Sleep is a beautiful thing. But without it, things can get pretty scary pretty quickly. How do you know if you are sleeping? And more importantly, if you are sleeping well.

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Do you wake up drowsy? Is is difficult to make it through your day? Do you find yourself eating throughout the day even if you are not hungry? All of these issues point to a lack of sleep. 

A lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is linked with weight management. Recent research has pointed to a few different reasons for this connection between sleep and obesity/diabetes. Sleep loss can decrease insulin sensitivity which results in impaired glucose tolerance and an increase in the risk of developing diabetes. A lack of sleep can also decrease the production of satiety (or fullness) hormones and increase the production of appetite-stimulating hormones in the stomach. The imbalance of hormones can lead to over eating throughout the day in order to compensate for lack of sleep. Click here for the full report on this research from The National Institute of Health. 

So what can be done about this? I am challenging you to sleep! The goal is to hit 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. 

Here are a few tips to help you with this challenge: 

  1. Make sure you are giving yourself adequate time. If you know you have to wake up at 5 a.m., try to start winding your night down around 9 p.m. so you are ready for bed. 
  2. Avoid watching television in your bed. Studies have shown that watching television in bed can interrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to achieve REM sleep. 
  3. Invest in quality pillows and bedsheets. What you sleep on can make a huge difference!! 
  4. Ask your doctor about any issues you have with snoring, waking with a dry throat, or waking up gasping. You may need to have a sleep study. 

Here’s to beauty sleep! ~Lauren A.