HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS? A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP!
There are so many connections between sleep and exercise. Whether you are getting enough, the position you choose, or even what you eat before you get your z’s can impact exercise results. As your fitness partner, exercise can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, challenges that interfere with sleep. By exercising, many aspects of sleep are improved, including falling asleep more quickly and staying in a deep sleep longer.
Are you a side sleeper? Do you always sleep on the same side? Try switching sides from time to time and placing a pillow between your knees. This will alleviate too much pressure being placed on one side continuously. The pillow between your knees will keep your body in a more natural form and will also make it more difficult for you to switch positions while you sleep. If you sleep on your back, you can relieve a lot of lower back pressure by placing a pillow underneath the back of your knees.
A bit of pre-bedtime protein can help stimulate sore muscle recovery. A slow protein, such as dairy, meat, or nuts, will stay in your stomach for longer periods of time, providing a sustained release of amino acids into the blood and muscles through the night, giving relief to tried, achy joints and muscles.
Proper sleep can also affect your waistline. When you don’t get a good seven to eight hours of sleep, chances are you’ll be a bit irritable and more likely to increase your calorie intake. This increase in appetite stems from a shift in two of the body’s key appetite regulatory hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin suppresses appetite and ghrelin stimulates it. Without enough sleep, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels rise. This is what leads to an increase in appetite. The added fatigue from lack of sleep may also lead you to skip out on your exercise routine, another setback for reaching your goals.
During this increasingly busy holiday season, make sure to take good care of yourself, your sleep, your eating habits and your health. After all, your good health is the greatest gift you can give your loved ones. Happy Holidays.