Coach Alicia Fong

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Health tip for week July 4th

Sleeping 8 hours a night helps you lose weight

A client asked me recently if lack of sleep affects his training performance even though he doesn’t feel tire at the time of training.  The answer is YES, definitely.  Just because you are not tired at the time, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t screw up your body (to be more specific, your hormones).  Sleeping is the main key to fixing many health issues.

“Consistently skimping on sleep for even a week or two can have the same impact on our mood and performance as missing two full nights of sleep,” says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.  “Plus, it puts you at risk for diabetes and heart disease.”

A recent survey indicates that more than 60% of Americans have average less than 7 hours of sleep.  Ideally, 8 hours of sleep is good.  Missing 30 minutes to 1 hours can surprisingly lead to weight gain because your metabolism starts slowing and hormonal changes boost appetite and cravings.

If you miss 1 or 2 hours sleep, your mood will tank and often lead to anxiety, stress and/or depression.  Other research shows that after a couple nights of only 4 or 5 hours of rest, memory and attention span notably worsen.

If you miss 3 to 4 hours sleep, our heart rate and blood pressure spike.  There’s also evidence that sleeping only 4 hours a night for just six days can impair your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar; therefore, more cravings and weight gain.

For many of our functional medicine’s patients, getting them to sleep better (at least 8 hours a night) eliminates more than half of their health issues.  One thing I noticed from our clients/patients who weren’t getting enough sleep was they had adrenal burn out or adrenal fatigue, which all lead to low cortisol and low testosterone.

So make sure you get yourself a good quality sleep every night.  Here are some suggestions:

1) Go to bed before midnight, (ideally before 10 pm) because between 10 pm to 2 am is the optimum time for hormonal regulation and repair process, everything that involves recovery.

2) Don’t work out at night because it raises cortisol and disrupts the sleeping pattern.

3) Don’t drink any drink containing caffeine such as tea, soda and coffee.

4) Turn all lights off, including computers.  Any small light can disrupt your sleep throughout the night.

5) Read a boring book (textbook) before going to sleep.

6) Drink chamomile tea.  It soothes and calms you down.

7) Take some supplements that help your sleep like melatonin, 5-HTP, and Gabba.

I hope these tips help. Getting a good night sleep makes your day goes by faster and your mood will be good.

“Stop sneaking by. Getting too little sleep is only cheating yourself”.

 

 

 

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Health tip for Jan 1, 2011

5 Health tips to get you started in the new year

Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body. Too many people neglect resistance exercise, especially women for whom it’s crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week and make sure you warm up properly prior to lifting weights to prevent any injuries.

Sleep 8 hours a night. A number of recent studies have confirmed that you really do need at least 8 hours a night. Among the many benefits: Adequate sleep makes you feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, boosts memory and balances your hormones including adrenal and thyroid.

Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. It’s hard to believe, but decreasing sugar actually increases people’s energy, by minimizing the highs and lows that sweet foods triggers. Different people react differently to caffeine, but most of us are probably overstimulated already — adding a stimulant just adds to things like road rage and suppresses your adrenals.

If you smoke, quit. There is nothing good about it. If you’re having trouble quitting, start smoking less today — smoke only half a cigarette, and skip as many of your usual smokes as you can — and get help right away. Get some guidance about why it is you smoke to figure out how best to stop doing it. Smoking cessation groups can be extremely helpful and supportive, and medications like a nicotine patch can help decrease the cravings. Acupuncture may also be useful. And there are also herbs you can take to reduce the cravings which are healthier than nicotine patch.

Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating. If you’re hungry, just eat.  The trick is what you eat, not how much you eat.  Starving is not healthy and will most likely result in overeating and eating anything including junk food.  Having a proper meal (eating healthy food) will help you control your hunger and your energy will be up.  When your body is satisfied from the nutrients absorb from the food, you will not stuff yourself later and the best part is you will lose body fat.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment