Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Get Healthy Challenge: Week 12

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Welcome to Week 12 of Our Get Healthy Challenge! If you're just joining us, here is what you missed so far - so you can get all caught up. This series is running for the next six months with pro nutritionists, The GetReal Gurls. They are helping us make small changes every week that build upon each weekly task. Our challenge this week?

This week's challenge is all about sleep. Arguably one of the most important things for good health, a good night's sleep has been linked to weight management, prevention of chronic disease (like blood pressure), good mental health and overall crankiness (doh!). This challenge is especially important this time of year when pressures on our time are abundant - between holiday shopping, party-going, card-writing, baking, decorating and more - it's surprising we get any sleep at all!

Although it may be difficult, no matter what time of year (or stress level), it's vital to prioritize time for sleep. 

Here are some tips for good sleep hygiene:

- Set a bed time routine, your body thrives on routine and your body will know what to expect

- Take time to wind down before bed (try drinking a warm tea, taking a bath or reading) - this will help you fall asleep promptly and soundly

- Get rid of any artificial light like your digital alarm clock

- If you awake in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep, get up and out of bed, read or do a chore for about 20 minutes and then come back - tossing and turning in bed will make it harder to get back to sleep

- If you feel tired in the morning even after a good night's sleep, get tested for sleep apnea by a doctor (it's a serious problem that can take years of your life).

Here's your Do It! Post It! challenge for the week:

Do It! Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night this week (yes, that much!)- that's what the national sleep foundation recommends for optimal health

Post It! Tell us how much sleep you get on average and what tricks help you get to sleep.

Now stop reading and get to bed!

- A. & M. for 

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