Is Poor Sleep Making You Fat? in a Word: YES!

You’ve been counting every single calorie that goes into your mouth. You’ve been increasing your energy expenditure by slaving away in the gym. But you can’t get the scale to budge even a little bit. So what’s the problem? It’s probably a lack of sleep! Even if you’re getting your required 8 hours or more each night, you could be suffering from poor quality sleep which is keeping you fat or making you larger. Below, we’ll explain the physiological connection between poor sleep and poor weight management – and we’ll even give you some helpful suggestions to correct the problem.

The Connection Between Poor Sleep and a Larger Waistline

For most people, “when calories in, calories out” fails them, they assume it’s their fault and give up. What nobody tells them is that this is blatantly untrue. Human physiology is much more complicated than simple addition and subtraction; that’s why CICO usually fails when the other factors of our complicated lives come into play. And one of the most complicated and difficult to control factors which hinders most people’s weight loss progress is also one of the most frequently overlooked: poor sleep. Let’s take a closer look and how getting insufficient or poor-quality sleep can drastically sabotage your weight loss efforts. 

Poor Sleep Dysregulates Your Hunger Hormones

Do you ever struggle with hunger cravings and trying to maintain a calorie deficit while losing weight? This happens frequently for people who don’t get good sleep on a regular basis (or for those who follow a poor sleep diet). Believe it or not, getting high quality rest is an integral part of keeping your hunger hormones regulated so that you can muster the necessary will power to maintain a healthy calorie deficit. And it starts with two very important hormones: leptin and ghrelin. 

Leptin is a hormone that makes you feel full when you finish eating a sizable, satiating meal. But when you get poor sleep, your body produces less leptin and your brain becomes less sensitive to receiving leptin signals. Conversely, poor sleep also produces more ghrelin – the hunger hormone – and makes your body more sensitive to receiving these hunger signals. When this happens, you will overeat, and you will typically make poor food choices when you binge on these excess calories. But remember: this isn’t your fault. It’s a combination of a bad night’s sleep and unavoidable human physiology.

Poor Sleep Also Spikes Your Stress Response

Ghrelin and leptin aren’t the only hormones that your body dysregulates when you don’t sleep enough. It also spikes your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and in moderate amounts, is perfectly healthy and even necessary for optimal health. But when you get poor quality sleep, or when you don’t sleep enough hours, your body will produce more cortisol. Just like with hunger hormone dysregulation, the stress from the extra cortisol will lead you to binge and eat unhealthy foods in order to cope with the excess stress.

The Vicious Cycle of Weight Gain and Poor Sleep

This hormone dysregulation is only the beginning. Once you fail to lose the weight you want to lose because of your poor sleep – or worse, gain more weight – it compounds the problem. Weight gain can cause sleep apnea, which will drastically decrease the quality of your sleep even if you get your doctor-recommended 8 hours. Furthermore, people who gain weight after a poor night’s sleep tend to store more visceral fat. Visceral fat, to make a long story short, drastically contributes to more hormone dysregulation. 

If this all sounds like an inescapable trap, don’t worry – there is hope. Read through our tips below to find out how you can break the cycle and improve your weight loss efforts through better quality sleep.

How to Boost Weight Loss Through Better Sleep

Most people who have trouble getting good quality sleep at night tend to have pretty poor sleep hygiene. So that’s where you need to start. You can start with the sleep hygiene guide that we already have here on our site. Pay special attention to the biggest weaknesses that most people find when they analyze their own sleep hygiene routines:

  • Late night blue light exposure – late night exposure to blue light (light from electronic devices including televisions, computers, and smartphones) inhibits your brain’s ability to produce melatonin. Without melatonin, the body has a hard time getting sleepy in the evening
  • Create the right sleeping environment – your bedroom should be cool, dark, and free of distractions like electronics or pets. You should only use your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. If your bedroom is warm, bright, or well-lit, then you might need to make some changes
  • Getting more exercise – the more energy you burn during the day, the more your body will demand rest at night. This can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve the amount of deep sleep you get each night
  • Eat healthier – add more colorful, whole foods to your plate when you eat. The added nutrients will help reduce stress, regulate your hormones, and even help balance the neurotransmitters in your brain for better mood. And all of these things will help you sleep easier at night
  • Avoid synthetic sleeping pills – prescription and/or pharmacy sleeping pills may knock you out; but the problem is that they severely diminish the quality of sleep you get. And they can make it harder for you to get to sleep on your own once you stop taking them. So try your best to fall asleep naturally at all costs!

One change you can make right away is to switch from synthetic or prescription sleeping pills to an all natural sleep aid instead. Avinol PM is one such sleep aid. It combines some of the most potent natural ingredients which are as safe as they are effective at helping your body rest naturally. The more natural your rest, the better quality of sleep you will experience – and the more weight you will eventually lose.

The Secret Dangers of Sleep Deprivation Are Truly Terrifying!

The vast majority of human beings on this earth will experience some form of sleep deprivation within their lifetime. As long as this doesn’t happen on a regular basis, there shouldn’t be any long-term consequences for your overall health. The more infrequently it happens, furthermore, the less likely it is to have a negative impact on your health in the short-term. But that’s really only if you’re lucky.

The reality is that most of us do have trouble sleeping on a frequent enough basis that it is having negative health consequences for us. Just take a look at the statistics: there are 20 million people in the US alone who take a prescription sleep medicine every night. Sleep deprivation is a chronic health problem that is, sadly, not being addressed the way it deserves to be addressed. The main reason is a lack of education. Today, we’re going to educate you on all of the ways in which sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your health and well-being. Hopefully your knowledge will motivate you to make some changes and adopt some new, healthy sleep habits in your life!

The Consequences of Short Term Sleep Deprivation

Unfortunately, mother nature has still not discovered a way for us to go more than 24 hours without sleep without suffering consequences. Yet nearly 20% of us – that’s one in every five people – report having trouble getting the sleep they need on a daily basis. This can and usually does cause symptoms of short term sleep deprivation. Those symptoms include:

  • Mood swings and a lack of emotional control 
  • Impulsivity 
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Inability to make decisions 
  • Intense food cravings 
  • Dull, blemished skin 
  • Frequent yawning 
  • Memory problems

You may notice that a lot of those symptoms seem to be localized to the brain only. But if you think that short term sleep deprivation doesn’t have a negative impact on every single cell in your body, you would be wrong. Your brain definitely takes the hardest hit, but your hormones and your endocrine system will also be thrown through a loop. And the longer it takes you to get your sleep back on track, the more devastating these health consequences will become.

The Consequences of Long Term Sleep Deprivation

Even though the consequences of short term sleep deprivation seem a little scary, you can correct those problems usually with a single night of good, quality sleep or even a nice, long nap in the afternoon. But if you’re sleep deprivation is habitual and continues on for weeks or months – or longer – you can really do yourself a lot of harm.

Long-term Sleep Deprivation and the Human Brain

Your brain is an organ, just like your heart, or your lungs, or your liver, or your kidneys. The fact that your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and dreams come from the brain doesn’t change the fact that it reacts to stimuli on a biological level. You can’t will your way out of the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the brain, no matter how strong or invincible you think you are.

As a matter of fact, the brain is the first and most adversely affected organ when it comes to sleep deprivation. In order for the brain to function at its best, your brain has to go through a special cleaning process during the deep, slow wave sections of your nightly sleep cycle. When you don’t give your body deep sleep, your brain can’t clean out the toxic garbage which makes you slow, sluggish, fatigued, gives you brain fog, and can even slow your physical reaction time down. Over time, this lack of nightly cleaning can cause:

  • Significantly degrade your motor skills and coordination
  • Cause problems with both short and long term memory
  • Handicap your ability to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get good quality sleep
  • Poor judgement, decision making, and critical thinking skills
  • An increased risk of injury and or death while operating heavy machinery – both for you, and those around you 
  • Psychosis, severe depression, or other mental health disorders 
  • Mood swings and impulsive actions which can harm your personal relationships
  • Alzheimer’s and/or Dementia

Long-term Sleep Deprivation and Metabolic Health

Did you know that your nightly rest can have a significant impact on your waistline? Even after a single night of insufficient sleep, your metabolic health can be compromised. And if you’re a chronic insomniac or if you constantly find yourself struggling, it only gets that much worse.

People like to live under the illusion that they have 100% perfect control over their willpower, especially when it comes to food. But the hard truth is that you don’t control how hungry you are; your metabolic hormones do. And when your metabolic hormones are thrown off balance by poor sleep (among other things), your ability to control how many calories you take in and how many calories you burn off flies out the window. 

Poor sleep and healthy diets rarely ever coexist in the same space. The body knows it can get energy from one of two places: food, and rest. And when it doesn’t get energy from rest after a poor night’s sleep, guess what it does? It triggers cravings for high-energy foods. Of course, high-energy also equals high-calorie. It usually also equals high-sugar, high-fat, and high-salt. Tragically, eating these foods usually leads to more sleep problems…which leads to more food cravings…which leads to more poor sleep…it’s an unfortunate vicious cycle.

How to Break the Sleep Deprivation Cycle and Take Back Control of Your Health and Wellness

If you’re looking for answers to this question, then you’re in the right place. Our blog is chock-full of advice on what sort of diet, exercise, and sleep hygiene routines you can follow in order to get the best possible sleep. It would be great if we lived in a world where taking a pill each night before bed was the only thing we needed to do to get the high-quality rest our bodies deserve. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality of the situation. 

It’s never too late to learn new habits and start doing things that can turn your life around and help you start getting better rest. One of the best things you can do is just stop abusing your body with dangerous prescription drugs or over-the-counter sleeping pills and try something like Avinol PM instead. It contains safe, natural ingredients that will get you to sleep quickly and leave you feeling refreshed the next day. That, along with other diet and lifestyle changes which will restore a healthy sleep cycle, can protect you from the long-term health consequences of severe sleep deprivation.

Get to Sleep Naturally With These Natural Relaxation Methods

It’s difficult to relax when you feel tense. Just think about it: when have you ever seen someone tell a stressed-out person to relax, and that actually work? Making yourself relax when you are tense and stressed out can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be. Believe it or not, you can use natural relaxation methods in order to get yourself to relax when you need it most. This article is going to discuss those strategies at length with you. We strongly encourage you to practice some – or all – of these strategies as soon as you can! This is especially important if you are having trouble sleeping at night because of your inability to relax.

Creating a Naturally Relaxing Environment

Natural relaxation starts with setting up the right environment. Is very difficult for the majority of people to go from a high-energy, high-stimulus state of being to feeling relaxed and ready for bed at the drop of a hat. You have to transition there gently, and you have to make use of every tool in your toolbox in order to do so. One of the best ways to do this is to alter your environment in a way which favors relaxation.

Start in the bathroom by taking a warm bath shortly before bed. If you don’t have a bathtub, you can get similar results with a hot shower. Decorate your bathroom with aromatherapy candles or scent diffusers to infuse the area with a relaxing aroma. Exposing yourself to the hot water and steam will quickly elevate your core body temperature; once you get out of the bathroom and you start to cool off, it will send a biological signal to the rest of your body that it is time for rest. Your body will naturally start to relax as a result.

The next thing you need to do is create the perfect sleeping environment in your bedroom. This involves a few simple but important steps such as:

  • Turning up the AC
  • Turning down the lights
  • White noise or other relaxing ambiance

The reason you should turn up your AC or otherwise somehow make it cooler in your bedroom is the same reason you should take a warm shower or bath before bed: to lower your body temperature. The human body naturally relaxes itself when the temperature drops because that’s what our circadian rhythm has been trained to do for tens of thousands of years. Furthermore, you should keep the lights low and as natural as possible. Electronic light, especially light from TV screens, computers, or cell phones, can disrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone). Lastly, if you can’t relax at night because you are distracted by racing thoughts, some gentle white noise is a great way to distract yourself. The noise can give your brain something else to focus on so that your body can relax and you can drift off to sleep.

Relaxing a Stressed-Out Mind 

Unfortunately, a little white noise and hot water isn’t always enough. Sometimes your body – and your mind especially – are so stressed out that you need to take things to the next level. This is especially true if most of your tension is in your head. Emotional stress releases hormones in your body which trigger a fight or flight response – and this is the worst thing you can do to yourself right before bed! But don’t worry. We have some great tips to help you take your mind off your stress and relax so that you can get better quality sleep.

  • Exercise daily. Do you know why children sleep like babies, literally? Because they burn off all their excess energy by playing and staying active all day. As an adult, you probably don’t have as much energy to burn; the amount of exercise you need to sleep better could be something as simple as an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood. But it can help take the edge off of your restlessness.
  • Herbal tea. Herbal teas usually contain plant compounds which boost levels of free-flowing GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter with a strong link to helping people feel calm and relaxed. It certainly won’t have the negative side effects that a prescription sleeping pill or anti-anxiety medication would.
  • Journaling. Bullet journaling is all the rage these days – and for good reason! Purging stressful thoughts from your mind right before bed is a great way to alleviate some of your daily tension. If laying awake at night worrying about tomorrow is a problem for you, then starting a journal is a great idea.
  • Practice mindfulness. Meditation isn’t just for hippies anymore. Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet effective way to find inner peace amongst the chaos of everyday life. There are plenty programs you can get for free online or through a smartphone app which can help you release tension by counting your breath or utilizing other mindfulness techniques.

Be Patient With Yourself

Whether you have just recently started to have trouble sleeping or whether you’ve been struggling for a while, it’s important to be patient with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you try one or more of these tips and they don’t work immediately. They probably won’t, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean the advice is bad, and it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. The longer you’ve been struggling to get better sleep, the longer it may take and the more work you may have to put into utilizing these tips for better rest. But if you stick with it, you can get some pretty spectacular results.

While you are incorporating this advice into your new nightly routine, we strongly suggest that you switch over to a natural herbal sleep aid. We know of one in particular that has wonderful ingredients like melatonin and hops extract which naturally relax your body before bed. But the important thing is to figure out what works best for you. The more natural your sleep becomes, the better it will be for your overall health and wellness.

One Secret Ingredient for Better Sleep: Chamomile!

 Chamomile is one of the most popular flowers in the world. Whether it’s a tea, a body spray, perfume, lotion, or any other scented product, you can bet good money there is a chamomile flavor of it. Why is it so popular? Because humans have known for centuries (if not longer) that chamomile has some amazing medicinal benefits. It’s especially useful for calming you down during moments of stress or anxiety. If you want to learn more about why chamomile is so good for stress, sleep, and anxious thoughts, keep reading. Today is all about learning the healing properties of chamomile!

Anxiety and Insomnia Don’t Stand a Chance Against Chamomile

One of the main medicinal reasons people take chamomile is because of its anti-anxiety effects. People usually drink chamomile tea to calm down; others may choose to go the chamomile supplement route. But it’s not just some sort of placebo effect. The chamomile plant has real, potent properties which have a mountain of scientific evidence to support it.

You shouldn’t waste your time or money on just any old chamomile, though. You’re going to want to spend a little extra effort to get the right type. There are many different species of chamomile out there, and if you don’t choose the right one, it could all be a very expensive waste. You need to specifically look for matricaria chamomilla, AKA German chamomile. This is the purest and most potent form of chamomile that exist in nature today. 

We’ve mentioned chamomile tea several times in this post already, but that’s just because drinking chamomile tea is one of the most healthful ways to ingest this plant – unless you live in Germany, that is. The medicinal properties and the abundance of German chamomile are such that German doctors can actually write a prescription for chamomile to those who need it. And unlike most prescription medications for insomnia and anxiety, chamomile prescriptions are class B drugs which are considered safe enough even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. 

The Molecular Science of Chamomile

The evidence behind chamomile isn’t just anecdotal. There’s a plethora of very well-documented scientific research which explicitly identifies how and why chamomile is so good for the human body. Most plant compounds contain smaller trace molecules of healthful substances called flavanols. These flavonols can do many different wonderful things in the human body, including repair oxidative damage caused by stress.

Then there’s the scientifically established connection between chamomile and GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that makes the neurons in your brain feel calm and relaxed when it is in abundance. Unfortunately, most people don’t have enough GABA in their brain. This often leads to feelings of anxiety which can induce insomnia. But the botanical compounds in chamomile act in a way that helps make GABA more available in your brain. This sharp increase in free floating GABA is what makes chamomile so effective at calming your nerves and making you feel relaxed.

Chamomile: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

But that’s not all chamomile has to offer. Those are just the most important and most well-researched benefits that man has discovered about chamomile. There are many other healthful benefits that taking chamomile on a regular basis can give you. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways; unlike pharmaceutical drugs, different plant compounds and extracts can help cure many different elements all at the same time! Chamomile is no exception. Just take a look at this short list of all the other reasons people take chamomile for improved health and wellness:

  • To reduce muscle spasms
  • To combat symptoms of hayfever 
  • To reduce inflammation
  • To lessen the frequency and severity of menstrual cramps
  • To reduce ulcers
  • To soothe gastrointestinal distress
  • To reduce hemorrhoid swelling 
  • To make psoriasis go away
  • As a cure for chickenpox
  • To alleviate eczema 

If you’re still reading this and haven’t opened a new tab in your browser to start shopping for chamomile products, we commend you for your patience. We’d also like to help you out with the shopping search. There are so many different ways people can supplement with chamomile now that there’s almost as many chamomile supplements as there are people who want to get it. Take a look at these suggestions in order to find out which one is right for you.

There’s a Wide Variety of Chamomile Supplements Out There

If you’re not a German citizen, then you may think it will be difficult, expensive, or both to get the chamomile supplement you want. Not true! There are tons of different chamomile supplements out there, and most of them aren’t that expensive, either. But the trick is finding the right one. It needs to be a high-quality pure extract of German chamomile – nothing less. Anything else, and you may be missing out on some or most of the benefits the chamomile can provide.

If you can’t get pure chamomile herbal tea, you might want to think about taking a supplement. This brings up another important question: should you take chamomile by itself, or should you combine it with other herbs and extracts in order to compound their effects? Chamomile actually works very well with other natural botanical compounds that have similar properties. So taking it with one or more of these substances can provide some fantastic health and wellness benefits, especially if those compounds also influence GABA or enhance chamomile’s anti-anxiety benefits.

If you want a truly effective chamomile supplement, but you don’t want to take your chamomile by itself, take a close look at the ingredients label and try to pick up a supplement which contains some or all of the following:

  • Lavender 
  • 5-HTP 
  • Passion flower 
  • Valerian root
  • Melatonin

Luckily, you don’t have to go scouring the internet looking for chamomile supplements that contain some or all of these ingredients for a fair price. We already know of a product that will work very well, and also has all of these ingredients on its list! It’s called Avinol PM. It contains all of these ingredients and more, and it’s one of the most effective herbal sleep supplements your money can buy. All it takes is one tablet before bed with a full glass of water and you can look forward to getting the best quality rest that you can get from any chamomile supplement.

The Human Circadian Rhythm: What Is It All About?

People love to say that they’ll “sleep when they’re dead” in order to feel better about losing out on sleep. But the unfortunate fact of the matter is that that final rest will come a lot quicker the less sleep you get. One of the best ways to get your sleep cycle back on track and cut down on chronic sleep deprivation is to learn more about your circadian rhythm.

Contrary to what it sounds like, it has nothing to do with music. But it has everything to do with timing. Below, we will take a deeper dive into exactly what the circadian rhythm is and why it’s so important for your sleep health – and your overall health in general.

Defining the Circadian Rhythm

“Circadian” is a variation of Latin words which, when loosely translated, means “around the same time each day”. The reason it is paired with the word “rhythm” is because the ebb and flow of your daily life revolve around a good, healthy circadian rhythm. Understanding how your body reacts during certain times of day can help you plan better, and optimize everything from your sleep cycle to your exercise routine to your meal planning and more.

Your Circadian Rhythm and the Sun

We know a lot of people are going to argue with us for saying this, but most human beings are not meant to be night owls. The human body evolved to rise with the sun and sleep during the night; but modern technology has made it difficult for us to live according to the way our natural circadian rhythm wants us to live.

Bright light from the sun triggers certain receptors in your vision and sends wakefulness signals to your brain if you wake up at the right time in the morning. Conversely, once the sun goes down and these bright lights are no longer visible, your brain sends signals the body to relax and get ready for a rest. But a lack of proper sun exposure in the morning due to an odd work schedule or an abundance of bright, blue light from electronic devices in the evening can throw our bodies off-kilter. Our bodies end up broadcasting wakefulness signals at night and feeling groggy in the morning because we don’t get the right “wake up” and “time to sleep” signals when we’re supposed to.

Breaking a Sweat Without Breaking Your Body Clock

If you know when and how to exercise, you can get tons of health and longevity benefits. But if you exercise at the wrong time of day, it might just do more harm than good. Working out early in the morning – especially outdoors where you can see the sun – provides some of the most substantial health benefits. It stimulates wakefulness signals from the brain so that you have energy all day and sharp mental focus. It also gives your metabolism a boost for all-day calorie burning and maximum fat loss. It can even help you sleep better at night by tiring you out earlier in the day, getting your body ready for rest earlier in the evening. If you’re lucky enough to already be at an optimal weight, or if you can’t work out in the morning, evening workouts are a close second best option. Spiking your body temperature within an hour or so of bedtime with an evening workout, even if it’s a moderate one like a long walk, can make it easier for you to fall asleep when your body tries to cool itself off afterward.

Eating at the Right Time of Day for Optimal Health

There is some groundbreaking research on eating, circadian rhythm, and human metabolism that’s taking the world of science by storm right now. Researchers recently discovered something called the “dawn effect”, which is an insulin spike/sugar crash that happens in the morning right around the time most people eat breakfast. Eating breakfast can help counter this effect, keeping your blood sugar stable and helping you maintain steady energy levels. This, in turn, has several different health benefits which can last throughout your whole day.

For starters, it helps keep the natural energy boost you get upon waking going instead of heading into a sugar crash shortly after you get out of bed. It can also help get your metabolism going so you end up burning more calories throughout the day. Lastly, it can have a beneficial effect on how your body regulates its hunger and satiety hormones. This can even you out all day long, preventing against moodiness or sudden drops in energy levels based on low blood sugar.

How to Fine-tune Your Circadian Rhythm

Wouldn’t it be great if our bodies came with an instruction manual which told us when we need to wake up, exercise, eat, and get ready for bed? Unfortunately, we don’t have that manual. But we’ve done enough scientific research in recent years to give ourselves a much better idea of what to do with ourselves during the day so that we can fine-tune our body’s circadian rhythm. Start by making these simple tweaks to your daily routine for optimal health and wellness:

  • Minimize how much blue light exposure you get in the evening. This could be as simple as buying yourself a pair of anti blue light glasses, or as drastic as completely cutting off all exposure to artificial light within an hour or two of bedtime. It’ll help reset the wakefulness and sleep signals in your brain.
  • Take a walk in the morning when the sun is up before you start your day. The exposure to sunlight and physical activity will have a positive effect on your energy levels and your metabolism the whole rest of the day.
  • Create a good sleep hygiene routine for yourself. Sleep hygiene is much more complicated topic that we’ve talked about before, but the better you get at improving your sleep hygiene, the easier it will be to optimize your circadian rhythm.
  • Rely on a natural herbal sleep aid in order to get to bed if you feel you absolutely have to take something. Anything that contains melatonin, hops, and/or chamomile should work rather well. It naturally helps regulate your body’s sleep response at night so that you don’t have to take a harsh chemical substance which could do more harm than good in the long run.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, it could be because your circadian rhythm is out of whack. But tweaking your daily habits and fixing your rhythm can be a deceptively simple way to get back to optimal levels of health and wellness!

Want Better Sleep? Get Better Exercise!

How many benefits of exercise can you name off the top of your head right now? There are the obvious ones, such as improving heart health, elevating your mood, and helping you lose body fat. But there’s one more benefit you may not have thought of: improving your sleep!  

The National Sleep Foundation recently sent out a poll which thousands of people responded to. And the statistics are pretty eye-opening: 83% of people who claim to exercise vigorously on a regular basis also report sleeping more, feeling more refreshed when they wake up, and having an easier time falling asleep at night. Only 56% of respondents who did not exercise on a regular basis reported similar sleep patterns. Now, we know that correlation and causation are two very different things. But the obvious correlation identified in the study definitely begs some further questions.

But that’s not the only data we have about sleep which suggests that more exercise and better rest are intrinsically connected. There are dozens of studies which show additional correlations between increased activity levels and hormone regulation; specifically with regard to hormones that regulate sleep. Some studies show an optimal connection between exercise and good sleep if your exercise schedule closely follows your normal daily circadian rhythm. But that isn’t exactly the case for everyone. So how, exactly, can you optimize your exercise routine in order to get the best possible sleep? We did some digging, and we found some interesting answers. Get ready to learn everything you need to know about optimizing your exercise for the best possible sleep!

Choosing the Right Time to Workout

Our bodies – and our metabolism – are closely connected with the natural circadian rhythm of the earth. We know that sounds a little bit hippie dippy, but hear us out. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that the bright light and rising temperatures which come with sunrise cause physiological triggers in our bodies. These triggers signal our brain to wake up and get active. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just stay healthy in general, it’s a good idea to take advantage of this window of opportunity and do as much of your exercise before noon – preferably outside – as you can.

Unfortunately, that isn’t a realistic option for many. Some people can only squeeze in a workout in the afternoon, in the evening after dinner, or maybe even late at night right before bed. Some old-school fitness experts may tell you that exercising past a certain point in the late afternoon or early evening is going to be harmful to your sleep. But at the end of the day, any exercise is better than no exercise at all. Even if it happens right before sleep. Just listen to your body and do what you think is best. If you have trouble falling asleep as quickly but you feel that you get a deeper, more restful sleep after a late night workout session, then there you go! Keep trying different workouts at different times of day to see how it influences your nightly sleep pattern.

Keep Your Workouts Simple, but Effective

Our society has a problem. We believe that more is better in almost every single scenario. But this is not always the case; and it is especially not the case when it comes to sleep and exercise. Getting little or no exercise at all is not very healthy. Furthermore, getting too much exercise can be almost equally problematic.

According to the survey we just mentioned, people who spend more than one hour per day exercising vigorously did report more sleep problems than people who exercise for less than an hour a day. This can cause problems with your sleep in ways that are subtle and seemingly unconnected. But it could also have a more direct effect on your ability to get to sleep. Injuries will obviously cause you pain and may make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Soreness from excessively strenuous exercise can have a similar effect. So you’ve got to be careful when it comes to nailing down the right exercise routine.

Have You Ever Tried Yoga?

Let’s revisit that survey we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Believe it or not, most of the people out there who are sleeping like babies and making us jealous have a direct connection to their inner chakras. The study showed that all the yogi fanatics out there are the ones most likely to get their recommended 7 – 8 hours of sleep, especially compared to people who aren’t exercising at all. Also, according to the study, yoga seems to be more effective than walking when it comes to helping our bodies get the amount of sleep we need.

Why is this? It’s partly due to the fact that stress has a major influence on your sleep. When you are stressed out, it is difficult to chill out and fall asleep quickly. This can definitely cut into your sleep time and create an unhealthy sleep deficit. But the deep breathing and relaxation techniques common in most yoga practices bleed over from the fitness realm into the mental wellness room. So strike that lotus pose, and give some yoga a try if you want to sleep better at night!

A Little Post-exercise “Me Time” Can Give You a Lot More Sleep Time

This advice is helpful for anyone whose busy, stressful day tends to follow them into the evening hours. But it’s also great for people who have no choice but to squeeze in a workout routine right before bed. Give yourself at least a little bit of time to wind down after your workout before you put your head on the pillow. You could read a book, take a nice warm bath, or purge tomorrow’s worries from your brain by writing them down in your bullet journal. Meditation is also good. No matter what the activity is, give your mind and your body some distance between the gym and the bedroom. It’ll make your exercise more effective and improve your overall sleep quality. It’s also an essential part of any good sleep hygiene routine!

Calm Your Late-Night Post-Workout Excitement With a Natural Sleep Aid

If you can only work out at night, but you still find yourself awake and restless because of the exercise, then you might want to consider an all natural sleep aid in order to help bring you down. It should contain things like melatonin, 5-HTP, and even lemon balm to get the most effective results. Combined with a healthier exercise routine, natural herbal sleep aids can also improve your overall quality sleep so that you feel well rested and refreshed when you get up the next day. It sounds too good to be true – but it really works!

Stop Eating Before Bed – It’s Ruining Your Sleep!

The conventional wisdom about eating before bed has been the same for many years: don’t to do it! Most of the time, people say that you might gain weight, sleep poorly, or not be able to get any sleep at all if you eat right before bed. But following a good sleep diet and avoiding food before bedtime is easier said than done. It’s not always easy to fall asleep if your empty stomach is growling and twisting itself inside-out. And for some people, eating late is an inescapable part of their social life.

So what do you do when you have trouble avoiding eating before bed? Is there any way to achieve weight loss, sleep better, stay healthy, and enjoy your late-night meals? There can be. But it can be difficult to master. You should first educate yourself on the realities of why eating before bed is bad for you. Then, if you still insist on eating late at night, you can follow some practical tips and tricks to try and reduce the damage.

Do You Want a Longer Lifespan and Healthspan? Then Don’t Eat Before Bed!

Within the last couple of decades, science has made a huge push into figuring out how longevity works. They’ve also been studying how to increase someone’s quality of life. If you’ve ever heard someone say “40 is the new 30”, it’s thanks to this push into longevity science. And the hot topic of longevity science these days is something called autophagy.

Have you ever watched an old movie where someone would microdose themselves with arsenic in order to build up an immunity to that poison? Autophagy is similar, but much less dangerous and much more natural. Subjecting your body to a tiny amount of stress causes different biological reactions in your body which make you stronger, healthier, and more resilient. It can even turn back the clock a tiny bit and make you feel more youthful.

But everything comes at a cost. And for most people, triggering autophagy can be a bit unpleasant. But you can get a head start by timing your meals so that you spend as many hours as you can in a fasted state overnight. This will require you to give up your evening meals, of course. But if you can wake up feeling refreshed, see more beautiful skin when you look in the mirror, and give yourself a stronger immune system, isn’t it worth it?

If You Have Problems With Inflammation, Then Don’t Eat Before Bed!

Some inflammation is necessary in order for optimal health. If you work out, do you need a little bit of inflammation to recover your strength and improve your cardiovascular health before you workout again. You need inflammation in the form of an immune response whenever you get sick. Otherwise, you would never recover. But when inflammation happens too often, you could end up with annoying problems like arthritic joints, a depressed mood, and even more serious conditions.

So how is this connected to eating before bed? We’re glad you asked:

  • Eating before bed increases your blood sugar
  • This signals your pancreas to release insulin
  • Within a few hours, your blood sugar will crash mightily  
  • This sugar crash will send your body into a panic mode (while you are trying to sleep, no less)
  • The stress hormone, cortisol, spikes in panic mode
  • Too much cortisol in your system kicks the inflammation process into high gear, eventually surpassing normal levels

But if you don’t eat before bed, none of this will happen. As a matter of fact, you will enter a fasted state in which your body starts the autophagy process. And that’s when you start to see healthful results.

If You’re Worried About Adrenal Fatigue, Don’t Eat Before Bed!

Have we mentioned cortisol yet in this article? Because if we haven’t, we need to. We’ve just gone over the strong connection to late night meals and excess cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is one of the many problems you may face if you produce too much of this stress hormone. And guess which organ in your body produces cortisol? If your answer is the adrenal glands, you get a gold star.

Symptoms of minor adrenal fatigue include premature aging, weight gain, brain fog, and unpleasant mood swings. Chronic adrenal fatigue may even lead to something called secondary hypothyroidism. This is different from regular hypothyroidism because your thyroid is being influenced by a problem with your adrenal glands. Primary hypothyroidism is just a malfunction of the thyroid by itself. As bad as a malfunctioning thyroid is, a malfunctioning thyroid which happens along side malfunctioning adrenals compounds the negative health effects that much more.

Tips to Get Around Eating Before Bed

So far, the information we provided you was for factual purposes only. We’re not trying to scare you or manipulate you into behaving any specific way. We just want you to know the truth so that you can make healthy, well informed decisions for yourself. Skipping late-night meals is one decision that thousands of people are making and getting better health and wellness as a result. But that’s not the only thing you can do to extend your quality and quantity of life.

If you’re eating before bed because you can’t fall asleep on an empty stomach, try this instead: a good natural sleep aid like Avinol PM 30 minutes before bedtime. Immediately wash it down with a full glass of water. This will trick your stomach into thinking It is full of food so that you aren’t tossing and turning because your stomach is tossing and turning.

Herbal sleep aids are also good if they contain melatonin like avinol PM does. When your body has more melatonin in it, it signals your biology to stop producing cortisol. This, in turn, mutes the inflammatory response suffered by people who eat too soon before bed.

Lastly, if you simply cannot avoid eating before bed, try a very small, healthy snack which is designed to boost melatonin and 5-HTP levels in your body. Boosting these two important hormones promotes relaxation and helps you get healthier sleep. A small glass of warm milk and one half of a banana make an excellent example snack. The protein in the milk and the B vitamins in the carbs come together and produce more melatonin and 5-HTP. But feel free to choose your own protein and carbohydrate if you don’t like milk or bananas.

We hope this blog post has been helpful, and that you can use the information we’ve provided to get better sleep tonight. Pleasant dreams!

What Keeps You up at Night? Figuring it Out Can Help You Get Better Rest

Statistics tell us that around 20% of the US population reports having difficulty falling asleep at night. That’s over 60 million people! The statistics are very similar in first world countries all over the globe. Yet for some reason, we as humans have a very hard time figuring out why this is such a big problem.

It shouldn’t be that hard. But it seems as though humans are the only members of the animal kingdom which struggle to get the rest that they need for optimal health and wellness. We decided to do a deep dive and figure out the root causes of all of this rampant insomnia. After all, the first step to solving a problem is figuring out why you have one. And once you know the source, you can come up with a strategic game plan to get rid of it.

Mental Blocks Could Have You Tossing and Turning   

For the vast majority of people, our problems falling asleep at night, staying asleep through the night, and getting enough sleep are mental. It’s very hard for most people to admit this fact. Many people see it as a sign of weakness or a lack of control over their own emotions. On top of that, mental health issues are so poorly understood that popping a sleeping pill feels much easier than dealing with the actual problem. These pills may help people fall asleep at night, but the chemicals in these drugs are reducing the quality of your rest at the same time. And that’s just not good.

Whether it’s anxiety, stress, loneliness, or clinical depression, mental health issues play a huge factor in most cases of insomnia. And the worst insomnia gets, the worst your mental health can be because it has a negative impact on the functionality of your brain. Luckily, there are some simple fixes you can utilize tomorrow – or even right now – in order to help alleviate some of your mental tension. These include:

  • Download a free app and start practicing mindfulness
  • Schedule a “playdate” with your closest friends – especially if you haven’t seen them in a while
  • Make sure to make time for your family – close family bonds are a big mood-booster
  • Stay away from stimulating media (TV, books, movies, and more) that might make you anxious or worked up right before bed

Of course, nothing you read here should be a substitute for sound medical advice from a trained primary care physician. You should definitely talk to your doctor first, especially if you have trouble falling asleep more than once or twice a week. Just that tiny little dent in your regular sleep rhythm can have a seriously detrimental effect on your health over the long-term.

Aches and Pains Can Rob You of Your Sleep

It’s not always a mental block that keeps people awake at night. There are plenty of physical causes, too. Some of them are obvious, while others may be a little more subtle. But you should definitely listen to your body and change your sleep routine if you experience any of the following:

  • Menstrual cramps – obviously, we’re talking to the ladies on this one. Yes, anxiety and mood swings can keep you awake during your monthly cycle. But so can the physically uncomfortable cramps and bloating which also happen. Heating pads and Tylenol are a good start to solving this problem; but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to call your doctor.
  • Temperature – to get the best possible sleep, your bedroom should be cool, ideally around 68° Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge for most people because it involves raising your energy costs. Altering your thermostat is usually more expensive, but a large fan may do the trick without using too much electricity – and give you the benefit of some soothing white noise to fall asleep to.
  • Midday nap – if you constantly find yourself feeling tired in the afternoon after lunch, you may be the type of person who needs a midday nap. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s perfectly natural. Shoot for anywhere between 20 to 60 minutes, or else you may oversleep and make the problem worse.
  • Too much caffeine – If you’re a coffee junkie who’s tried everything other than restricting your caffeine intake to improve your sleep, then you’re going to have to stop drinking coffee after 11:59 AM. Otherwise, you’re going to continue to struggle indefinitely. We know that may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but it’s a painful truth you may just need to face.
  • Too little sex – or lackluster sex, for that matter, can give you problems getting to sleep. Research shows that the more frequently you make love to your partner, and the more satisfying it is, the less trouble you will have falling asleep. As if you needed an excuse.
  • Too little exercise – if you don’t burn off a good amount of energy during the day with exercise, it can leave you feeling restless at night when you’re supposed to be sleeping. You should probably step up your exercise routine if you are already physically active. And if you’re not, you should definitely get out there and get moving. Even if it’s just a 20-minute brisk walk after dinner, it can make a difference in your nightly rest.
  • An uncomfortable bed – how old is your mattress? When was the last time you bought new sheets? Aside from the main tenets of sleep hygiene, you should be sleeping somewhere comfy, too. Buying new bedroom furniture is expensive – but it can be a worthwhile investment if you have the cash.

Fix Those Problems With a Natural Sleep Aid

We find it’s best to try and take a natural approach to improving your sleep. Between meditation, eating a healthier diet, exercising properly, and more, you’ll get the best sleep if you do all of these things on a regular basis. You can also help yourself by taking a natural sleep aid like Avinol PM. Just one dose half an hour before bed can help relax you enough to give you the restorative rest you need. It couldn’t be simpler.

The Sleep Hygiene Bible: How to Get Your Best Sleep

People often wonder what the silver bullet solution is to getting better sleep. But here’s the thing: the reason most people struggle to find the answer is because they’re asking the wrong question. There is no one single, perfect solution to getting better sleep at night. But there are a set of behaviors that you can change, stop, or start that will contribute to a better night’s sleep. It’s called sleep hygiene, and the more religiously you follow/practice its principles, the greater the quantity and the quality of sleep you’ll get.

Banish Bright Lights in the Evening Hours

One of the main principles of sleep hygiene is getting your body back into its natural circadian rhythm. Much of this rhythm is very closely attuned to the rising and falling of the sun. When the sun rises, the body senses that it’s time to wake up; when the sun sets and you are surrounded by darkness, the body senses that it’s time to sleep. But these days, we’re surrounded by a ton of bright lights. And it’s throwing our daily rhythm way off track.

These lights – especially those which come from the electronic blue lights of our phones, televisions, and computer screens – are contributing to our sleep problems. When you are constantly bombarded by these bright blue lights, your brain stops producing melatonin at night like it should. When you aren’t producing melatonin at night, you aren’t sleeping, end of story. Thankfully, there are some very simple changes you can make that will fix the problem.

Fixing the Bright Light Overexposure Problem

It would be ideal for our quality of sleep if we could go back to the caveman days and eliminate all electronic light from our evening hours. But this simply isn’t realistic. The good news is that you don’t have to stumble around in the dark or by candlelight just to prime your body for sleep. Instead, try doing some or all of the following:

  • Mount some blackout curtains over your bedroom window(s), or install a curtain rod and buy some blackout curtains for it if you don’t already have some
  • Try and find a blue light filter for your phone and/or other electronic devices
  • “Unplug” from all of your electronics and spend at least 30 minutes in bed reading or doing some other type of analog activity
  • Use dimmer switches or install them on the lights you use in the evening to simulate a low-light atmosphere. If you don’t have the funds for this mini home remodeling, try using lamps with dark shades to get a similar effect

Make Sure Your Diet and Exercise Routine Work in Tandem With Your Sleep Goals

Sometimes, as frustrating as it may be, our nutrition and fitness goals don’t exactly coincide well with our sleep goals. Furthermore, you could have such a hectic schedule that your lack of a proper diet and exercise routine is also harmful for your sleep. It’s not just about eating the right foods or doing the right exercises. Like managing your light exposure, it’s also very much about timing.

Making Simple Diet and Exercise Changes for Better Sleep  

Also, not unlike controlling your light exposure, fixing your diet and exercise routine is fairly simple and great for getting better sleep. Here’s a few tips to start you out:

  • Make sure you exercise on a regular basis and at the same time each day. Even something as simple as a lively 30 minute walk a few times a week in the evening can prep your body for better sleep
  • Eat most of your calories during the early hours of the day and avoid eating too close to bedtime. If you absolutely must eat, stick to slow digesting foods like high-fiber veggies, protein, and whole grains
  • In general, you want to eliminate as many of the sugary foods, processed carbs, and trans fats from your diet as you can – regardless of the time of day

Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Use the Wrong Sleep Aid

Remember when we talked about searching for a silver bullet solution earlier? The quest for that one solution leads most people down a very specifically wrong path: relying upon a sleep aid in order to solve their problems. Granted, there are certain sleep aids out there which can be effective and safe. Unfortunately, most people aren’t taking those types of sleep aids.

Many people who can afford to do so get a prescription sleep drug from their physician. But this is one of the worst things you can do. Prescription sleeping pills have a ton of dangerous and scary side effects, including performing certain actions like driving or eating while your brain is technically asleep. The drugs may also backfire and make you sleepier in the morning than you would be if you had slept very little or if you had tried to sleep naturally. Furthermore, long-term use (and abuse) of prescription sleep aids damages your brain and can eventually rob you of your ability to sleep naturally. Unless it’s some sort of life or death situation or unless you know you will only be using it for a very short period of time, try to stay away from the prescriptions.

And if you’re thinking that over-the-counter sleep aids must be a better, safer option since you don’t need to go to a doctor to get approval, think again. You’re still getting all of the same problems you would be with prescription sleep aids, albeit with fewer wacky and less extreme side effects. But the basic problems are the same – “a hangover” the next morning, dependence/abuse, and damage to your nervous system over time. Some studies have even shown a correlation between long-term exposure to the main ingredient in over the counter sleeping pills and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Picking the right sleep aid is much easier than most people think. Just remember one word: “natural”. If the ingredients aren’t natural, then don’t take it. There are lots of herbal sleep aids out there which contain things like melatonin, 5-HTP, chamomile, and other safe yet effective ingredients that can help you improve your sleep. So give a natural herbal sleep supplement a try, and make sure it becomes a part of your sleep hygiene routine.

Science Has Discovered That 5-HTP Is Good for Sleep

So you’re having trouble sleeping. You may be thinking about asking your doctor for a prescription sleep aid or picking up an over the counter sleeping pill. Unfortunately, these are some of the worst possible options you could take. In the short-term, they will ruin the quality of your sleep, even if you feel like they’re helping you fall asleep faster and sleep more hours. Long-term, this inferior sleep quality will cause serious health problems.

So what can you do instead? Well, one recent solution which science has discovered involves a little molecule called 5-HTP. Along with other things like a good diet, more exercise, and healthful sleep hygiene practices, getting more 5-HTP into your body can help reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep while improving your overall sleep quality. You can start trying to get more 5-HTP by incorporating more protein into your diet.  You may also want to invest in a 5-HTP supplement. If you really want to cover all your bases, you can combine the two. In this post, we’re going to elaborate on the importance of 5-HTP as well as how you can get more of it.

5-HTP and Its Mechanism of Action

Explaining exactly what 5-HTP does in the body can get a little convoluted. But we encourage you to bear with us. 5-HTP has a lot of utility and is capable of multitasking in ways that most other compounds cannot. 5-HTP is a type of building block which, when combined with other proteins, fatty acids, and similar nutrients, can construct some very important neurotransmitters. There’s another word four neurotransmitters that you’ve probably already heard before: endorphins. As the iconic movie Legally Blonde once put it: “Endorphins make you happy”. And happy people don’t have trouble sleeping. They just don’t.

To be fair to the science of it, not all neurotransmitters make you happy. We are oversimplifying it a little bit to make it easier to understand. But 5-HTP counteracts those transmitters that don’t make you happy by creating more of the ones that do: melatonin and serotonin. Most people these days do have a decent amount of knowledge about serotonin. It’s the endorphin that so many antidepressant prescriptions are (allegedly) designed to boost in our brains. When you have more serotonin in your brain, you feel happier and less stressed out. When you experience an elevated mood more frequently and you have less stress in your life, it’ll be easier to fall asleep and get a higher quality of sleep each night.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone of which 5-HTP is a precursor, also helps you fall asleep and increases the quality of your rest. Melatonin is supposed to be released at night after the sun goes down and the darkness comes. But the double edged sword of modern technology means that we are constantly exposed to things that inhibit our body’s ability to produce melatonin. Putting more 5-HTP into your body can help with this problem by giving your body the building blocks it needs to produce enough melatonin. You can also follow better sleep hygiene habits so that you can trigger melatonin production more easily and efficiently.

What You Need to Do to Get More 5-HTP

There are a couple of different methods you can use if you feel like you are not getting enough 5-HTP in your body. The good news is that all of them are perfectly natural. They also don’t have any known reported side effects. But there are some other facets of your life which can make it a little challenging to get the 5-HTP you need.

5-HTP is most abundant in protein – specifically, animal protein and animal-derived protein products. So if you are vegan or vegetarian and you’re concerned about your 5-HTP intake, you might be fighting an uphill battle. 5-HTP comes from amino acids, and amino acids come from protein. But not all amino acids are created equal. And certain types of protein have greater amounts of the amino acids that your body needs to build 5-HTP than others. This is why so many vegans and vegetarians struggle to produce the amount of 5-HTP they need to stay healthy.

At the same time, even if you don’t adhere to a strict diet, it can be difficult to estimate how much 5-HTP you’re getting from the food you eat. It’s not like our food labels go into detail about the amino acids which exist in the proteins we eat. And even if they did, it’s hard to measure or predict how much 5-HTP your body will produce from those amino acids without some sort of medical test. Supplementing with 5-HTP is an easier way to keep track of the quantity of htp in your system. They are relatively inexpensive, and they’re easy to take. They’ve been available for quite a while, and there are a lot of people who swear by them. But that begs the next question…

What Is the Best Way to Supplement With 5-HTP?

If you’re going to go the supplement route, you have two choices: you can supplement with 5-HTP only, or you could take a supplement which includes 5-HTP. A supplement which contains only 5-HTP can have some benefits. It may be less expensive than a more complex supplement with many different ingredients. If your system is very sensitive to supplementation, it may be less risky to stick with a one-ingredient 5-HTP supplement. And you will know right away whether or not 5-HTP actually helps you sleep since there will be no other variables involved.

On the other hand, taking a sleep supplement like Avinol PM (which incorporates 5-HTP into its formula) has many upsides, too. One of the reasons supplementing with 5-HTP alone may not work is due to a lack of synergy. Avinol PM contains the ingredients it does because scientific research says they work well together to boost each individual compound’s positive effect. Secondly, if you tried to buy each ingredient separately, it would be much more expensive than purchasing them all at the same time by ordering a supply of Avinol PM. So yes, 5-HTP can help you with your sleep problems – either by itself, or as an essential part of a complete natural sleep aid formula.