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When we sleep less, we have an increase in ghrelin, the hormone that makes us hungry, and a decrease in leptin, which tells us were full. As a result, we eat more because we don’t have a strong signal to stop, she says. In addition, sub-par sleep can lead to increased work errors, poor concentration and attention, increased absenteeism, poor motor skills, worse memory, increased stress and depression/anxiety.
Here, Dr. Harris lists eight surefire tips if you just can’t fall asleep:
Skip those dated wives tales
Have a tiny sip of water to get any medication down, but that’s it.
Do your best to get up at a decent hour on the weekends
Sleeping in on the weekends can make it hard to adjust to a regular, earlier bedtime on Sunday evening. You’re essentially creating jet lag in your body Friday through Sunday morning.
Keep your bed for sleep and, er, maybe one other thing
Use the bed only for sleep and sex, says Dr. Harris.
Make sure to exercise, but within a certain timeframe
Even 20 minutes of exercise four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster.
Put the phone down
Most electronics emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin before bedtime, explains Dr. Harris.
Stop checking your email
We’re often on our computers, phones and tablets just before bed, checking work emails and social media. This makes it difficult for our brains to wind down and relax.
Resist the nap temptation
“Avoid naps, especially if you have trouble sleeping,” she says. “Naps steal sleep from the night.”
Don’t force it
The best piece of advice is ultimately the simplest: Don’t force it.
Written by Julia Sullivan. This post was originally published on ClassPass’s blog, The Warm Up. ClassPass is a monthly membership that connects you to more than 8,500 of the best fitness studios worldwide. Have you been thinking about trying it? Start now on the Base Plan and get five classes for your first month for only $19.