Sleep impacts our ability to function during the day and overtime this can impact our quality of life and lead to chronic health conditions. The link between poor sleep and weight gain happens because sleep regulates the hormones that tell us when we are hungry and signals when we are full. When our sleep is disrupted, it can cause us to eat more and to crave junk food.
Getting enough sleep is also important for mental health, a strong immune system and balanced emotions. Sleepiness during the day puts people at higher risk of falling.
We each need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Waking up during the night is okay, as long as you are able to fall back asleep . The quantity and quality of sleep is what’s important.
So, how can we improve our sleep?
* Use your bedroom for sleep only. No TV, computers, smart phones. Keep the temperature comfortable
* Have an evening of routine. Stop using technology at a certain time of the night and listen to relaxing music or journal.
* Limit foods and beverages (i.e., caffeinated drinks and alcohol) after dinner – as those can keep you up longer.
* Be physically active every day and get outside. Exercising in the morning can improve your mood and gives you energy to go all day.