How to Fall Asleep Even When It’s Hard

Ever have trouble falling asleep?

We all do from time to time.

Watch the video to learn some tips and tricks on how to fall asleep.

Which type of sleep problem do you have?

1. Can’t fall asleep

2. Can’t stay asleep

3. Not enough time for sleep

 

Chattering head

Do you ever have the to do list, un-captured ideas, unfinished communications, running through your head as you try to fall asleep? If so, use a notepad or journal to empty your head before you turn out the light. That way, you aren’t trying to remember everything all during the night.

Caffeine

People metabolize caffeine at different rates. Learn your body. Many people need to stop drinking coffee by Noon

Sleep Environment

Limit blue light.

Your room should be a cool, quiet, dark environment. Use ear plugs or an eye mask if necessary.

Find a temperature works for you. If you are too cold you may have trouble falling asleep. Use blankets, a hot water bottle, or something you can adjust without over heating or having to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

Supplements

There are lots of herbs that are helpful for sleep. Different ones effect people differently, so you will have to experiment to find ones that work for you. Some good ones are valerian, lavender, chamomile, and passion flower. They come in teas, tinctures, satchels for smelling… read more.

Sam-e and GABA are supplements that help neurotransmitter levels. They can be very helpful for some, but should be used with caution.

Ideally your body produces melatonin between 10pm and midnight–but only in the dark and while you are asleep. If you aren’t asleep by 10pm, you may not be producing enough melatonin for sleep and wellbeing.

Natural Circadian Rhythm

Make sure that you get some natural daylight during the day, especially in the morning.

Get enough Exercise

Exercise helps you in numerous ways, including a great night’s sleep. Avoid exercising within an hour before bedtime, but make sure you get active during the day.

Over-Adrenalized

If your adrenal glands are constantly pumping adrenaline into your system, you will have trouble falling asleep. The more tired you are, the harder it can be to fall asleep. It becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.

 

Want some support around sleep and health?

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The Importance of Good Sleep For Optimal Health

The importance of good sleep for optimal health is far more than most people know. It’s about more than just feeling “rested”. Many functions critical to health happen while you sleep.

But not all sleep is the same. Sleep, under the influence of sleep aids, alcohol, marijuana, and even caffeine, is not the same as natural sleep. During natural sleep you go through different sleep cycles in which different processes are happening within your brain and body. Under the influence of the above, your sleep cycles are altered or eliminated and to the point that you are robbed of the full benefit of the opportunity.

Lack of adequate quality sleep predisposes you to Alzheimer’s, heart disease, insulin resistance, weight gain, inflammation, hormonal imbalances, accidents, and infection.

It also helps short term memories get stored as long term memories.

A normal person should, ideally sleep 7.5-9 hours per night. Some people brag about how little sleep they need–but this is folly! Two very famous people who used to brag about how little sleep they needed–Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher–both tragically died of complications related to Alzheimer’s.

Getting OPTIMAL sleep should be every bit as important to your health and wellness plans as diet and exercise. If not you are completely missing the point of health–which is to be healthy–not just look like you are healthy on the surface!

For those who have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, I’ll be doing a series of videos on the topic.

Watch the video to learn a little about how it harms your body beyond just being tired.

Poor quality sleep affects:

Blood sugar

Weight gain

Hormone regulation

Clearing amyloid proteins from your brain, a pre-cursor to Alzheimer’s

Memory – Converting short term memory into long term memory

 

It’s also critical to get enough water to stay hydrated.

(Just don’t drink it too close to bedtime or you’ll have to get up to pee.)

 

Want some support around sleep and health?

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My Favorite Cold Weather Lunch – An Idea For You?

My favorite cold weather lunch is…

… soup! But not just any soup. This spicy soup is packed with vegetables. And lunch–(or breakfast as is often the case)–is as simple as putting one serving full of the delicious home made soup into a frying pan, heating until it is hot, cracking two eggs on top, seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper, and then covering with a tight fitting lid, turning the heat down to medium low, and letting the eggs poach for 2-3 minutes on top of the flavorful soup. And if I’m feeling decadent I add a sprinkling of cheese before I slide it all into my bowl.

This is comfort food at it’s best: Delicious, easy, satisfying, nutritious, and completely in alignment with my health and weight goals. Nothing begs for comfort food more than cold dark days! Mmm…soup is a great cold weather lunch!

The difference between keeping to a healthy diet and falling down the slippery slope of ‘whatever/whenever’ is just a matter of planning and liking what you are planning. If you like your own home-made food more than eating out, getting ready-to-go meals, or eating junk at home, you will do it! If not…then if you are like a lot of people you will feel bad/ashamed, lower your standards, and stop caring. Make your own version of your ideal cold weather lunch that will keep you on the right track!

See how you can have it for lunch or dinner with variations.

(Soup recipe here: http://lindaliving.com/gems/ideas-cooking-ahead-week/)

Want some support around healthy meals?

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Ideas for Cooking Ahead for the Week

Do you get too busy during the week to eat healthy? Try cooking ahead for the week so that you always have healthy food ready to eat when you are hungry.

One of the biggest excuses people who say they want to eat healthy offer for not doing so, is that they don’t have time. But a little bit of time prepping some basic items will set you up for an entire week of healthy eating and diet success.

Rather than making one thing that you will then have to eat everyday until you are sick of it, make items that you can mix and match into different meals. You can make one easy thing fresh every night and incorporate a couple of things you just need to reheat.

Remember, your health, your weight loss success, your follow through, all depend on being able to eat food that is nourishing, delicious, and in keeping with your health goals.

Set yourself up for success and try making 3 items at the beginning of every week that you can incorporate throughout the week.

Watch the video for some ideas for great winter meals to cook ahead for the week.

Vegetable soup recipe:

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 2 lbs celery
  • 1 lb onion
  • 2 cups split peas
  • water to cover plus 2 inches above
  • 1 ham hock (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to taste)

Chop vegetables and sweat over a medium heat until tender. Add peas, water, spices, and ham hock. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours. Add water as needed. Store in air tight container. (May want to freeze half or make a smaller batch if your are just 1 person)

Sweet potatoes:

For this I love Trader Joe’s bags of little sweet potatoes. They come in 2, 3, and 5 lb bags. Start with a 2 lb bag and see how far into the week it will get you. It sounds like a lot, but its not once they are done.

Give the sweet potatoes a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Do NOT peel them! (the peel is full of nutrients and lowers the glycemic index.) Remove any blemishes with a knife.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven before preheating it to 375 degrees. Place the cleaned potatoes directly on the middle rack of the oven (crosswise so they don’t fall through the rack). Bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Leave them in the oven to cool. Once cool stack them on a plate. They can be stored uncovered in the refrigerator all week. (and they are delicious as a cold snack!)

Spaghetti squash:

Cut spaghetti squash into quarters. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Steam chunks in a pot with a wire rack in the bottom to keep the squash out of the water, for 20 min or until strands pull away easily. Once cooked and cooled scoop out flesh of the squash and store in an air-tight container. This is a great with chili and cheese, scrambled with eggs, or just about any way you would use pasta, polenta, rice, or other starchy dish.

 

Bon Appétit!

 

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What Are Your Thought Habits

What are your thought habits?

We all have negative thoughts from time to time. Sometimes we have the same negative thoughts–a lot–daily, weekly, or even hourly!

The trick is to catch ourselves and notice what we are thinking. That way we won’t let the negativity run the show in our mind.

The other day, I had a client who is going through chemo. She was understandably struggling with some negative thought habits–ideas, fears, worst case scenario type stuff. It’s completely understandable, but not helpful! It was really bringing her down.

We worked on those negative thoughts and created some equally true and positive thoughts, just as believable, and within 10 or 15 minutes, we got her turned around, so she completely believed she could totally knock the cancer out of the park.

So start noticing your habitual thoughts. They are the keys to your life!

Reprogram your mind to turn dis-empowering thoughts into empowering thoughts.

Once the negative habits are replaced with positive ones you will experience more joy, more ease, more success, and more happiness. Your life is the product of your habitual thoughts–so have good empowering thoughts!

Want some support managing your thought habits?

Check my calendar of classes for current talks, workshops and cooking classes.