5 Ways To Sleep Better (and Make It To Your Morning Class Awake and On Time)

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Dear Readers:

If you have ever found yourself hitting the snooze button several times in a row only to finally pull yourself out of bed and attempt to gather up enough motivation to get your booty into your barre class, you know the importance of getting a solid night’s sleep. While there are some who can place their heads to their pillows and drift away without much effort, many others struggle with sleep issues. Bottom line: on a scale from 1-insomnia, most of us are tossing and turning in the middle. If you’re a part of our sometimes sleep-deprived pack, here are five ways to sleep better (and have a better morning workout, hint hint).

Put Your Electronics To Bed. Late night Instagramming (is that a word?) and texting might be loads of fun, but they can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns. Numerous studies have shown the blue light emitted by electronics inhibits the production of melatonin which is needed to become sleepy.

Try This: Say goodnight to your iPhone, TV and computer an hour before bed. Take a hot bath or shower and crawl into bed and write in a diary or read a good book (as in a real book, or a magazine if you rely on an e-reader) before bed.

Monitor Your Caffeine Intake (and Not Just Coffee). Most of us know not to down a cup of caffeinated tea or coffee before bed, but how many times have you had a bit of chocolate or enjoyed a sip of soda only to lay wide awake in bed?  Caffeine, even in small doses, is a stimulant, so it’s best to enjoy it no less than four hours before bedtime.

Try This: Enjoy your mid-afternoon coffee, but try not to enjoy it past 1:00PM.  Caffeine has a half-life of 3-5 hours (the time it takes for ½ of the drug to be out of your system) and can stay in the body up to 18 hours.  See why that 3:00PM cup may not be such a great idea?

Watch Your Wine-Down’s. Titles aside, all alcohol impairs your sleep by reducing your REM which is why those who drink often wake up seriously groggy, even without being hungover.

Try This: Cut yourself off by 7:00PM, if possible.  Enjoy a glass of red or white with your dinner and then move onto seltzer.

Be Grateful For Winter: Well, cooler temps aren’t all bad. As it turns out, people tend to sleep better in cooler weather.

Try this: If possible keep your home in the 16-22 Celsius range as it is noted as the most beneficial for a good night’s sleep.

Schedule a Morning Workout: Ah, and we come full circle.  Studies have shown that physical activity too late in the evening can stimulate the body, making it harder to sleep.

Try This: Well, this seems obvious, but how about we do everything in the post, and if we notice a difference, we make a morning class a priority?

What is your best “sleep better” tip?  

Much Love,

Jo

Love The Skin You’re In: Health From The Inside Out

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Skin is your biggest organ and is often  a pretty good indicator of your overall general health. Stress levels, pain, sleep, digestion, hydration, mental health…we all deal with these struggles and they are right there for our skin to bare.

A common (and incredibly flattering) compliment I received recently was that my skin was looking nice. Trust me when I say that this has not always been the case. In fact, I used to break out constantly. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had a plethora of other skin issues to deal with. You name it and I will assure you that, at one time, I had it.

This all changed when I changed my diet.

After years of going back-and-forth with doctors, I began to accept  that it was “normal” to feel sick after eating (something that is completely unacceptable to me now). I finally figured out that I am lactose intolerant in the extreme and I have a weak gall bladder to boot. This means that I can have absolutely no dairy and must be very careful about the fats I consume.

Now, I am not saying that everyone should cut out a food group, that’s not the point. I am saying that we need to learn what works for our body and what does not. It is all too common for people to disassociate how they feel with what they have eaten when there is a vital connection.

In honor of boosting our health from the inside out, here are 10 great foods that will not only make you look good, but feel good.

 

Blueberries: These rich-coloured berries are ultimate immune-boosting food. Rich in antioxidants, blueberries have been shown to fight aging and memory loss.

Carrots: High in beta carotene, known to boost the immune system, inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lettuce and Salad Greens: Tangy varieties, such as chicory and endive stimulate the liver, making them great detoxifiers. Most lettuces contain valuable amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Beetroot: Bursting with minerals and boasting anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune-boosting and detoxifying properties, this is indeed a “super” food .

Brazil Nuts: You only need to eat two or three a day to benefit from their great combination of immune-boosting nutrients: vitamin E, selenium and B vitamins.

Grapefruit: Grapefruit has immune-boosting, antiseptic, wound-healing and antibacterial properties. Please note: It may increase the effects of some medications, so be sure to check with your health provider before consuming if on meds.

Garlic: This potent food strengthens the heart and blood, and has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It’s also believed to help lower blood pressure. A key ingredient is allicin, which has cancer-fighting potential.

Avocado: Loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and carrying with it more potassium than a banana, this high (good) fat food is one of tastiest ways to lower cholesterol and give skin a beautiful glow.

Cranberries: Best known for helping to prevent and treat urinary tract infections(especially cystitis), in women, these sweet treats also maintain antifungal and antiviral properties.

Ginger: Not only it a great go-to for nausea, the flavorful food also boosts the immune system and circulation.


What are your favorite natural treats and remedies?

Much Love,

Jo