Eating a nutrient dense meal, two to three times a day and following a low carb low sugar diet will help you with your goal of healthy life. It takes care of lifestyle ailments like obesity, insulin resistance, high sugar, high BP, acidity and inflammation. However the most important part of the whole process is a sound sleep.
Does sound sleep help in weight loss? How do we define sound sleep? We keep emphasising on the fact that instead of focussing on weight loss, aim for healthy body. Weight loss will come on its own. Health is directly connected to sufficient sleep.
Action plan or The shorter version
- Evening meal time at 7pm
- Stress busting activity before sleep like walking or family time
- What should be on your meal plate
Common factors which create sleep problems
Before we talk about the problems let us understand sound sleep. It is a deep state of sleep which does not get disturbed. Too much of turning in sleep means disturbance. Lights on, less silence, heavy food, inflammation, etc can cause disturbance in sleep.
Too much of coffee, tea or chocolates – Caffeine in the coffee is the strongest sleep inhibitor. Many types of tea contain caffeine too. Chocolates are know disruptors of sleep.
Elevated resting pulse rate – If you are into too much of exercise, you pulse rate will be high when you go to sleep. This will prevent you from going to sleep. Resting heart rate is the best indicator of health. Anything below 65 is very good while below 80 is normal. If you hear your pulse pounding as you set your head on the pillow, you wont be able to sleep.
Certain foods can make your PH levels acidic which also elevates your pulse rate like apple cider vinegar. Potassium deficiency will also increase your pulse rate. If your diet contains too many refined carbs, this will also reduce potassium from your body and increase the pulse rate.
Too much of sugar and carbs in your diet – Carbs make you feel hungry, even after a meal. Today in the modern world setting, we have the tendency to finish off a meal with dessert and begin the evening meal with a few snacks. Most of these are carbs and sugars. This pushes glucose in our blood and we sleep with a body full of energy.
Too less of potassium and magnesium in your diet – Green leafy vegetables are a good source of these minerals. Vegetables like tomato, peppers, capsicum, carrot, beetroot, garlic and so on are also a good source. Lack of potassium and magnesium will cause muscle cramps which will cause discomfort at night. Red meat, chicken and eggs are a good source of phosphorus. But if you consuming too much of protein from these sources and not balancing them with enough veggies, you will not be able to sleep well. If consuming fat based food like meat will also give you digestive discomfort. So move the heavy non vegetarian stuff to the afternoon meal.
Cortisol hormone excess will wake you up at 2am – One reason for this is too much consumption of sugar and sweet products.
Insulin resistance will wake you up to pee at night – Increase insulin sensitivity.
Gadgets will disrupt your sleep – Watching TV before you sleep. Seeing your mobile phone or keeping an electronic gadget next to your body while sleeping will cause problems due to the EMF radiations.
Keeping lights on – There is too much light around you. Artificial lighting is the culprit here. Darkness induces melatonin hormone which controls your sleep. With light in the room and TV on, you will have a problem.
Your sound sleep plan
- As soon as wake up, expose yourself to bright sunlight. This will set up your Circadian Rhythm which is the biological clock of the body.
- 30 mins of walking in the sunlight will provide enough exercise for fat burning.
- Breathing exercise for four seconds will help regulate most of the process in the body.
- 10:30pm is the best time to sleep because that is the time when the first wave hits you. The next wave will come somewhere around 1am!
- Do some amount of exercise in the daytime.
- After spending long hours in front of the computer you can go for a walk in the evening and finish off the day with some family time before going off to sleep.
- If you are obese you should begin intermittent fasting for guaranteed weight loss.
- Before embarking upon a healthy life plan, understand Insulin Resistance.
Ways to reduce stress – the sure shot plan
- Pick up a hobby. Activities are best way to reduce stress. Learning a new skill is the best stress buster.
- Reading and writing is therapeutic. A good way to reduce stress is to maintain a dairy and update it at the end of the day.
- Going out with friends and family helps a lot.
- Gardening is the proven way to relax.
- Listening to music or playing a musical instrument helps a lot with long term stress.
- Yoga in-particular suryanamaskar helps with fitness as well as stress. It is also the best breathing exercise.
- Hiking or nature walk once a week is the best way to relax as well as exercise.
- Daily evening walk in the park.
- Keeping a pet means unbound love. Love is the best counter-balance to stress.