The Importance of a Good Night Sleep

We all know how important it is to exercise and eat properly, but there is one area of our lives that we tend to ignore. You might’ve guessed it, sleep!

Getting a good night’s rest can mean the difference between a poor tomorrow and an excellent tomorrow. It affects performance both physically and mentally as well as hormonally. Without adequate sleep, your body doesn’t have enough time to repair muscle tissue. In fact, your body doesn’t grow in the gym, it grows while you sleep. All the gym does is stimulate the muscles for the needed growth.

Lack of sleep can also affect your memory, your mood, and also your waist size. Let’s jump into some of the other things lack of sleep can do if you’re not careful. Then we will talk about some tips on how to have a good night sleep.


Sleep Controls Your Eating Habits:

There have been some studies that show that lack of sleep can ruin your body’s dieting regimen. This is mainly due to hormonal changes when you are sleep deprived. Explained in more detail below, not getting enough sleep can cause yourself to get hungrier as well as store more fat. One of the best things you can do for your diet is make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night.


Sleepless Nights Decreases Recovery of Muscles:

Sleep is crucial to allow your body time to recover and grow stronger. If you don’t give yourself enough rest, your body will be unable to heal as efficiently as it could up with adequate sleep. This will hurt your muscle gains and potentially increase your stored fat. You will also notice increased fatigue during your workouts and your performance level will drop considerably.

When you work out, your body is actually inflicting tiny injuries to your muscles. This applies to runners as well as weightlifters. After a workout, you have beaten up your body pretty badly! Your body will need time to repair these micro-injuries to make yourself stronger. Give your body what it needs!


Leptin and Ghrelin:

Hunger is controlled by two hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. When you are low on this particular hormone, your stomach will feel emptier. Lower levels of leptin in our body will make us feel hungry. Ghrelin on the other hand stimulates hunger and increases the amount of fat that you store. The way to lose weight is to control these two hormones. If you are sleep deprived, these two hormones will be completely out of whack.


Lack of Sleep Increases Cortisol Levels:

To make matters worse, a hormone called cortisol will also rise in the body. This hormone is responsible for weight gain. Cortisol will also activate reward centers in your brain to make you crave food. So being sleep deprived really is a three hormonal punch to your system. Getting adequate sleep every night can prevent cortisone levels from rising as well as keep leptin and ghrelin under control.



Tips to Have a Good Night Sleep

Do you want to have a good night’s sleep but don’t how to go about it? Here are some tips to help calm you down to get a restful night’s sleep.


Avoid Working out before Bed:

It’s always best for you not to work out within two hours prior to your planned bedtime. Relaxing by reading a book, or other light activity, works best for sleep as it naturally prepares the body to calm down for sleep. Working out will pump up your body and can make falling asleep more difficult.


Work Hard, Play Hard:

During the day, you should be working hard as well as playing hard. Make sure you’re moving as much is possible during the day. Living a hereditary lifestyle makes it much harder to fall asleep at night time. Tire yourself out throughout the day and you’ll have no trouble falling asleep.


Never Oversleep (Unless in Sleep Debt):

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. If you oversleep, (10+ hours) then you’re very likely to have it more difficult time falling asleep the following night. Because your body changes its sleep patterns. Try to fall asleep the same time every single night and get into a routine. This will train your body to know when it’s time for sleep. If you were sleep deprived, then it’s natural for the body to want to catch up the hours you missed. This is OK on a temporary basis, but you will need to get your body back in check after you catch up your sleep.


Keep your Bedroom Calm and Simple:

Your bedroom should be your little oasis! Try not to flood your room with electronics such as computers, TVs, and portable devices such as phones and tablets. You should only be having sex and sleep in your bedroom. Keep the area clean of any clutter, as well as nice and cool. Statistically, people sleep better with a slightly cooler temperature. You could also play calming meditation music to help relax the body before sleep. If you want to read before bed, make sure you’re reading a magazine or physical book. The back light from devices such as iPads can actually stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall asleep.


Invest in a Good Mattress:

You spend one third of your life sleeping, so you better invest in a good mattress. The better the mattress, the better your sleep. Many people don’t invest enough money into their mattress. This usually isn’t because they can’t afford it, but because they think all mattresses are the same. I can speak from experience that this is not true at all. Spend the money, get a mattress that suits you, and start having good night sleeps.


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Frozen Yogurt – The 4 Myths that Could Be Hurting You

Frozen yogurt is the best thing to come out since sliced bread. No wonder it’s a $2 billion industry per year. It is now becoming the treat of choice for both healthy conscious individuals as well as the regular population. Why eat ice cream when you can eat frozen yogurt which is just as good but less calories, sugar, and fat. Let’s not forget the probiotics within the frozen yogurt to help your digestive system.

Just because it has a healthier profile than ice cream doesn’t mean you should overindulge. Here is my list of the four myths of frozen yogurt and ways you can protect yourself from packing on the pounds.


Toppings Don’t Add Many Calories:

This statement depends on what you put on your frozen yogurt and how much. Toppings will not add a significant amount of calories if you are choosing fruit as you’re topping choice. Unfortunately, many locations offer horrible delicious choices such as Oreo bits, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and other sugary products. If you are not careful, these type of toppings can really do a number on your waist.

TIP: If you’re going to add toppings to your frozen yogurt, you need to make sure to only add fruit sparingly amount of the if possible. This doesn’t mean you can never have any of the bad toppings. Just make sure you limit how much you put in your frozen yogurt and keep those trips to the frozen yogurt store to a minimum.


I Can Eat as Much Frozen Yogurt as I Want Since It’s Low in Calories:

Just because frozen yogurt is naturally nonfat or low-fat depending on the product, does not mean you can eat as much as you want of it. I remember watching a show on how a woman would eat 10 apples on her way to work. She didn’t realize why she was gaining so much weight because she figured apples were healthy. She ended up eating almost 800 calories just on her drive to work. Products that are healthy still contain calories and calories can add up.

TIP: Make sure you use some restraint and try to stick to a small frozen yogurt if possible. This should roughly be 150 calories and is a great way to get a snack without you regretting it later. Time to use some willpower on this one!


Frozen Yogurt Is Healthy and Makes a Good Lunch:

Frozen yogurt is a healthy treat, but it shouldn’t be a meal replacement. You need to have a balanced meal that contains carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In the same way you wouldn’t drink a glass of orange juice and consider it a breakfast, you shouldn’t be using frozen yogurt as a meal either.

TIP: Try to create lunches that have a balanced nutritional profile. For example, a piece of lean chicken, some vegetables, a yogurt and a glass of milk. Not only are you looking for your carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, but you are also looking for foods that are high in various vitamins and minerals to help your body function at top performance.


All Frozen Yogurt Is Healthy:

Not all frozen yogurt is treated equally. There are a wide variation of calories, sugars, and fats among many different frozen yogurts. For example, you could eat anything from a fat-free frozen yogurt to something that’s extremely high in fat (similar to ice cream).

TIP: Make sure you read the label of the frozen yogurt you wish to purchase. Make sure you also focus on the portion size as many manufacturers will try to trick you into thinking of frozen yogurt is healthier than it actually is.



Final Thoughts:

Frozen yogurt should be treated as a “once in a while” treat. Don’t get sucked into the fact that it is healthier than ice cream. Even though the majority of frozen yogurts are, they can still pack on a significant amount of weight to your midsection if you are not careful.

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