I’m late, I’m never late, I must be pregnant! He looked at me and said your crazy and we’re done having kids.
To be fair, I have sent this man on more pregnancy test runs than coffee ones…so I know that word erks him. His advice – wait as week, it’ll come. So I waited impatiently. Ok fine I went out and bought one myself…It was negative. And 10 days after it came. It was the oddest period I had and I have never, ever been more than 2 days late in my life. What was going on?
My sleep. I was working late nights and was completely off schedule. And it wasn’t until my period got impacted that I sat back and thought about it.
Going to bed late, often snoozing in the morning and randomly waking up in the middle of the night was making me moody, tired, fat and most importantly messing up my hormones. This sign was enough and I spent the next month focusing on my sleep and sure enough it reset the next month. The snooze, the 2am wake ups, the belly fat and my cycle.
It wasn’t until my body signaled loud and clear that something was off that I payed attention. I wonder if I just ignored it, how it would have continued to impact me almost unknowingly.
You may not have this scare….you may just feel exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day? Maybe your snoozing or having the 2am wake-ups.
Do not fear, here’s the info so you can reset your sleep too (with an amazing recipe)!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
If you don’t sleep enough and try to work out, you may cancel out the benefits and still gain weight!
OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this, it’s easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
- Restore: Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
- Brain Function: Improves our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- Recharge: Conserves energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
So how much do you need? It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real!
Try not to skimp!
(Take notes starting now)
Tips for better sleep
- Schedule: The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority just like we do for babies.
- This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. 7 Days. A. Week.
- For a few weeks – do this on the weekend too, so you can fully adjust
- Variance of +/- 30 minutes
- Eating: Balance your blood sugar throughout the day.
- You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber).
- Choose foods high in magnesium or supplement if necessary – this mineral is helpful before bed to help us calm and relax
- Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat – melatonin needs protein as its core building block
- Get Sunshine & Exercise: During the day get some sunshine and exercise.
- These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert.
- By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
- Reduce Stimulants: Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm.
- Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing.
- Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte.
- Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).
- Wind Down: Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (8 – 10 hours before your alarm goes off).
- Dim the lights in the house
- Nix screen time and go on Airplane Mode (Cell phone frequencies increase anxiety even when you sleep)
- Read an (actual, not “e”) book or have a bath.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte:
1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)
2 cups of boiling water
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)
2 dates (optional)
Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.
Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender.
Blend until creamy.
Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavour combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?