Saturday, December 31, 2011

Causes of Insomnia Part 3 New Year’s Resolution

Getting through the holiday season can be stressful with office parties, family dinners, dealing with crowded stores and finding those perfect gifts. Have you ever asked yourself how the holiday season is affecting your sleep? Stress is the number one nonmedical reason people suffer from insomnia. Now is the time of year many people make a New Year’s Resolution. How many of you have decided this year is the year I will drop a few pounds? STOP the stress about dieting and losing weight and make your New Year’s Resolution GET MORE SLEEP! Here are some reasons getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your mind and body.

[caption id="attachment_1716" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Well this New Year Resolution shouldn't be too hard to accomplish"][/caption]

New Year’s Eve parties or partying in general may be fun but not when it affects your sleep. Staying up late and drinking alcohol is bad for your sleep cycle. Alcohol is not a sleep aid even though it may help you to fall asleep easy once the effects of the alcohol wear off you will have the tendency to wake up during the night and have a hard time falling back to sleep. The best way to enjoy your New Year’s Eve party is to take it slow and stop drinking at least two hours before you go to bed. It might be helpful to drink some water to counterbalance the dehydrating effects of the alcohol. Let me ask you two questions... if you have consumed a lot of alcohol and food this holiday season are you worried about the weight you have gained? Is dieting your New Year’s Resolution?

There is a connection between sleep and weight gain, you have probably read about it in many diet books and magazine articles. Maybe you have read about the sleep diet that suggests you can lose weight while you sleep. Is it true when you sleep you will lose weight? Well, sort of. The author of Beauty Sleep, Michael Breus, PhD states that if you are sleep-deprived, meaning you aren’t getting the quality and quantity of sleep your body needs, you metabolism will not function properly. If you suffer from insomnia and get only five hours of sleep and start to sleep at least seven hours you will start to lose weight. HOW?

There are two hormones that are associated with how much you eat and when you are hungry. Ghrelin tells you when to eat and when you don’t get enough sleep the more ghrelin you produce. Leptin tells you when to stop eating and when you are asleep you have less leptin. So less sleep means more ghrelin plus less leptin that equates to weight gain. On top of that how many of you grab a late night snack?

I am not saying that sleep alone will help you lose those pesky 10 pounds you will still need to adhere to a healthy diet and some exercise. If you plan on changing some bad lifestyle habits it is best to keep it to yourself. Blabbing about your New Year’s Resolution no matter what it is many hurt your chances of obtaining your goal. Many people want the credit for doing something rather than for the effort of actually doing it. Some of you may find announcing your intentions as a way of motivating yourself because it would be too embarrassing to back out, while others may find the stress of achieving your goal with the world watching (as with Twitter or Facebook) too challenging which may put other priorities one the back burner; like getting enough sleep. If you absolutely must talk about it, talk in terms of progress about you have done, what you have got left to do and what you need to be held accountable for.

If the stress of making a New Year’s Resolution is too great why not make your New Year’s Resolution not to make any more New Year’s Resolutions? New Year’s Resolutions are one of life’s biggest energy zappers. Trying to prioritize one’s life to include; how we eat, when we can exercise, look for a new job and/or trying to quit smoking is especially hard when we feel there isn’t enough time in the day already. Sometimes setting realistic goals and not limiting yourself to a once a year pledge you may find that you won’t abandon your objective.

[caption id="attachment_1717" align="alignright" width="300" caption="With all these New Year Resolutions she will be so stressed out she won't get a decent night's sleep!"][/caption]

The most popular New Year’s Resolutions are; losing weight, saving money (right), better job, exercise, healthier diet, better education, drinking less alcohol, quit smoking, reduce stress, take a trip and help others. On average some people will last a week while others stick it out till February 1st, very few achieve their goal. WHY? One, they look at it as a long term process…how am I going to keep this up all year long? When they should look at it as…What can I do today? Two, most New Year’s Resolutions are negative; I’m fat, I drink too much…etc. So most goals can only be achieved if you take something away from someone. If they thought about it in a more positive way of achieving their goal it would be less stressful. For instance think of your goal as looking and feeling better rather than losing weight and maybe instead of tossing and turning at night you will get a decent night’s sleep. Remember your beauty sleep is essential along with a healthy lifestyle to stay happy and taking caring of YOU should be a priority no matter what time of year it is!

The content provided in Causes of Insomnia Part 3 New Year’s Resolution is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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