Monday, November 25, 2013
Besides needing sleep and feeling better when we sleep enough, another great reason to hit the sack is weight lose. Have you ever noticed when you do not sleep well you crave sugary foods, simple carbs, caffeine, donuts, pastries, whatever your craving might be of a quick fix? Your brain is telling you it did not get enough sleep and therefor needs simple and easy foods to help it work and "function". This is all done through complex hormones. Two of those, which you might have heard of, are leptin and ghrelin. These two work together to help us feel hungry and full. Leptin is produced in fat cells and sends signals to the brain saying you are full. While ghrelin is produced in the stomach and signals hunger.
What is up with sleep? I generally do not eat while I am sleeping Jenn? Great question, I am happy you asked.
When we do not have good quality sleep, our bodies produce more ghrelin, hunger stimulator, wanting simple easy foods to stay awake and alert. Conversely, leptin levels go down with lack of sleep, meaning you do not as satisfied after eating, you want more food and more often. All this combined sets up the stage for over eating and mostly all the wrong foods which equates to weight gain.
Try it out. When you are sleep deprived, take note of what types of foods you crave and gravitate towards eating. Then, for several days, sleep ample amounts. You should notice your cravings for simple, sugary, starchy foods and caffeine goes down. You will also have a more stable mood and will feel better, not only from more sleep, but also the food choices and other hormones balancing from both the sleep and better food.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed day.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
To sleep like puppies....I was thinking with the time changes, the craziness of everyone's life and how sleep deprived we all seem to be, this month's challenge should be about sleep! We could make a pack, lets all sleep more. Try every night for the next month to sleep 7-9 hours every night. During the winter it is natural for our bodies to need more sleep, it is dark longer, hint hint. Try it and see how you feel.
But for some of us, that is easier said than done. For those lucky souls who do not have any difficulties sleeping, I envy you. For us, this month's challenge will be about different things that can be influencing our sleep difficulties and steps to begin taking to blissfully sleep. As always, we need to find the root cause and heal the body, But we need sleep in the mean time. So.......
Factors that could/might/possibly, but not limited too, influencing your sleeping difficulties:
- Sleep requires energy and you have none.
- Drinking too much caffeine, especially late in the day.
- Not have a routine for bed time.
- Haphazardly sleeping, not consistent with your waking and rising times.
- Different illness can cause sleep deprivation, like hypothyroidism, adrenal problems, depression, anxiety, nervous issues
- Taking certain vitamins, such as Vit. D too late in the day.
- Not stopping our brains from running wild
- Technology, the light spectrum from computers, phone and TVs disrupts our sleeping cycles.
- Using lights at night, we can stay up for hours, late into the night because of this amazing feet of accomplishment.
- Our natural circadian rhythms are off, sleep cycles.
- Not being able to break down the protein we eat into their individual amino acids so that then our bodies can rebuild these into things such as melatonin and other hormones to help our bodies relax and thus sleep.
Let's break down a some of these factors, some of these are easy changes you can begin implementing today to help you sleep better maybe tonight or within a few weeks.
- Stop using sugar and caffeine to keep you awake. Yes, have your cup of coffee or two in the morning, especially bullet coffee, bur for the rest of the day drink water, kefir or kombucha, something to nourish the body. The same goes with sugar. For both caffeine and sugar you are not nourishing your body, you are not giving the body what it really needs to thrive, in the end, you are doing the opposite. Begin nourishing your body with nutrient, dense foods.
- Turn off your electronics, cell phones, TV, whatever gadgetry you have an hour or two before bed. The lights from these stop our bodies from making melatonin, which disrupts the sleeping cycle. Not only that, they keep our brains stimulated and going when they should be powering down. As a side note, I have read the Kindles are not suppose to do this. I am old school and still like to hold a book, so I do not know. Just what I have read.
- Not only are these gadgets disrupting your circadian rhythms, but do you really need to do one more thing?
- Take your Vit. D in the morning or early afternoon. The is the vitamin to signal our bodies to be awake.
- Sleep in a pitch black, cool room.
- Give yourself permission to sleep. Put all of your worries, cares, struggles, whatever you call them to bed. If you do not sleep, you cannot carry them as well. Put them under your bed, sleep and pick them back up in the morning. Besides, if you allow them to sleep, allow yourself to let go of them and sleep, you might be able to figure out how to deal with them better?
- Incorporate more acidic foods into your diet. Things like raw apple cider vinegar, lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit to your water or eat. Our stomachs need to be an acid environment for them to break down the food we eat, especially proteins. If we cannot break down the protein, we do not have the amino acids to make other hormones and such to calm the body and help us sleep. Also, do not drink a glass of plain water too close to eating your meals, before during or after. This will further reduce the amount of acid in the stomach to break food down. Add lemon or raw apple cider vinegar to your water, about 15 minutes before a meal, this will help stimulate the body to make more hydrochloric acid to break down your food.
- Have a bed time routine to calm the body and mind down to prepare for sleep.
- Have your thyroid tested.
- Speak with your doctor about medications that could be causing you sleeping difficulties.
- Eat something before bed with good fat, protein and carbs in it, like a glass of whole raw milk. Perfect combination of them all for giving the body the energy it needs to sleep and stay asleep.
- Take a nap during the day if you can, if you need one.
- Nourish your body with nutrient, dense, rich foods.
I think this is enough to get you started.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.