Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Health & Fitness: Rest Easy

Effective Ways To Wind Down, Rev Up, And Feel Your Best All Day Long.

Sleep is elusive. With lives multitasked to the umpteenth degree, many brides-to-be come up short on shut-eye. You toss and turn as you slumber (an average of 7 ½ hours a night, says the National Sleep Foundation), upsetting the all-important REM-rich cycles while unconsciously fretting over wedding planning. Here, two compelling reasons to get enough rest.

Your Weight 

Brides who skimp on sleep are significantly more likely to be overweight than those who
consistently get seven hours of shut-eye a night. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more stress hormones such as cortisol, which slows down your metabolism and ups production of appetite-increasing hormones such as leptin.

Your Health 

Being tired means you’re more susceptible to everything from developing diabetes to catching colds. Experts indicate that after six nights of four hours’ sleep, you may have an increase in higher blood sugar (an early warning sign of diabetes) and weaker immune systems than those who slept eight hours. Sleeping only six hours a night increases the risk of heart disease by 18 percent.


RESTED DEVELOPMENT Think you’re slumber savvy? Don’t be so sure! Answer these questions to reveal if you catch enough z’s.

Do you generally wake up before your alarm goes off every morning?

A.    Yes

B.    No

Best answer: A 
You’ll wake up on your own if you’re getting enough sleep, which many of us aren’t. More than 43 percent of women report feeling so tired it affects their day-to-day activities three days a week.

How fast do you fall asleep when you get into bed?    

A.    As soon as your head hits the pillow

B.    Within 10 to 15 minutes

C.    You toss and turn for almost an hour

Best answer: B 
If you lose consciousness almost immediately after crawling under the covers, you’re sleep-deprived. But if you toss and turn, consumed by stress, you may be spending too much time in bed, which contributes to insomnia. Try going to sleep 15 minutes later.

How much caffeine do you consume?

A.    You’re useless without your morning brew and afternoon cappuccino (not to mention those two diet sodas you drink with lunch.

B.    You have a cup of coffee in the morning and either a cup of coffee or a diet drink in the afternoon as a pick-me-up

C.    Just one cup in the morning.

Best answer: C 
The less caffeine you crave, the more rested you are. If you can get through that 3pm slump (your body’s natural low point) without reaching for a the cup of java, then you’re master of your sleep domain.

By Patricia Canole
For more health & fitness tips and trends, visit ForTheBrideMag.com

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