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Sleep the weight away… by Joe Forde

Every year there are new diets and better exercises that can improve weight loss, but for some people it just isn’t enough. They are watching what they eat and getting regular exercise but they just don’t seem to get the results that others achieve doing the same routine.  If this is your story then this article is for you! One of the first questions I ask people that are in this situation is… Do you sleep well? 9 times out of 10 the answer is a big NO. So what has good night’s sleep got to do with losing weight? Well the answer is a lot.  If you are having trouble shedding pounds, fixing your sleep problem may be all you need to do. Not getting good quality sleep causes our bodies a lot more stress than we think. When we are tired we’re going to be more irritable & stressed. The two main hormones that regulate our feelings of hunger and fullness are leptin and ghrelin, these can get messed up and this causes us to think we are hungry when we are not, so we eat more. When we don’t sleep well we don’t get to the level of sleep known as the R.E.M. state where our mind naturally processes and releases our stresses from the day. When we don’t release we tend to create a buildup of stress and anxiety which makes the problem worse. With recurrence of this anxiety it can be a place where we spend a lot of our time and this throws our hormones even more out of kilter as our adrenals are working overtime pumping out more cortisol and insulin and causing adrenal fatigue. One of the consequences of this is eventually we become insulin resistant and gain weight more often around our middle, we also get cravings for fat, sugar and salt, the fuel our adrenal system needs to deal with the next stressful situation. Top 5 Natural ways to combat this! 1: Instill a relaxation ritual into your day! Yoga, meditation and self- Hypnosis are great tools to quiet the mind and produce the relaxation response. 2: Do your worrying and planning before you hit the hay! A great practice if you have worry’s or problems from your day is to get a pen and paper and express them on paper, afterward tear it up or burn it, this is releasing them from your mind. Also if you are planning things for the next day write a list so you can let your mind relax and not be afraid of forgetting something important. 3: Make your bedroom an electronic-free zone! No TV, computer, phone or tablet as these effect the ability of your brain waves to slow down which is needed for a good night sleep. 4: Exercise and the correct foods. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and release good feeling chemicals into the brain. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking in the evening. Include almonds, bananas; oatmeal, lettuce and warm milk in your diet as they contain tryptophan that has a sedating effect. We need magnesium for muscle relaxing and melatonin which is the sleep chemical. 5: Oils and Supplements Pure Lavender oil promotes relaxation and sleep, rub in on the soles of your feet or the back of your neck, use it in a warm bath 5 to 7 drops with a cup full of Epson salts helps to soak your troubles away. The right supplements can help to balance hormones. Sleep well. Blog post By Joe Forde. Orchard Wellness Centre. Orchard Lane, Ennis. www.orchardwellness.ie

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