All posts in YOGA
With a national average of just six and a half hours of sleep a night, we are cutting ourselves short without even noticed. Sure you are feeling “energized” and getting work done, but studies show that those who didn’t get enough sleep are prone to memory loss, a lack of alertness, and a bulging belly. You may be getting by with just 5-7 hours of sleep per night, but to function at your maximum potential you’ll need at least 7.5-8 hours a night. It’s definitely not easy getting in all the sleep you need, but with these easy tricks you’ll be on your way.
1. Be realistic about bed time. Instead of setting a goal to go to bed at a time that doesn’t seem remotely attainable, aim for a bed time just 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. By setting smaller goals, you are more likely to accomplish them. Each day use 15 minute increments until you wake up truly energized.
2. Shut down before bed. Even though we all love texting, finishing up our last emails, or catching up on our latest shows right before bed, they tend to interfere with our bodies ability to relax and release melatonin. Artificial light tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, so turn off all electronics, like cell phones, laptops, and iPads at least 45 minutes before going to sleep. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in your sleep patterns almost immediately.
3. Develop a routine. A bed-time routine is essential to lasting sleep. This is entirely up to you. Mine looks something like: Brush teeth, Wash face, Stretch, & Sleep. Simple, relaxing, and attainable.
4. Tea time. Even if tea isn’t a part of your daily or evening rituals, this may be a good time to start. Herbal teas are free of caffeine and full of antioxidants and sleep-inducing properties. Go for Lavender, Chamomile, or Valerian tea to relax your mind and body. Have this about 2 hours before bed to avoid bathroom wake up calls!
5. Stretch it out. Just 3 minutes of stretching before bed can improve your quality of sleep ten-fold. You don’t need to be a yogi or gymnast although you may start looking like one if you keep it up! Laying in bed bring your knees to your chest for about 15 seconds. Switch off hugging one knee to your chest and then the other. While laying on your back, bend your knees and grab the outer edges of your feet. Use your upper body to pull your knees towards the bed for “happy baby” yoga pose. Finish off by lying flat on your back with your eyes closed breathing deep.
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