December 06, 2011

Sleep to skinny & lavender honey tea

A solid sleep routine is paramount to skinny habits. Tiredness can promote overeating and poor food choices as your low energy will make you reach for sugar and calories to help get you through the day. Chronic sleep loss triggers hormones that can lower the "appetite control" hormone leptin. When leptin is not controlled in your body's normal manner, you will find yourself reaching for food all day but never feeling satisfied. If you are exhausted, you are also not going to feel like doing vigorous exercise, or moving much at all. How much sleep is enough? There are many different opinions on how much sleep is enough for an adult. Adequate rest is usually in the 7 -8 hour range. If you have had a few sleepless nights that week, you may need to 'catch up' on your sleeping and have 10+ hours if you get the chance.

What is affecting your sleeping routine? If home or work commitments are preventing you from getting essential rest, try to find the support you need to get as much sleep as possible. Remember, you can't function properly or take care of yourself without sleep. With young children, the chances of slipping into a broken sleep routine are likely. However, sleep when you can, even if you can squeeze in a 30 minute nap.

For many others, sleep can be lost through seemingly no reason at all. Lying awake in bed for hours is not only frustrating, but damaging to your mental health, and to your overall wellbeing. Insomnia is usually attributed to incessant worrying, which keeps you from falling into a deep slumber. Transient or short-term insomnia is typically caused by such things as stressful life events, jet lag, changes in sleeping environments, some acute medical illnesses and stimulant medications. Five percent of people will need treatment for more long-term sleeping disorders. See your doctor if your sleeping problem is prolonged and try not to worry about sleeping itself, which cruelly fuels the insomnia. When I can't sleep, I get up and make myself some tea. Try this recipe for a sleep-inducing brew.

Honey Lavender Tea


* 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (or 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers)

* 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried mint)

* 1 teaspoon of manuka honey

* 1 cup boiling water

Brew tea in a teapot with strainer or a tea infuser for five minutes before serving.

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