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Are Your Sleeping Habits Hurting Your Weight Loss Goals?

sleeping, sleeping and weight, sleep habits, sleeping habits, sleep habits effecting weight loss, sleep health

It’s summer and time to hit the beach. You’ve put in a long winter of home workout sessions, you’ve been tracking your macros, and you’ve been following all the popular weight loss advice.

But you’re still not where you want to be. When you’re at your wit’s end when it comes to weight loss, there’s a good chance you’re skipping over a key factor. Sleep.

A nutritionist’s advice suggests there are three tenets to follow that will make sure you’re getting the most out of the work you’re putting in. These are Rest, Recovery, and Sleep.

REST

According to Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar speaking with the NDTV Health Desk, rest isn’t the time we spend lounging on the couch. When we say rest, what we mean is proper posture and a relaxed spine.

One easy rule of thumb is the “30-3”. For every 30 minutes you spend sitting or in a dormant position, spend 3 minutes standing or walking around.

Without actively making time for rest, it’s going to be hard to start the process of weight loss in any meaningful way.

RECOVERY

Here is the area where most of us walk a thin line. We want to exercise, but we don’t want to over-exercise. We want to take a refreshing nap around mid-day to give our body’s a chance to absorb and process the stress of the day, but we don’t want it to extend into a 2-3 hour nap and hurt that night’s sleep.

So how do we recover in the right way?

The first step is to allow your body adequate time after exercise to recover. Going into your next session at 70% isn’t helping you.

Secondly, according to the Mayo Clinic, you’ll want to keep those mid-day naps to around 10-20 minutes. By doing this, you give yourself a chance to recuperate without affecting that night’s sleep process.

SLEEP

The final step—and what should be around one-third of your life—is sleep.

Why does sleep play such a large role in weight loss? Your body is operating, even at a reduced level, while you’re not consuming any new sources of energy. This is important for your metabolism, your hormonal balance, and several other regulatory processes your body completes while you sleep according to Diwekar.

Your best bet is to develop a sleep schedule. Prepare your body to relax and shut down around the same time every night. Avoid gadgets or any bright screens before bed. Only use your bed for sleep. The more factors you can turn in your favor, the easier it will be to get the consistent sleep you need.

THE WRAP-UP

When you’re struggling to get the results you want, consider taking a look at your sleep habits. Ask yourself if you’re getting the right kind of rest and if you’re giving yourself the time and space to recover.

If you’re not, this could be the next key area to focus on to help you reach those fitness and weight loss goals. As personal trainer Joe Siracuse of F45 Black Rock once said, “Eight hours of sleep is the best pre-workout no one talks about.”

Interested in learning more about sleep health? We frequently share articles and news related to the subject on our Facebook page

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Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting enough rest is in short supply for most people, especially those juggling busy lives of families, careers, school and personal interests. For some, no matter how hard they try, a good night’s sleep remains just out of reach. 

However, this doesn’t have to be the case every night. Consider trying a few of these secrets that will ensure you are well-rested upon waking each morning. 

Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Underlying Medical Issues

Start with a routine physical to make sure that there is no underlying medical issue contributing to your sleep woes. Sometimes, even the simplest issues might prevent your body from entering a state of rest. 

This will give you a baseline on your health and provide a good place to start with working on your sleep-related issues. 

Schedule a Bedtime

Try going to sleep at the same time every night, no matter what. The more consistent your sleep schedule becomes, the easier it will be for your body to know when it is time to wind down. If possible, maintain your bedtime on the weekends. 

Consistency is the key to good sleep, so if possible, wake up at the same time every day as well. Doing so will definitely help you to sleep longer and better. 

Create a Peaceful Sleep Environment

A good night of sleep is all about the environment around you. The room should be cool and dark. If you typically fall asleep in front of the TV, this is a good time to change that habit. If possible, use a fan (overhead ceiling fan or floor model) and set it on low to keep the air circulating around you while you slumber. 

Do not eat or drink anything two hours before bed and make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. The more that you create ideal conditions for sleep, the easier it will be to drift off and stay asleep. 

Get Plenty of Exercise

If you need another reason to hit the gym, getting better sleep is it. If you begin a regular exercise routine, your body will thank you in the form of better sleep each night. Be sure to work in some cardiovascular exercise for heart health and get your body tired enough to wind down at the end of the day. 

Just avoid working out too close to bedtime or you might find it challenging to wind down when it is time to do so. 

Try an Over-The-Counter Sleep Aid

When nothing else works, consider taking a sleep aid. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t continue to miss out on sleep, especially when you have to be productive the next day.

Choosing the right sleep aid ensures that you don’t spend hours each night tossing and turning, instead enjoying the quality rest that your body needs to be ready to wake. 

A good night’s sleep is not merely a luxury, it is necessity. With some preparation and perhaps a sleep aid, you’ll find yourself enjoying a quality night of slumber in no time. 

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How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health?

Did you know that one in three American adults aren’t getting enough sleep on a consistent basis? 

We have a feeling this may be connected to the heart disease that is behind one in every four American deaths. 

To understand how lack of sleep might be affecting your heart health, keep reading. The connection is more concerning than you might think. 

Signs of Sleeplessness

We know that you’re well aware you don’t get enough sleep. Life is busy, and you’ve always been determined to “sleep when you’re dead.” Trust us when we tell you–it’s not worth the risk.

Curious to see if you’re becoming a statistic? Signs of sleep deprivation include: 

  • Lack of energy 
  • Irritability 
  • Stress and anxiety 
  • Weight gain 
  • Aging skin
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Physical impairment 
  • Cognitive delays
  • Heart issues 

If you are exhibiting these outward symptoms, you’d be amazed at what your doctor may discover at your next appointment. A routine physical and lab work might point to serious underlying issues– like heart problems

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

During sleep, your body is hard at work repairing your heart and its blood vessels. When you aren’t sleeping enough, your body isn’t able to heal the heart enough to properly function.

During the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stage of sleep, stress is reduced on the heart as blood pressure drops, breathing stabilizes and heart rate slows. This restorative period gives the heart a chance to recover from the strain we put on our body during the day.

If your heart isn’t allowed to slow down during NREM, you will find yourself at risk of high blood pressure. Additionally, sleeplessness will leave your body vulnerable to the risk factors that contribute to high cholesterol and heart attacks. 

Insomnia-linked issues are not confined to heart conditions. This level of sleep deprivation is also associated with: 

While some of these conditions may not be reversible, they definitely are avoidable. Do yourself a favor and make it a priority to get to bed early tonight– and most nights thereafter! 

Improve Your Heart Health

If your heart requires a little R&R, there are a few consistent changes you can make in your life to improve your sleep quality. We encourage you to try these sleep-hygiene standards: 
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime 
  • Manage your stress
  • Try and maintain a consistent wake schedule
  • Find a relaxing and restorative pre-bed routine
  • Make sure your bedroom is an ideal temperature 
  • Make your room as dark as possible 
  • Cut out alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine
  • Try to avoid evening or late afternoon naps that might interfere with your sleep cues
  • Exercise daily 
  • Eliminate electronic usage 30-60 minutes before bedtime 
  • Use a natural supplement or sleep-aid  

These things don’t happen overnight. Consistency is key to see results. 

Get Some Sleep

Don’t let poor sleep interfere with your health or your long-term goals. Remember– without proper sleep habits, you may be facing an increased risk of accidents and disease. 

Sometimes, better sleep requires a little extra help. If you’re looking to remedy your sleep issues, it may be time to try our double-strength sleep aid. Fall asleep and stay asleep with Jet-Asleep. 

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Understanding Sleep

Sleep. It’s something we all could use a little more of.

It’s where we retreat in times of stress and in those moments when we finally have a couple of hours to relax. It keeps us looking forward to the weekend—a time traditionally dedicated to recharging and staying in bed for as long as possible.

Sleep, however, is more than just something to do on a Sunday. It is a crucial component of health and the circadian rhythm our bodies create to function effectively. Read on for a crash course in understanding sleep, and what you can do to improve this necessary element of life.

Sleep Cycle Basics

What happens when we sleep? It’s not like we can simply observe ourselves to understand what we experience every night. That’s where research comes in handy. 

Lucky for us, studying both the short and long-term consequences of sleep deprivation is a highly revered science.  We now understand the function behind the circadian rhythm, and what happens to our body when we fall asleep.

When we sleep, the brain is hard at work removing waste products from brain cells, and preparing the brain for learning information and storing memories. Other health benefits of sleep include tissue restoration and

The brain is very active during sleep as it cycles through its various sleep stages. Every 90-110 minutes, the brain experiences both REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep and non-REM (NREM) sleep.  These cycles are referred to this way due to the pattern of eye movement in each stage. A normal adult sleep pattern has 4 to 6 cycles of REM/NREM.

Non-REM sleep a very restorative period, and is typically associated with tissue growth and repair, bone and muscle growth, and immune system support. Once the brain has completed the many smaller cycles of NREM, going into REM sleep kicks off a deep rest associated with intense dreams and neural stimulation. This reconstructive cycle supports learning and memory retention.

When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies aren’t able to function effectively. Sleep deprivation puts us at severe risk of metabolic disorders, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. It can also put the immune system at risk for illness and infection.

Understanding Sleep Hygiene

When it comes to sleep, you have more control over the quality than you might think. Research encourages us to stick to these standard sleep hygiene rules: 

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule and limit daytime naps
  • Avoid alcohol or nicotine before bed (avoid entirely if sleep issues are chronic)
  • Keep your room dark and cool
  • Stop using your phone 30 minutes prior to bedtime
  • Exercise every day (at least 30 minutes)
  • Stress management techniques

If you find yourself struggling with sleep even when sticking to these guidelines, you may want to consider seeing a specialist. There may be an underlying medical reason for your insomnia.

Get Better Sleep

The key to understanding sleep and getting better sleep is to stick to the standard sleep hygiene rules as much as possible. We’re all in for a few rough nights here and there, but can set ourselves up for success. 

Don’t sleep on our expert-level advice. Check out our blog for more tips and tools for when you need that extra nighttime support.

 

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Sleep Aids: How to Use Them to Treat Insomnia

Have you ever found yourself waiting for sleep but feeling wide awake? You may even feel tired but can’t manage to fall asleep. You’re not alone in this feeling.

As much as 30% of adults may suffer from insomnia and find themselves needing some sort of sleep aid to help them. Sleep aids can work very well and help you get some much-needed rest, but there are a lot of options to choose from, and not all of them will fit with what you need.

Check out these different types of aids to help you achieve the sleep of your dreams.

Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia can present itself in many different ways. You may not be able to fall asleep or stay asleep, or you may continue to wake up feeling unrested. It could happen for only a few days, weeks, months, or longer. Insomnia is caused by  many different factors, including stress, traumatic life events, work schedule, or diet. Aside from not eating a lot right before bed and organizing your schedule so you have a good sleep routine, avoiding insomnia may involve more than what you alone can fix, such as mental health issues or sleep disorders. That is where taking sleep aids can help.

Prescription Sleep Aids

If you’re struggling with insomnia and have no idea why it’s happening, you should visit your doctor to review your symptoms and figure out why you’re struggling to sleep. You might end up with a prescription for a sleep aid, or your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter aid. Both of these have good options, so you will just have to decide what works best for you. 

There are a variety of prescription sleep aids, including antidepressants and Z drugs. Some prescription sleep aids are designed for other uses but can also work effectively as a sleep aid, so talk with your doctor about what you are looking for before deciding on one.

Over the Counter

Over-the-counter sleep aids are generally antihistamine-based medications, mild sedatives often used to treat allergies. 

You can find a wide variety in stores from brands like Jet-Asleep that might help you get the rest you need. They may be easier to come by, but if you are unsure what is causing your insomnia, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before buying these.

Supplements

Natural sleep aids like melatonin or kava are supplements that may help with your insomnia. 

They are also the least studied, and they are not approved like prescription drugs. However, you may choose to go this route over getting a prescription to try different options. The most important thing is that you find something that works for you.

Solve Insomnia With Sleep Aids

 

Sleep aids can turn your insomnia from a constant source of stress to nonexistent. But you might not find the right fix for you immediately.

Make sure to look into what might be causing your insomnia and ways you can address that before jumping into trying several sleep aids. And remember that if one isn’t working out, you can always find another option that may work better for you.

Everyone is different, so finding the right medicine or supplement is a unique experience. The best sleep aid is the one that works for you, so consider all your options, try some out, and get back to bed. And if you have more questions, you can contact us about getting the sleep you need and deserve.

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Sleep and Immunity

We’re sure, with a high degree of certainty, that we’ve all hit a rough patch in our sleep patterns at one point or another. That’s pretty normal, but what should be avoided is a consistent lack of sleep.

Why? Studies show that individuals who aren’t getting quality sleep (or enough sleep) are more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus than those who are. Not only can lack of sleep make you more likely to get sick, it can also affect the speed in which your body recovers from said illness.

It is vitally important to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle – which includes good sleep habits. In this article, we’ll share some different tips and tricks for what you can do to help improve your sleep health.

WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING

Even after you decide to call it ‘lights out’ after a full day, your body continues to work hard at keeping your immune system healthy. One way that your body does this is by developing cytokines.

What are Cytokines?

That’s a great question! As we learned from BetterSleep.org, cytokines are a type of protein released by the immune system while we sleep. They are a key component to the growth and activity of cells within the human immune system.

As anyone who’s faced a restless night of sleep is aware, there are many negative effects to being deprived of sleep. One such effect that you might not be aware of is the decrease in production of cytokines and other antibodies and cells important to maintaining your health.

Cytokines are especially important when the body is under stress; increasing in number when the body is fighting off an infection or inflammation.

On top of the immediate decrease in production of cytokines that we face when our sleep is cut short, there are also risks associated with a long-term lack of sleep. According to Eric J. Olson, MD, long-term lack of sleep increases your risk for:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease

WHILE YOU ARE AWAKE

The world has drastically changed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to a number of ‘firsts’ for many people, including working from home. One study from Apollo Technical found that 65% of surveyed remote workers also reported working more hours than they had while working in the office.

On top of the extra hours of work, you might have found yourself becoming:

  • A ‘certified’ teacher to your children
  • A personal chef to your family – morning, noon and night
  • A professional housekeeper

With all these extra jobs heaped on your already-full plate, it’s likely that you aren’t taking as much time for yourself as you once were.

Board-certified nurse practitioner Ellen Wermter recommends the following:

“Try to process emotions during the day and take care of your physical and mental health. It’s normal to experience sleep deprivation right now. That’s our survival instinct kicking in, trying to run every scenario to solve this problem. But don’t make temporary poor sleep an additional source of anxiety.

Instead, do your best to make a nightly sleep appointment for seven to eight hours of stress-reducing, immunity-boosting sleep.”

WHILE YOU THINK ABOUT SLEEP

Now that we have you thinking about a good night’s sleep, you’re probably wondering how much is the right amount for you. Guidelines from The National Sleep Foundation recommend adults age 18 to 64 should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Interested in learning more about sleep health? We frequently share articles and news related to the subject on our Facebook page. Check us out at facebook.com/JetAlert.

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