Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

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Do you ever lie awake at night, feeling as though you may be the only one in the world who is having trouble sleeping? Do you drag yourself out of bed and through your day, thinking that sleep deprivation is just part of life? 

Well, you most certainly are not alone if you are having trouble sleeping. Statistics show that the country is tired! The CDC, estimates that over 35% of U.S. adults fall short of the recommended average of at least 7 hours of sleep per night. 

One of Lark’s key features is the ability to track your sleep, as well as smart sleeps habits to help you get your best rest. The app monitors and tracks sleep, providing you with the chance to see your sleep history over recent weeks, as well as pointing out certain patterns. This increases your awareness of your sleep habits. You might discover patterns for times when you feel tired during the day or have trouble falling asleep at night.


The best sleep app does not just track sleep. It also coaches you on improving your sleep. Lark, for example, offers advice for getting better sleep on a consistent basis. Your coach reminds you that you are worth it – so getting enough sleep is worth it. And for those times when you just need a sympathetic ear, Lark has empathy for you to help you feel better and get through the day.

 

What are the effects of poor sleep habits?


Inability to sleep can lead to consequences that can be anything from unpleasant to downright dangerous and unhealthy. Difficulty falling asleep can stem from poor habits around bedtime, or they can be the result of other factors. Examples include:

  • Mood or anxiety disorders.

  • Alcohol abuse.

  • Respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

  • Discomfort, such as pain or indigestion.

  • Medication use.

  • Stress.

 

Signs of sleeping problems


Impaired Energy and Alertness

You are almost sure to know firsthand how sleep deprivation feels. You may have reduced energy, which makes getting through the day harder and often less enjoyable. Your ability to focus diminishes, and you may find yourself nodding off. Concentrating and remembering were the top two daily activities that people reported having trouble with due to lack of sleep.

 

Unintentional Weight Gain

Intuitively, it might make sense that sleeping less would help with weight loss, since you would be spending less time lying in bed and more time up and about, presumably burning more calories. That is not the case. Here are some ways that sleep deprivation can increase risk for weight gain:

  • More hunger: You may have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that increases hunger, and lower levels of leptin, which is a hormone that lets you know that you are satisfied.

  • More time to eat: You might burn a few more calories during those late-night hours while awake compared to if you were sleeping, but having even a few extra peanuts is likely to outweigh the extra calorie burn. Regularly having a more typical late-night snack can pile on the pounds.

  • Poorer choices: Sleep-deprived people crave more high-fat, high-carbohydrate, high-sugar foods, and have less ability to resist them. That means you are more likely to choose the pizza over the salad, and you are not going to stop at one potato chip.

  • Lower metabolism: your body temperature may drop so you burn fewer calories throughout the day.

  • Less energy: if you are too tired to exercise or even move around much during the day, you will burn fewer calories.

The ASA estimates that being short on sleep could account for as much as 5% of obesity!

Although getting a good night’s sleep may not seem to be a priority for most people with the increased business of your schedule, remember to take time for yourself and get some rest. Small changes such as making sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour is just one of the key parts of living a healthier lifestyle, losing weight and feeling happier and healthier overall. Simple choices like this can help with weight loss, so be sure to rest to continue your journey to a healthier you!

 



Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health

Sleep Apnea Raises Blood Pressure and Weight

Sleep Apnea Raises Blood Pressure and Weight

You may be having trouble with healthy sleep, and one of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that an estimated 18 million American adults have sleep apnea.  

Disturbances in your sleep due to sleep apnea can make you groggy during the day, but sleep apnea is far more than just an inconvenience.

Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Assistant Professor of Public Health