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rhythm of the night

With insomnia, nothing’s real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy, of a copy, of a copy… When you have insomnia, you’re never really asleep and you’re never really awake.

-- Fight Club

sleep on it

Sleep makes you feel better and its importance goes way beyond boosting your mood and banishing those under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. Bad sleep can lead to weight gain, fatigue, bad mood, anxiety and can mess with your memory and decision making skills. Good sleep can reverse all the above and can improve both sports and cognitive performance; it can also reduce stress and help you recover from exercise.⠀

gremlins

Have you ever noticed that the day after a poor night’s sleep your chances of eating healthily are severely reduced? A pack of carrots just doesn’t seem as appealing as it does to the well-rested version of yourself. Whereas the bakery now seems to be constantly calling you. Well, there is a scientific reason for that. Hunger and satiety are influenced by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is formed in the fat cells and decreases appetite, it tells your brain when you’re full and when you should start burning calories for energy. Ghrelin does basically the exact opposite of leptin. During sleep you need less energy, leptin will rise and ghrelin levels will fall. Lack of sleep will literally get the gremlins out, making your brain think you need more energy and causing cravings, particularly for foods high in fat and sugar… so in short: lack of sleep can indeed make you fat!
 

night owl or early bird?

Whether you are a night owl or like getting up at the crack of dawn, we all have our internal clocks and our bodies are finely tuned to them; disruptions to our biological cycles can increase risk of obesity, chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. According to research one in 75 people have the ‘night owl mutation’ and the sleep cycle is largely beyond their control. But most of us can take some steps to make sure we get enough rest and improve our health along the way.

sound snoozing tips

The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips to help make sure you get enough sleep for your body to function optimally:

  • Try to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night
  • Stick to a sleep routine by going to bet and getting up around the same time every day, including in the weekend
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual and stay away from clear lights, activities that cause excitement or stress
  • Increase your exercise level, but try not to exercise within three hours of your bed time
  • Don't ingest caffeine or alcohol near your bed time; caffeine can keep you awake, and alcohol can disrupt the normal stages of your sleep
  • Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable and supportive
  • Create the best possible conditions by making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and not too cold nor too warm

sleeping beauties, only in fairytales?

Research actually supports that, when it comes to beauty routines, sleep may be the closest thing around to a fountain of youth. Our bodies repair themselves when we sleep and that can also come with benefits for your looks. Some additional bonus effects of adequate shuteye include:

  • Fewer wrinkles
  • Less puffy eyes
  • A glowing complexion
  • Healthier hair

 

I don’t know about you, but I am hitting the sack right now. Sleep tight!

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