Ask a Well being Coach: Sleep, Stress, and the Snooze Button

sleeping man is slumbering on his cellphoneHey guys! Erin is here for another round of Ask a Health Coach. If you suffer from insomnia, stressed out over carbohydrates, or are a chronic snooze button, today's post is for you. Have your questions appear on Mark's daily Apple Facebook group or share them in the comments section.

Alicia asked:

"I tried to get up early to exercise, but I always end up hitting the snooze button and falling asleep again. Do you have any tricks to get up on time?"

I think it's great that you set goals. It shows that you don't have to wait until New Years or (another) Monday to change your life.1 But I understand. Any routine that is different from your normal one can be challenging, let alone staying.

The good news is, this is kind of my specialty. I love teaching my clients to take care of their personal responsibility. If you are responsible for your own actions – and the results of those actions – you will be put in the driver's seat. You are in control of what you do and what you don't. It also sends you a positive message that you are worth it and that this change is important enough to make it a priority.

On the flip side, if you just throw a plan out there, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best with a lukewarm attitude (and no consequences), you are pretty much preparing to fail.

The first rule of accountability? Make sure you understand your goals and the reasons why you want to achieve them. For your situation, I would first ask:

  • When do i wake up?
  • What kind of exercise will I do?
  • What kind of equipment or gear do I need?
  • Where do i do this
  • How long will i train?
  • Why is this important to me?
  • What if I don't break my snooze button habit?

Why is it all important? Because there is a huge difference between people who set goals and those who actually succeed.

There is a great study that shows that having a specific plan is three times more likely to achieve your goals.2 In the study, 248 participants who wanted to develop better exercise habits were divided into three groups. One group was asked to track their training, one group was given motivational information about the training, and the third group was asked to come up with a plan of when and where they would train.

In particular, they were asked to complete the following sentence: For the next week, I will be participating in at least 20 minutes of intense training on (day) at (time) at (place). For you it could look like this:

I'll be vigorous exercise in my bedroom for at least 20 minutes on weekdays at 5:15 a.m. Or choose it even more by saying, I'll be doing 20 minutes of weightlifting in my bedroom at 5:15 a.m. on weekdays.

Another way to increase your chances of getting up on time? Make it easier – or harder not to do it. James Clear, the epitome of habit, says, "The environment in which you live makes it easier to practice unhealthy habits and practice healthy habits (… even if you really want to change something)."

So, if you want to make morning workouts easier, put your clothes, shoes, and weights in a place where you can see them visibly. If you want to avoid smashing the snooze button, consider placing it in a place out of reach, such as a bathroom. B. in the bathroom or in a room in the hallway. You would literally have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Practice these techniques and accountability tactics and see what happens. I suspect you'll have a routine before most people work out their New Year's resolutions.

Tom asked:

“I find myself tossing and turning around most nights, or I wake up around 3:30 in the morning and have trouble getting back to sleep. It's definitely annoying, but is it normal? "

Often, yes. Maybe normal. Ideal, absolutely not. A lot of my clients have trouble falling asleep and it seems like more of a problem than actually falling asleep. In short, you are in good company. That said, it's definitely something you want to address right away. Here's why.

In my opinion, a good night's sleep is non-negotiable. Sleep is critical to basic physiological functions, from balancing your hormones and mood to strengthening your immune system, which is especially important right now.3

A walk in the middle of the night may be due to something you ate or drank during the day. Some studies have linked sleep quality to macronutrient intake. This means you may need more or less carbs to close a solid 8 hour eye. And if you are a coffee drinker, even low caffeine content can have ramifications. Keep a food log for 3-5 days and see if you can see patterns between what you consume and what you sleep.

You'll also want to take a look at your bedtime rituals.4th

1. Minimize screen time. If you need a computer, tablet or phone in the evening, wear blue-light protective goggles or set the devices to the “night shift” setting. Artificial light can affect your circadian rhythm and thus your sleep cycle.

2. Avoid this late night drink. A glass of wine or cocktail can help you fall asleep faster, but it can disrupt your REM cycle, leaving you drained, light-headed, and likely a little hungover the next day. Alcohol also relaxes the muscles, including the muscles in your throat, which can make you snore more – or snore louder.

3. Keep your phone away from the bedroom. In addition to the blue light situation mentioned above, scrolling right before bed can lead to strange dreams and stressful sleep attacks. If you're the type of person who checks email or social media the moment you open your eyes, it may be worth taking a break from this routine.

And if these don't move the needle, you should consult a doctor or health advisor. Some Primal Health Coaches even specialize in sleep.

Marcelle asked:

“I'm worried about the carbs I ate over Thanksgiving. I know a lot of people put on weight over the holidays, but I've worked so hard to keep it off. What can I do to get all of those extra carbs compensate? "

The holidays are always stressful and, as you may have noticed, this year is no exception. But the extra pressure you put on yourself for what you ate? Why are you doing this to yourself? Adding stress on top of stress only makes your adrenal glands work harder, encouraging your body to pump out more cortisol, and forcing your body to store more fat. which, if my guess is correct, likely puts you on a spiral of worry, guilt and shame

So, in short, The way you think about your food intake actually has a bigger impact than the food itself.6

Since when have carbohydrates been a whole food group? I don't know who needs to hear this, but carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in almost all foods including, but not limited to, almonds, apples, asparagus, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, carrots, clams, oysters, yams, and yogurt .

Even if you've served yourself a plate of meat and vegetables, you haven't skipped the carbohydrates. If you've decided to skip the pumpkin pie with whipped cream and eat fresh berries instead? Still carbohydrates. When you've passed all the dessert and poured another glass of wine? Still carbohydrates.

We tend to criminalize these large subsections of food – to lump them all into one bucket. But not all carbohydrates are created equal, and frankly, not all are bad. When you become metabolically flexible, you can partake of any type of food your heart desires and have the peace of mind that your body can handle it.7 They can burn fat as fuel. You can burn carbohydrates for fuel. You can switch back and forth between metabolizing relatively easily. So let yourself relax a little and appreciate the fact that your body knows what to do.

Now it's your turn! Drop me a few questions in the comments below.

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Ask a Health Coach: Sleep, Stress, and the Snooze Button first appeared on Mark's Daily Apple.

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