and quality of sleep.
Not only is our energy down in the dumps, our attitudes may be bad, or we may suffer from a lack of motivation. In addition, in comes the cravings. Things you probably don’t even normally eat. That jar of candy sitting on your co worker’s desk is looking mighty good on those sleepless days.
Will power surely is diminished when we have no energy. Will power does have its limits – it’s not a bottomless pit. It’s a limited resource, capable of being depleted, especially when we are tired.
As with everything in life – it’s a series of trial and errors, and finding what works for you. I want to share a few of the things that has helped me get better sleep – I sleep like a bear and I love it!
- Turning off the all electronics an hour before bed. This one is not simple to do. I have to make myself do this. To stop scrolling, or to not check just one more thing. The sooner you can minimize the blue light the better.
- Some quick tips
- I’ve discovered blue light blocking glasses. They are your fail safe, because we are just so damn hard head, and can’t close the laptop or put the phone down. At least with the glasses, we are minimizing the blue light. I actually like to put them on as soon as the sun sets. Blue light blocking glasses help your body’s natural melatonin production.
- Another great tool that I recently discovered is F.Lux! (F.Lux’s website) F.Lux changes the color of your screen, for a softer gentler backlight for your screen. It will diminish the blue light like the glasses.
2. Read before bed – I like to read the bible, devotionals, or a good book. Something to unwind the brain, so to speak.
3. Your environment – A Dark cold room!
- The darkness with no light or blue light from electronics set you up for a good night rest.
- Black out curtains are a game changer. Love love… once you use them you will never not have have them on your bedroom.
- Cool room- A cool rooms helps your body cool off quicker, which helps you sleep better.
- White noise – I use an app called Sleep Pillow. You can get on IOS devices! They sound real too! Another option is a fan in the room, just for the noise.
4. Light a relaxing candle or drink a cup of chamomile tea!
Lastly, as you can see, sleep is paramount. It’s when things in our bodies restore itself. We are meant to sleep for rest, recovery, and rejuvenate. As it pertains to fat loss – before you go dropping calories lower or exercising more – take a look at your sleep and your stress levels. I betcha bottom dollar that if you fix those things, the body will respond without extreme measures!
Thank you guys for taking the time to read my blog post today I hope that you can use some of the tools to help you sleep better. I would love to connect with you in your inbox, I send out weekly emails with my best tools, insights, and personal stories. You can sign up here by clicking on the link: Beauty of Strengths Email Newsletter! If you have moment – head over to Beauty of Strengths Facebook page and let me know what you think of this blog post.