So how many of you get eight hours of solid sleep per night???? I’m guessing maybe 20%? You may think you are sleeping for eight hours. However, if you do not move into your REM sleep you will not receive the full benefits of your night’s rest. You will know you have gone into your REM phase of sleep when you are dreaming.
If you are not entering your REM phase of sleep for a prolonged period of time, you are not able to allow the body to produce the proper hormones to regulate your metabolism. Beyond that, if you are waking up in the middle of the night thinking about your next day or the day before, and you are feeling anxious or stressed, you are unknowingly producing cortisol. I think most of us are familiar with that name as it is so related to an inability to lose weight. If your cortisol is up you will store fat and you will crave refined carbohydrates. Remember this, if you are prone to waking up at night and getting out of bed to finish work on your computer, or if you wake up only to feel your heart race as you think of your day to come, you are not promoting an environment which will encourage weight loss. Try to counter these behaviours by taking 20 deep belly breaths, before you begin thinking of your day or decide to get up to get a start on tomorrows project. Remember........there will always be stress in your life, it is important to learn how to manage it!
In addition to the creation of cortisol, lack of proper sleep leads to foggy thinking which most often leads to poor food choices. Do you ever go through your day as though in a fog thinking that a cafe mocha filled with sugar will help to clear your thinking? Or maybe that chocolate bar will help to give you a new perspective? Of course none of this is true. You will receive the opposite effect is you decide to indulge in these food choices. Not to mention, at the end of the month you will notice that you are up 5 to 10 pounds........and yes, weight gain does happen that quickly! If you notice that you are using sugary food to bring you extra energy or clarity, bring awareness to this. Simply taking a minute out of your day to close your eyes and breathe deeply while saying, “ At this moment I feel calm and tonight I will enjoy a full night’s rest”, you will bring your mind away from needing to eat your sugary snack. You will also begin to prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep. If you want to continue to feel tired and groggy, continue with your current behaviour.
Remember .........everything is a choiceJ