Sleep problems: are you the cause?
Sleep problems: are you the cause? Sleep problems… a common problem with far-reaching consequences for your health and also one of the reasons why you gain weight and lose weight with difficulty. You are the most important player in this story, it all starts with you: TAKE YOU TIME first is my mantra also when it comes to sleep and sleep problems.
Fatigue from a bad night’s sleep…it has a huge impact on your body. After all, a lot happens in your body while you sleep to start repairing your body in all areas so you’re ready for a busy day the next morning. When you take a nap or are sleeping at night, you alternate between periods of what is called REM and non-REM sleep.
REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movements” or rapid eye movements. During the deep stages of non-REM sleep, your body starts to repair and renew itself. It also strengthens the immune system. By being sufficiently rested it will also be easier to maintain your weight, I wrote about this extensively in my book “Walk your slim and happy” because if you don’t sleep well the production of ghrelin and leptin is disturbed and just those hormones are important for controlling the feeling of hunger. If it is disturbed then you get more and more cravings for sweets and carbohydrates with the result that you gain weight. Your skin also needs sleep. Together with healthy diet, exercise, mental rest and supplements such as SILIX Hair Skin Nails (see also my other article on this), sleep is very decisive for the quality of your skin and whether you have more or less wrinkles and black circles under your eyes.
The body is smart but you have to let it do its job by supporting it optimally with a healthy lifestyle.
As you age, you tend to sleep lighter and therefore less solid and have fewer periods of deep sleep. But if that deep sleep is already lost at an earlier age then this has a huge impact on your well-being, your weight and it will also make you “old” faster. Aging of the human body shows a clear link shorter periods of sleep.
How much sleep do you need?
The number of hours of sleep varies from person to person, but in general these are the hours you need to function optimally:
- Babies: 12-15 hours
- Toddlers from 1-3 years: 11-14 hours
- Toddlers ages 3-5: 10-13 hours
- Children ages 6-13: 9-11 hours
- Teens aged 14-17: 8-10 hours
- Adults: 7-8 hours
Some adults can do with 5 or 6 hours, while others need as many as 10.Everyone is different. However, sleeping too much can also be a cause of fatigue…so finding a healthy average is important. In addition to the number of hours of sleep, the quality of sleep is obviously very important. I myself need 5 to 6 hours of sleep, but it has to be uninterrupted and I have to sleep really deeply. In periods when I am putting a lot of strain on my body and mind or when I am experiencing emotional stress, I usually sleep a little more. I always listen to my body. And a power nap in the afternoon I also take regularly.
The reason why I manage with so little is simply because I take care of a healthy lifestyle according to the 7 pillars in my TAKE YOU TIME™ method.
Reasons for sleeping badly
There are a lot of causes of sleeping poorly and I’m going to be very harsh here by starting with the words, “many problems are really 100% your own fault”. I notice more and more in my practice that beating around the bush and glossing over the problem doesn’t help people. That’s why I’ve learned to just be straightforward. I want to help you and by being honest and confronting you with your own bad habits I’m also going to help you get a good night’s sleep and healthy weight faster. These are the causes of poor sleep that I identify most in my practice. I hope I am ‘waking you up’.
Cause 1 sleep problems: too little exercise!
Who sits on his/her lazy butt all day, gets no fresh air or daylight is not (physically) tired enough to fall asleep easily and to continue sleeping. We are not made to sit around all day. One of the 7 pillars in my method TAKE YOU TIME™ is EXERCISE! I wrote an entire book on walking (Walk Your Slim and Happy), my favorite method of movement and its successor (Move Your Slim and Happy) is coming along too. Simply because I can’t shout loud enough that you MUST TRAVEL. Do not immediately reach for all kinds of (natural) remedies and pills but first start looking at your life. Do you move enough in the fresh air. Because walking or moving around in the open air is still the cheapest, simplest way to get fit and to sleep really well afterwards. It also helps you lose weight and that’s my next point I want to make….
Cause 2 sleep problemes: obesity.
Sorry, but I get clients on the floor every day who were prescribed sleeping pills by their doctor when no one dares to put their finger on the cause: a healthy weight! Many of those patients are really overweight. No wonder you don’t sleep well, sweat to death at night or have sleep apnea. If you are overweight, this has a major impact on your sleep. Your body has to fight against that oppressive and suffocating excess weight while you sleep. That really presses on your whole body and your breathing. No wonder you can’t sleep well. And then you find yourself in that vicious circle of poor sleep, disruption of the hunger hormones and daytime snacking or resorting to carbohydrates and then you gain even more weight. Sorry but in order to sleep well the extra kilos have to come off first! I told you I was going to be straightforward. So exercise, adjust your diet and get to a healthy, natural weight. That’s the first thing you need to do.
While on the road to a healthy, sleep-promoting lifestyle, you can support your body with such things as taking extra melatonin which is a better and more natural choice than a sleep aid. I work successfully in my practice with “Melatonin complex” from Natural Energy. Along with supplementation of L-tryptophan for example before bedtime. (Check out the TAKE YOU TIME™ club discounts on this site!)
Phytotherapy can also support you on your way to a healthy weight without the side effects of sleep aids. You can drink a herbal infusion in the evening with chamomile, valerian, passion flower, nightcap, hawthorn, lime, rose petals, lavender, lemon balm, hops, … At herbalbar.be you can find some (tasty!) mixes so you immediately have the right proportions.
Cause 3 sleep problems: too many stimuli!
This one is entirely up to you: unwind and avoid stimuli before bedtime. Turn off your phone, PC, tablet at least 2 hours before bedtime. Stop quickly checking your mailbox and then, just before you go to sleep, discovering that an annoying e-mail has arrived. Do you really need to check that email or message? NO, NO, NO! In the old days we didn’t have all these means of communication either and the world kept spinning. So turn everything off about 2 hours before you go to sleep.
And don’t watch the news or heavy reports late at night either. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t inform yourself or that you shouldn’t be involved in world issues but if you can’t sleep well because of that and therefore don’t take TAKE YOU TIME™ then with your sleepy head and bad mood the next day you can’t exactly do much positive for the world. Can’t you?
Cause 4 sleep problems: Too much noise or snoring bed partners.
When you sleep it should be quiet and that also means that that snoring bed partner is a disturbance. Not only for your sleep but ultimately also for your relationship because those who are not slept in become irritable. I very often advise clients to sleep separately as a couple if snoring is an issue. It doesn’t have to interfere with your sex life at all. You can enjoy a nice moment of freedom and then sleep well in your own bed. If you have slept in, you will have a higher libido and thus a greater desire for sex and you will enjoy it more. I find sex very important in a relationship, it brings you as a couple in a special, energetic connection and you also burn a lot of calories.
Do you want to share your bed with the grass machine next to you? Then wear earplugs. The only ones I can tolerate as a side sleeper are the ALPINE earplugs called Sleep Deep, super soft and you don’t feel them.
Cause 5 sleep problems: wrongly composed meals.
In my method I work with the principles of combination nutrition. Carbohydrates and proteins are not eaten in the same meal. You can learn all about it in my 12-week online programs or during a counseling session. I also write about it in my new book “Move Yourself Slim and Happy” which comes out on June 18.
A healthy meal, well put together, lots of fresh vegetables and good chewing will ensure that your stomach doesn’t have to work overtime and you will fall asleep wonderfully without that crammed feeling.
I could say a lot more about sleep but if it gets too long you won’t read along or start nodding anyway. 😜Just keep following along in this blog and maybe take a look at my coaching offerings for that push towards good health and healthy weight. Anyone can do it, but you shouldn’t want to do everything on your own. I don’t either. I too work with coaches in different areas of my life.
My name is Lies Helsloot and I call myself the first TAKE YOU TIME™ Expert. I am the author of 2 health books (“Walk Yourself Slim & Happy. How taking More Steps can Change Your Life” (English translation coming soon Spring 2022!) and “The Complete Guide to healthy Hair“), I blog here at takeyoutime.com and coach individual clients, groups and companies around the world to a happy, healthy life and more work-life balance with my 7-step concept of TAKE YOU TIME™. For more motivation and free training and challenges, be sure to sign up for the newsletter on this site and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Or get in touch to know about my online- and coaching programs.0