Raise your hand if you got a solid 8 hours of sleep last night. I thought so. If you are typically logging 6 or so hours of sleep each night you are not alone. Between 1960 and 2010, the average night’s sleep for adults in the United States dropped to six and a half hours from more than eight. According to this N.Y. Times article the benefits of a good nights sleep include improved concentration, productivity, mood, immune function and less sensitivity to pain.
Here’s the bad news – loosing sleep can make you fat.
As the average hours American sleep each night has declined our average weight has increased. A 16 year long Harvard sleep study showed women who slept for 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain and 15% more likely to become obese compared with women who slept 7 hours.
Several factors can affect your shuteye, from medications, your exercise and activity level during the day, stress, diet, alcohol consumption and the amount of sunlight you receive. What can you do? Here are some great recommendations for getting a more restful nights sleep. They include establishing a regular sleep schedule and getting plenty of exercise. If you have trouble turning of your thoughts, to do list etc.. keep a journal and pen by your bed make a quick note about it and let it go. If you drink coffee have a cup in the morning then cut yourself off. Love your glass of wine in the evening? Have one glass with dinner then stop drinking at least an hour before bedtime.
Did you know massage can help you sleep? I receive (and suggest to my clients) at lease one massage per month. If you are in need of a more structured movement + massage program call me today and together we will craft a customized exercise, stretching and self care program that will leave you looking and feeling your best!