The time change this past weekend granted many people the opportunity to snatch an extra, much needed hour of sleep. If that extra hour left you feeling more awake and refreshed, you may not be getting enough sleep. Research has shown that people who do not get enough sleep have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight than those who get at least 7.5 hours a night. Even mild sleep deprivation can interfere with healthy habits and metabolism and cause weight gain.
- Stay away from caffeine after 2 p.m. to help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.
- Avoid television and computer screens immediately before bedtime. The light from the screen can interfere with your body's internal clock.
- Turn cell phones off or on silent to minimize interruptions after you have already fallen asleep.
- Avoid large, rich meals immediately before bedtime to prevent heart burn, which can make falling asleep difficult.
- Regular exercise can improve sleep quality. 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 times per week is all it takes!