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5 Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep


5 Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep
(and Better Morning Wake-Up)


By Mark Williams
Author of The 7 Day Mind Balancing Plan ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

Most people in industrialized societies are working jobs with long hours and lead incredibly busy lives.

With so much to do, they often skip on the essentials of good health, such as not getting enough sleep.

Take Michael, for instance. He’s a 24-year old call center agent and a new father who regularly works the graveyard shift.

With the demands of parenthood and work bearing down on him, he treated sleep as a luxury he couldn’t afford.

But contrary to what most people think, sleep is FAR from a luxury.

If you deprive your body of this basic need, you’ll have to pay for it one way or another.

Michael learned this the hard way during one bleary-eyed morning. He had just gotten out of work and was driving home.

He was only 10 minutes away from his place when it happened.

Michael dozed off for all of two seconds, but that’s all it took for him to ram the taxi cab in front of him.

Luckily, he wasn’t going that fast when the cab hit the brakes at the intersection, so it was just a minor fender bender.

But it was a sobering moment for Michael nonetheless.

The memory of waking up to the sound of a loud, sickening thud followed by a metallic crunch would stay with him for a long time.

It pushed him to do something about his situation so he wouldn’t go through that experience again.

Michael saw a sleep specialist, worked out a sleep schedule with his wife, and asked his boss to move him to daytime hours.

Wake up and smell the health risks

Michael’s case is hardly rare, which makes it sad knowing that so many people are wasting their health over avoiding sleep.

The problem with skimping on shut-eye is that it creates long-term problems down the road – and you shouldn’t brush it off.

For one thing, you’ll increase your likelihood of heart disease by over 50%. Other problems include higher risk for diabetes, obesity, and a compromised immune system.

Worse, a sleep-deprived brain means your memory is shot and you can’t retain new information.

A fuzzy head means reduced focus and concentration, so say goodbye to being productive at work.

And like what with happened with Michael, having a few seconds of micro-sleep while driving on the road can have serious (and permanent consequences).

Here are some ways to get the most out of your sleeping hours:

#1: Routine is key Humans are wired to operate on a sleep schedule, something which has come under attack since the dawn of the modern age.

Mathew Walker, Ph.D., author of “Why We Sleep” says that the demands of modern living have taken its toll on our basic biological need to sleep.

He shared this insight in his book:

“…the decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our life expectancy, our safety, our productivity, and the education of our children.”

As such, the key to regularly getting a good amount of sleep is through a schedule. The human body thrives on routine, and you have to design your day to support this.

One quick way to do this is by deciding on a FIXED time to get up every day, then schedule your bedtime based on that.

Check out this weird but powerful technique you can use to sleep within minutes ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link] If you want to sleep for at least hours and need to be up by 6 am, then you need to be in bed by 10 am. Stick to this routine throughout the week, and your body will gradually adjust.

As you get used to this schedule, you eventually won’t have to set an alarm. You know you’ve settled into your target sleep pattern when you get up at the same time every day.

#2: Turn off your smartphone at night

Nothing wrecks your sleep rhythm more than a bright screen in your face before going to bed.

You might think you’re relaxing while scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, but it’s doing things to your body you’re not aware of.

You see, your natural sleep mechanism is designed to release a hormone called melatonin when you’re about to hit the sack.

So when you use a mobile device or your laptop, the bright light sends a signal to your brain to stop producing melatonin. Part of a good sleep schedule is learning when to stop using electronics as bedtime nears.

Give yourself at least a couple of hours to unplug from your electronics before going to bed. This allows your body to get “settled” in for the night ahead and go down like a sack of potatoes when you turn off the lights.

#3: Set the stage for good sleep

Your environment plays a HUGE factor in the quality of your sleep. So you need to make sure that the bedroom is a place that’s conducive for resting.

Aside from removing all electronics from your bed, here are other ways to ensure sleeping success:

- Remove all stressful associations from your sleeping environment. This means leaving your work OUT of the bedroom. Your mind should only think of sleep when you’re in bed.

- Don’t stay in bed if you can’t sleep. Do something else outside of the bedroom and come back when you’re done.

- Eliminate distractions and bright lights. Your body associates sleep time with darkness, so make sure you have good curtains and have eye shades handy if needed. Also, pinpoint any sources of noise, such as a television or your mobile device and deal with it accordingly. Switch it off or keep it out of the bedroom altogether.

- Invest in a good mattress and keep the temperature cool. The ideal range is about 60-70 degrees, which allows your body to naturally fall into a relaxed state. Proper lumbar support is a big thing too, so get a mattress that’s kind on your back.

How To Switch Off Your Brain Before You Sleep (Weird, but it works!) ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

#4: Naps are ok, but do it right

Dr. Walker also says in “Why We Sleep” that by nature, people are meant to sleep in a biphasic pattern.

This basically consists of 7-8 hours of sleep, and one nap during the day for 30 minutes up to an hour. According to him, this works better than sleeping according to a monophasic pattern which is sleeping throughout the night with no naps.

So, he recommends that you take at least one nap to help you get through until the evening. However, you should do this before 3 pm to give yourself enough time to get tired at night and stick to your prescribed bedtime.

One benefit of napping is that it reduces the odds of a heart attack by more than half. Companies such as Google and Nike have facilities like nap pods to allow their employees to recharge as it helps with their productivity.

#5: Wind down with a book or music

A good way to further reinforce your bedtime routine is by introducing better habits that you can associate with your sleep patterns.

Reading before bed is a good ritual as it can help reduce your stress levels. The University of Sussex did a study 2009 to explore the effects of reading on sleep – they found it can cut down stress levels by up to 68%.

As you settle in with a book, it takes your mind off stressful thoughts which helps reduce your heart rate and production of cortisol (a stress hormone). So it helps to pick out a few good books you can get into over the next several weeks (or days, if you’re a voracious reader).

Another alternative is putting on some good tunes before you hit the hay. Like reading, it puts you in another state of consciousness – and this helps you disengage from your worries throughout the day.

Also, meditation has become more and more popular among a wide range of people, such as students, CEOs, parents and everyone else in between.

This habit in itself is effective in reducing anxiety and depression, so combining it with your bedtime routine makes it even more powerful.

Furthermore, meditation is a great tool for reprogramming your subconscious thoughts. People have used it change undesired behavior, like negative thinking or even smoking.

Not only that, you can also use meditation to optimize your mindset for being more successful in life and creating wealth.

If you want to improve your sleep habits while improving the other parts of your life in the process, you can check out my free guided meditation audio tracks.

They’re designed to help you meditate at night and prime your brain for success so you can get up in the morning refreshed and ready to take on the day:

Click Here To Learn The Secret Technique To Supercharge Your Sleep Now And Wake Up Feeling Amazing Every Day. ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

How to Fall Asleep FAST - 10 Tips for Better Sleep Everyone Should Know!


How to Fall Asleep FAST - 10 Tips for Better Sleep Everyone Should Know!


By Mark Williams
Author of The 7 Day Mind Balancing Plan ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” ― Akira Kurosawa

Theo, a fifteen-year-old high school student, was nodding off at class.
His busy schedule takes up a lot of his time, and unfortunately, it’s been cutting into his sleeping hours.

Between tests, reports and projects, Theo also trains after school hours for the karate varsity team.

With so much to do, it’s become a challenge for him to balance his time.

As a result, Theo’s academic performance started to suffer. With him napping frequently and his grades dipping steadily, his teachers became concerned.

Ms. Guillen, the school principal, finally talked to Theo’s parents about what was going on.

She said, “Theo is a brilliant boy, but I’m a bit worried that he’s struggling to cope with his studies…and he’s so sleepy all the time.”

Theo’s parents shared that their son has been having trouble sleeping at night.

According to them, “(Theo) has been feeling more and more pressured by deadlines and tests, not to mention having to train for the upcoming interschool tournament.”

A Disheartening Trend

Theo’s case is hardly an isolated one. With classes starting early in the morning, most students his age end up sleep deprived.

A study entitled “Sleep schedules and daytime functioning in adolescents” from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts found that a group of about 3,000 teenagers had the same problem as Theo.

They discovered that students starting class early in the morning (before 7:30 am) would doze off when the researchers pulled them out of class at 8:30 am.

It’s safe to say that this is NOT a healthy trend, and it’s been going on for decades now.

Sleep expert Dr. Matthew Walker discusses this in his book, “Why We Sleep”.

According to him, high school students who start class before 8:15 am might as well wake up in the middle of the night.

Furthermore, he points out that schools in the U.S. used to start class by 9:00 am a hundred years ago.

So, Theo’s problem was to basically find a way around these unfortunate circumstances and get more sleep at night. It was the only way to pull up his grades and keep him from getting sleepy in class.

Ms. Guillen recommended that Theo’s parents see a friend of hers who worked at the Sleep Center of their local hospital.

With the help of his parents and their sleep specialist, Theo was able to work out a better schedule that would allow him to get enough rest. On top of that, he also started practicing certain habits to help him get to sleep faster.

While Theo benefited from these tips, pretty much anyone in high school or older can use them too.

Try them out starting tonight and see if it doesn’t improve the quality of your sleep as well:

Check out this weird but powerful technique you can use to sleep within minutes ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

#1: Make a sleep schedule and stick to it

Laying down the proper groundwork is half the battle when it comes to sleeping soundly.

Most people who have trouble drifting off to sleep at night usually don’t follow a general bedtime schedule.

Like with the other members of the animal kingdom, we’re designed to function based on a routine.

But the problem is that we’re the only species that deprive ourselves of sleep on purpose.

This is why you shouldn’t brush off the importance of setting up a sleep schedule that gives you enough time to rest at night.

The more you make a habit of ending your day right, the better you’ll wire your body and mind to sleep right away.

When babies and small children have a consistent sleeping schedule, they fall asleep effortlessly. It’s easy for them because they’re trained to expect their bedtime at a certain point in the day.

The thing is, adults are no different. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s up to you to create this structure for yourself.

Decide on a time to wake up every day, then set aside enough hours to sleep before then.

If you want to be up by 7:00 am, be in bed by 10:30 pm the night before so you’re out by 11 pm.

When you plan your day around a “deadline”, your body will learn to fall into this rhythm.

Granted that it takes a bit of time to do this, you’ll fall asleep quickly once you’ve settled into your schedule.

The good news is that once you’ve gotten this out of the way, the next tips take way less time to implement…

#2: Get into a healthy bedtime routine

Before the grueling lifestyle of the industrial age came into the picture, our ancestors were used to following their natural circadian rhythm.

Now that everything’s changed, you need to create a set of rituals that tie into your regular bedtime schedule.

Like babies and small children, you can also set up similar cues to signal that it’s time to sleep.

For instance, reading is a good habit to practice, much like how kids settle in with a bedtime story.

An academic study conducted in the UK shows that reading at night is an effective stress-reducing activity – this makes it eaCsier for you to take your mind off things.

Other people like to play some music to relax instead, although it’s slightly less effective than picking up a book.

Nonetheless, it can still help you decompress after a long day and get you to sleep.

How To Switch Off Your Brain Before You Sleep (Weird, but it works!) ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

#3: Do a bedroom audit

Is your bedroom a place conducive for rest? Or is it a source of worry and distraction?

If you answered “yes” to the latter, remove everything in your bedroom that can detract from a peaceful sleep.

A lot of people don’t realize how important this is, so paying attention to the details will get you to sleep faster.

First off, make sure your bedroom is in the 60-70 F range as this is the ideal temperature to help you relax.

Of course, your bed also plays a huge role in helping you sleep peacefully. Check your mattress, blankets and pillows so that they provide the comfort you need.

Also, the best bedroom is a dark one. Light disrupts the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that makes you drowsy.

Keep the windows covered and lights switched off when it’s time to sleep. While you’re at it, remove anything noisy from your bedroom that might disturb you in the middle of the night.

This includes your TV, computer or mobile devices – which brings us to the next tip…

#4: Make your bed an electronics-free zone

You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s for a good reason.

Like I said earlier, your body stops producing melatonin when you’re exposed to bright light. This is doubly so with the blue light that screens typically emit.

One of the best things you can do is switch off all screens 2-3 hours before you hit the sack.

Your body and mind need time to unplug from the day’s distractions – you can’t just switch off the minute before your head touches the pillow.

Otherwise, you’re just cheating yourself out of precious time that could have been spent sleeping.

#5: Cut down on stimulants and other substances

Certain drinks are a no-no when it comes to sleeping well at night. This includes coffee (for obvious reasons) as well as liquor.

While caffeine keeps you awake, you might think alcohol has the opposite effect and help you relax.

Sure, knocking back a few drinks will make you drowsy, but the quality of your sleep won’t be as great.

We cycle back and forth between REM and non-REM sleep, and alcohol disrupts this process.

As such, you need to give your system enough time to process any coffee or alcohol present to enjoy quality sleep at night.

By the way, the same goes for sugary snacks or heavy meals. It’ll take you longer to sleep if your body is busy digesting.

Discover the secret to supercharge your sleep now and wake up feeling amazing every day. ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

#6: A warm bath works wonders

One of the benefits of going to bed squeaky clean is that it acts as a natural sedative.

Your body temperature goes up during a hot shower (ideally no higher than 104 F and not longer than 20 minutes), which then goes down when you go back into your bedroom. This drop triggers a change in your system which tells you that it’s time to sleep.

Do this about an hour before sleeping, and you’ll have enough time for your body to shift gears. As your breathing and heart rate goes down, it’ll be easier to fall asleep.

#7: Get out of bed

There are times when you just can’t go to sleep for one reason or another.

In such cases, staying in bed and forcing yourself to fall asleep is counterproductive.

The best thing to do is get up and do something else, but NOT in the bedroom.

Listen to music, read a book or answer a crossword puzzle, then come back to bed when you feel sleepy.

The important thing is to associate your bed with relaxation, and not a place to engage in any stressful activities.

#8: Load up on melatonin

While coffee, booze and sugary treats are a no-no, there are snacks that can actually help you sleep.

Try some of these melatonin-rich foods about 45 minutes to an hour before sleeping:

- Bananas
- Blueberries
- Other fruits like apples, avocado, dried prunes, grapes and goji berries
- Oatmeal-based snacks like cookies and porridge
- Warm milk (or almond milk) – also other beverages like chamomile or peppermint tea
- Nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews and pistachio
- Whole wheat toast with jam, peanut butter or almond butter
- A turkey or chicken sandwich
- Cheese (with toast, crackers or fruits)
- Green veggies like spinach, broccoli and asparagus

Remember, “light” is the operative word. Don’t fill up too much or you’ll be stressing your metabolic functions which will make it harder for you to sleep.

#9: Quiet your mind

Like Theo, many of us spend sleepless nights with our minds going a hundred a miles an hour over things that concern us.

Whether it’s taxes, bills, your job, the kids, your pets, a big project you’re working on, or a visit to the in-laws, there’s always something occupying your thoughts.

The trick is to learn how to block these when you’re about to sleep.

After all, thinking about them at night doesn’t help since you’re in no position to deal with them at that moment.

Awareness is key – when you catch yourself going into worry mode, you need to consciously step in and shut down those thoughts.

Try saying something like, “Dear Brain, this is NOT the time to guess what Sheila meant when she told everyone at the meeting that you didn’t answer her email…you’ve got plenty of time to chew on that tomorrow!”

Take comfort in the fact that most of our thoughts are actually inconsequential.

They’re often not as bad as your mind makes them out to be, so get into the conscious habit of switching off that mental static at night.

#10: Visualize and meditate

If you’re having a hard time keeping out distracting thoughts, you can train your mind through a couple of relaxing mental exercises.

For instance, meditation teaches you to disengage from negative thinking and focus on the present moment instead.

A 2012 study at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in India documented this phenomenon and proved how effective its role is in sleeping more soundly.

You can do this by sitting upright with your eyes closed and thinking about nothing else other than your breathing. It also helps to focus on the sensations your body is feeling, such as your heartbeat and the weight of your feet on the floor.

As for visualization, this also keeps your mind off your troubles by replacing them with something pleasant.

Use your mind’s eye to picture a relaxing image, like being at the beach and watching the waves gently crash into the shore.

A 2002 study done at the University of Oxford called “The management of unwanted pre-sleep thoughts in insomnia: distraction with imagery versus general distraction" proves the power of visualization in quickly falling asleep.

You can either do visualization as a standalone exercise, or combine it as part of a meditation routine.

Either way, you’ll be taking the fast track to sleep and avoid getting stuck in a bottleneck of unproductive thoughts.

The more you apply these tips in your daily bedtime routine, the quicker you’ll perfect the fine art of falling asleep on demand.

Like any other skill, effective snoozing can be learned - so you should start practicing as early as tonight!

Click Here To Discover The Secret Technique To Supercharge Your Sleep Now And Wake Up Feeling Amazing Every Day. ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?


How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need?


By Mark Williams
Author of The 7 Day Mind Balancing Plan ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” ― Homer

Joe, a marketing assistant for an advertising firm, is hardly a role model for good sleep habits.

If he’s not working long hours at the office, Joe takes his work home – specifically his laptop in bed.

It’s not any better on the weekends, either. On his free time, Joe’s surfing the Internet late into the night.

And when he finally decides to get some shut-eye, his brain goes on auto-pilot, thinking about all the stuff he needs to take care of on Monday.

Joe eventually realized he’s not doing himself any favors with his lifestyle. He was nodding off a lot at his desk and at meetings - and even while driving.

That last one is a huge red flag which indicates he’s not getting any enough sleep.

But like many other people with busy schedules and full calendars, Joe didn’t know HOW much sleep he actually needed to function properly throughout the day.

Is There a Golden Number? The truth is that no one agrees on an exact figure when it comes to getting enough sleep.

And as you’ll learn in a bit, not everyone has the same sleep requirements, which means your own sweet spot will differ from others.

Be that is it may, is still helps to work from a ballpark figure and go from there.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended number of hours for adults is generally between 7-9 hours.

In particular, those in the range of 18-64 years old needs around 7-9 hours, while people beyond that would require 7-8 hours.

However, that figure is still up for debate, especially for those people who believe that they can work perfectly fine with just six hours or less of sleep, for instance.

But consider this: a study entitled “Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in Humans” documented the effects that staying in a cave for a month would have on someone’s sleeping patterns.

Cut off from natural light, the researchers had no way to tell what time of the day it was. And yet, their natural circadian rhythms had them sleeping between 8-9 hours.

Furthermore, another study in 2004 done at the University of Pennsylvania discussed the effects of sleeplessness on four groups of people over a couple of weeks.

One group was made to sleep eight hours, another one was six hours, the next for hours, and the last one had no sleep at all.

They ran a series of cognitive tests on each of these groups to measure how sharp their mental abilities were. To no one’s surprise, they found that all groups who slept less than eight hours did poorly compared to the well-rested group.

Here’s the interesting thing, however: by the end of the two-week study, even the group sleeping six hours eventually did just as bad as those who weren’t sleeping at all.

So people who brag about getting away with just a few hours of sleep don’t realize they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

You might feel well-rested with that little sleep, but the results tell a different story.

Watch the video to discover how to supercharge your sleep now ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

Finding Your Perfect Number

So you might be thinking, “Ok, so six hours or less is bad for me, but where I do fall in the 7-9 hour range?”

To figure that out, assess how you’re doing at the moment with your current amount of sleep. Here’s a list of things to consider:

- Do you generally have an easy time getting work done in a given day?
- Or do you struggling to finish your tasks due to low energy?
- Do you immediately doze off when you lie down? Or are you wide awake in bed an hour after lying down?
- Do you doze off in the afternoon while you’re working?
- Do you nod off at the wheel when driving? (A very bad sign)
- Do you drink a lot of coffee to stay awake throughout the day (more than 400mg of caffeine or about three cups)?
At the very least, going through these questions will tell you if you’re NOT sleeping enough.

The best thing to do is start off with sleeping in the seven-hour range for a week and see if your general day improves as a result.

If you find that you’re STILL sleepy after that, then it’s a good idea to increase your sleeping time to improve your daily performance.

Investing In a Better Sleep

The next step is to establish a sleep routine that will actually allow you a decent amount of shut-eye.

If you’re a late-sleeper like Joe who has a hard time falling asleep, it might have to do with your melatonin levels.

This is essentially a hormone that helps you sleep at night by making you feel tired. And some people’s melatonin doesn’t kick in right away, which makes it harder for them to conk out at night.

If you’re up in bed late into the night, resist the temptation to fire up your phone, laptop or any other mobile device in bed.

You might think this will help you feel sleepy, but the bright blue light that screens emit will mess with your sleep rhythm. It simulates daylight which will make your brain think it’s not time to sleep yet.

Using electronics in bed slows down melatonin production, making it even harder for you to sleep at night.

The better thing to do is have little light as possible in the bedroom. This signals your body that it’s time for bed and trigger those sleep hormones.

While you’re at it, make sure you have a good mattress to sleep on and your room is cool enough (around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit).

Also, eliminate other distractions that could disrupt your sleep, like noise or bright lights.

And if you still find yourself tossing and turning, get up and leave your bedroom. The idea is to associate your bed with the notion of sleep as opposed to other activities.

However, a couple of things you could do in bed are either listening to music (ideally at 60 beats per minute) or reading. Take note though that most studies find that the latter is more effective in helping you sleep.

Reading helps the brain disengage from the day’s concerns and quiets down your thoughts without the sleep-wrecking blue light from your mobile devices.

And forget about having a nightcap, too. That glass of red wine might help you relax by making you feel tired, but it will compromise the quality of your sleep.

Normally, people go through REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM cycles at night.

However, booze will get in the way of your REM sleep, which is important to being well-rested.

Discover the secret to supercharge your sleep now and wake up feeling amazing every day. ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

It’s a Matter of Priorities

So whether you need seven, eight or nine hours of sleep, a sensible routine is non-negotiable.

Millions of years of evolution have programmed humans to operate on a CONSISTENT sleep schedule, and there’s simply no way around this.

Sure, you can pull as many all-nighters as you want, but you’ll be going down a path of poor productivity, shallow sleep and a miserable existence.

You won’t feel it, but the quality of your work WILL suffer.

A regular bedtime ensures that you’ll be operating at peak performance on a daily basis. Plus, you’re less likely doze off in the afternoon.

This also applies to the weekends. Most people think they can make up for lost sleep during these times, but research shows that it’s biologically impossible for humans to “store” extra hours of sleep.

So starting today, figure out the time you want to wake up every morning, and work your way back the night before.

For example, if you need to get out of bed by 6:00 am and you want to sleep for seven hours, then you need to be asleep by 11:00 pm.

Switch off all electronics by 9:00 pm and get into a relaxing bedtime routine, like reading, listening to music or having a warm bath.

After you establish this kind of routine, your body will adapt to a healthier sleep pattern.

You’ll fall asleep and wake up at the same time like clockwork. If you find however, that you’re still experiencing those symptoms we covered earlier, you probably need to sleep a bit more.

Remember, don’t compare yourself to other people – especially those who take pride in getting away little to no sleep.

Above all, listen to your body. When you pay attention to the signs and stick to a schedule that works for you, you’ll gradually find your unique rhythm.

Check out this weird but powerful technique you can use to sleep within minutes ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link]

Ideal For Health And Weight Loss Lists

The Link Between Poor Sleep and Weight Gain – 5 Things To Know


The Link Between Poor Sleep and Weight Gain – 5 Things To Know

By Mark Williams

Author of The 7 Day Mind Balancing Plan <=[Link this text via your affiliate link]

“Sleep is such a luxury which I can’t afford.” ― Robin Sikarwar

If you think you’re getting more done by sleeping less, you may be right. But the cost of doing such will take a toll on your long-term health.

Over the recent decades, research has shown again and again that sleep deprivation can have a devastating effect on your overall health – not to mention your figure.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends at least 7 hours of sleep to get the maximum benefits of shut-eye.

And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting less than this amount can significantly increase the risk of many life-threatening diseases.

This includes heart problems, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, stroke, diabetes and even depression.

And the worst part is that there are about 70 million people in the U.S. alone who are struggling with a lack of sleep.

The main problem with not getting enough rest is that it plays tricks on your brain. When you’re feeling drained from a sleepless night, your metabolism essentially goes haywire.

That creates a chain reaction of adverse effects in your body, such as a hormonal imbalance and increased stress levels.

So the less sleep you get on a daily basis or the more erratic your sleep pattern are, the more you wire your mind and body to over-consume food.

Worse, lacking energy also means your judgment is skewed when it comes to choosing the right food. Your nutrition becomes compromised, and you won't be as efficient in burning those excess calories.

As such, you could also develop sleep apnea, a condition where a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping.

This happens when a person is overweight and develops fat around the neck area. So that will make the quality of a person’s sleep even worse, further aggravating the effects of sleep deprivation.

Also, sleep apnea increases the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke, which makes things even more complicated.

Even if you think you’re living a healthy lifestyle by working out and eating a clean diet, a lack of sleep can seriously undermine your efforts.

Thus, the key to better health is by getting better sleep. But before we get into that, let's go a bit deeper and understand precisely how sleep deprivation makes you pack on the pounds:

Check out a unique way to get the sleep your body craves ⇦ [Link this text via your affiliate link] 

#1: Sleep deprivation messes with your eating habits

A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that there’s a strong connection between not sleeping and an increase in calorie intake.

People who get enough rest - and those who stay up late - burn a similar amount of calories.

But there's one crucial difference between them.

People who have the habit of skipping sleep will take in more calories (about 300 every day). And when this adds up over the weeks and months, you’re going to see the pounds add up faster than you think.

And here’s another risk of sleeping late: you’re way more likely to snack throughout the day because you’re low on energy.

What happens is that you misinterpret your fatigue for hunger. That’s because people tend to produce more lipids in their system that influence the way they experience eating food.

Thus, you’re going to want to eat food that won’t necessarily give your body what it actually needs. When you’re well-rested, you might choose a nice, healthy salad or grass-fed beef with Brussels sprouts.

But if you haven’t been sleeping well, you’re probably going to head down to your nearest fast-food joint and order a thick, juicy burger filled with saturated fats and triglycerides.

And when your bloodstream is full of these unhealthy substances, that can lead to other complications like insulin resistance and increased body fat.

The reason this happens is that there are parts of your brain that are affected by sleep deprivation. This makes it harder for you to use your better judgment and higher reasoning.

That makes you switch to a sort of “caveman mode” where you instinctively want to take on more calories as a defense mechanism against tiredness.

And with a lack of sleep comes higher stress levels, too. Being fatigued triggers your body to produce stress hormones such as cortisol.

Usually, this should only kick in during a fight-or-flight situation. You get a massive dump of energy in your bloodstream, but it's not meant to stay in your body for too long.

But when you push yourself to stay awake, your cortisol levels remain elevated all the time, which is dangerous. As you've probably guessed, one of the side effects of prolonged cortisol is having a powerful urge to overeat.

#2: You’ll be less motivated to get up and move

Simply put, the less energy you have, the more lethargic you become - and the less likely you’ll feel like exercising. And when you’re up and about burning those calories, the next step is to puton weight.

Couple that with bad eating habits (also caused by sleep deprivation), and you’ve got a recipe for a health disaster. With the added pounds and a lack of cardiovascular activity, you’ll be on the path to obesity.

Furthermore, the National Sleep Foundation has found that sleep apnea (caused by weight gain)puts people in a vicious cycle. Interrupted breathing at night means poor sleep, which is followed by less energy during the day.

And all of this makes it harder to exercise and make better food choices. So keeping the weight off becomes even more of an uphill battle.

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#3: You fat cells won’t get any sleep either (which is a bad thing)

Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine discovered that there’s a relationship between poor sleep and a person's fat cells. In a study they did, doctors found that fat cells respond 30% less than usual to insulin, an energy regulating hormone.

Fat cells are meant to eliminate harmful fatty acids and lipids from the bloodstream to prevent long-term damage to your body. However, skipping on sleep will impair your fat cells’ ability to do their job.

So, that leaves those fatty acids and lipids free to roam in your system.

On top of gaining weight, you’ll also be at serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another factor behind insulin resistance is overeating (sugar-laden and inflammatory food in particular), which of course, is related to a lack of sleep.

#4: Your metabolism suffers

In a study called “The Metabolic Consequences of Sleep Deprivation,” (also from the University of Chicago), experts found a connection between diabetes and not sleeping enough.

Aside from fat cells not responding to insulin, another effect of sleep deprivation is a disruption of vital metabolic processes (such as properly utilizing carbohydrates and hormone regulation).

And once your metabolism goes off the rails, it can lead to premature aging.

#5: You’ll crave carbs

The other thing about poor sleep and bad eating habits is that people seek carb-rich foods in particular.

In another study called “High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset” from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they found that the short-term gratification of eating unhealthy carbohydrates disrupts a person’s sleep patterns.

And when this happens, poor sleep feeds into the urge to eat even more unhealthy food. This keeps the cycle going and causes people to put on even more weight.

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How to Break The Cycle of Bad Sleeping Habits

The truth about sleep is that you’re not simply resting. You’re actually giving your brain and metabolic functions a chance to recover from the demands of a long day.

So, the best way to get started on a lifestyle of healthy sleeping habits is by figuring out what time you want to wake up every day.

If you need to get up at 6am, then work your way back 7 or 8 hours. You’ll then have an idea of what time to get to bed in the evening (which should be around 10pm in this case).

That way, you can make sure that you’ll have adequate time to shut down for the night. Not only that, it’s better to wake up at the same time every day to stabilize your circadian rhythm.

Also, avoid drinking coffee after 3pm. Caffeine stays in your body longer than you think, so cut yourself off by that time and switch to other drinks instead (but avoid sugary soft drinks and energy drinks).

Lastly, make time for exercise as this also plays a role in better sleep. Find a suitable slot in your daily routine to get this done, whether it's the first thing in the morning or a couple of hours before bedtime.

Soon enough, your body will get used to this new schedule. Then you’ll fall asleep faster, and wake up without relying on your alarm clock or phone in the morning.

Remember, it all starts by disrupting the cycle.

However, if you’re having problems getting to sleep even after making some lifestyle changes, you might need another approach.

There’s a technique called Mind Balancing which allows you to put yourself in a state of deep sleep in a matter of minutes. And maximize the time you are asleep.

Not many people know about this yet, but more and more sleep deprived sufferers have found relief by applying this simple method.

To find out if this technique is right for you, check out this video now:

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