Sleep: Part 4: How can you get more sleep?
By: Emilie "Flo" Hester, CPT & Larry N. Smith, MD, CPT
Turn off the TV!
The number one thing that ruins a good nights sleep is having the TV on as you fall asleep and then leaving it on all night. The sound from the TV is always interrupting the sleep cycle so you cannot complete the full cycle and are delayed entering REM sleep. By removing the TV from the bed room you will find that you fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper and longer. On a side note, your sex life will improve too. So, get that TV out of the bed room. This holds true for your children as well. With newborns, don't play music and have noise makers in their crib or bed. Let baby fall asleep in quiet atmosphere and sleep soundly for however long they need.
Organize the evening
Having structure to the evening is important. What are the specific things that occur after you and the kids get home together between 4 and 6? Put in place an outline of things that have to be done by everyone so that by dinner time most of the "Chores" are completed. After dinner, the whole family cleans the kitchen and the table is set for homework. The older kids help the younger and within an hour or so, the home work is done. So now is when the little ones get ready for bed. You read them a story as they lay in bed then turn off the light and close the door. The older kids do their thing but its lights out by 9:00 PM. Going to bed every night at the same time and getting up at the same time everyday is important. Yes it takes some discipline to get the routine going but it works.
Finding time to exercise is Critical for all the reasons we have discussed in earlier blog posts. Just as you have organized your evenings, organize your mornings. Alternating morning responsibilities with hubby lets one of you have time to work out. Join the group fitness classes at FloMotion Fitness there are group classes all day with child watch for mothers with little ones. Add open gym 24/7 access and you can workout when you get time. But, whatever you decide get exercise into your daily routine.
Improve your diet?
Read our blogs on weight loss. Realize that eating high calorie snacks in bed is not the way to loss weight. Don't buy cookies in the grocery store buy fruits. Get your kids eating healthy foods and avoid the calorie traps of convenience and habit. Start a higher protein diet, with reduced carbohydrates. Do not use vegetable oils to cook with. Use butter to cook with! Vegetable oil use is related to obesity.
Avoid bad Habits
Do not smoke, drink caffeinated drinks or drink alcohol right before bed. All three have been demonstrated to prevent good sleep habits and patterns.
Do not go to bed until you are sleepy. If you are not sleepy go do something until you become sleepy. Avoid the TV as it will make you mindless.
Naps are helpful but hard to get. Thirty minutes or less "Power Naps" are best. they will rejuvenate and focus you. Talk with the boss. If they agree to the value of naps then take one when you need one.
Needless to say getting the sleep you need is critical. without it your health is negatively impacted. with good sleep the health benefits become obvious. We here at FloMotion Fitness are happy to help you achieve your health goals through exercise, nutritional counseling and education. let us help you become a healthier person.