I love this part where I tell you again that prioritizing movement doesn’t mean you must exercise more, particularly not in the sense of painstaking workouts! It can be as easy as just standing up from a sitting position!
In this article, we also cover the taboo of snacks —things many avoid that promote sleep. But for now, let’s start with prioritizing movement.
Movement: without a doubt affects how you sleep. And of course, I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of exercising—but do you know that stretching can be a full body work out? Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion and as you advance in yoga, surprise surprise, it makes you sweat!
When thinking of what movement does to our bodies, think of a child; they run around and play, or sit on the floor and play with toys followed by a collapse and sleep. Our bodies crave the natural cycle of a combined regiment.
(If you’ve not read Part:1 and 2 of 3 SECRETS TO WAKING UP LIKE NEW, you should read them first.
We’ve become horribly disorientated humans. Movement is one of your body’s most basic functions! But because our world has created the idea that looking like a billboard model is for everyone, we have worn ourselves out, thrown ourselves into a volcano, and we don’t want to go back in. So, in defense of our fears, here are a few sneaky ways to get out of the lethargic state without doing “exercises” but rather doing easy 30-second goals.
Moving your legs while sitting at your desks has become a goal in office environments.
So, maybe it’s time to stop thinking about getting more exercise as a harsh punishment. We need movement more than the stress brought on by thinking about how horrible it is. There are ways to get all the exercise required by prioritizing movement. Painlessly. But even more interesting is that everyone can learn to enjoy getting the movement they need by teaching themselves new tricks.
(Superpower Habits are the secret to reaching movement goals without pain discomfort or opposition.)
Live to give. That includes yourself.
PRIORITIZING MOVEMENT IMPROVES SEX LIFE AND HEALTH
Recent studies show that movement helps us mentally and physically. So, get it where you can and enjoy it because it improves your mood – sex life – appetite for health—healthier bones— circulation for overall health benefit including the brain —it’s a body mind and spirit lift— it helps prevent constipation. And… ready for this? It helps regulates your appetite, reduces cravings, and promotes healthy digestion, along with promotes a glowing complexion. Circulation! Smile, baby, you are glowing and gorgeous!
Movement used to be regular, and we didn’t have to create games to get enough of it. But you’ll enjoy learning a few wacky stretching games. It’s so easy here’s a list of some almost stupid sounding stretches.
- Side bend by bending your body left and right (as shown with Kitty Orange). Add a tricky move by trying to scratch the middle of your back simultaneous with bending.
- Overhead stretch – raise your hands above your head 10 times and open your eyes wide: yes, your face needs movement, too.
- Lift your feet while sitting in your office chair with your head down chin in chest.
- Rotate your feet in a circle under your desk while secretly moving your hands in the opposite direction.
- Reach down and touch your toes sitting in your chair, taking a deep breath in through your nose as you reach for your toes. Then exhale through your mouth as you rise up wiggling your fingers.
- Wave your hands as if saying bye to someone for 10 seconds.
- Get up and walk to the kitchen, the break room, and so on while pretending to bench weights.
- Another great way to prioritizing movement is to take the stairs and stretch your legs as you don’t get on the elevator.
- Dance anywhere anytime, even for just 30 seconds.
- Jump as high as you can three times on a non-slippery surface.
Don’t laugh, since athletes do these stretches all the time. Stretching increases your range of motion and flexibility by lengthening soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments. And stretching can be as advantageous as a routine workout! It’s used for weight loss. Try stretching through an evening show: it’s a workout! If it’s too much, do a quick 5 minutes until you’re in shape, and make it a goal. Five minutes and your show.
TOGETHER IS BETTER
Both physical and meditative moments are activities you can do alone. On their own, they can improve how you feel. But a recent study found that when you “try to move in synchrony with another person, it as well improves your self-esteem. That’s awesome. Find a partner.
SNACKS? 10-35% PROTEIN AT NIGHT?
Really? No way! Yes, way. This is everyone’s favorite part and mine, too. A proper snack of— about 80 to 250 calories containing carbs and protein, can help you sleep.
Protein amounts should average about 10-35%.
Protein and carbs support steady blood sugar levels and the production of sleep-supportive brain chemicals. That means the forbidden cheese and bread!
Carb-rich food like crackers and bread, combined with a tryptophan source like cheese, helps make tryptophan more available to your brain.
I know what you’re thinking, “The digestive system must rest while we sleep, and what about gaining weight by eating late?” In all fairness, a snack isn’t eating a meal – but rather about supporting our blood sugar levels, which in no way means eating a thanksgiving dinner or large meal of any sort.
Refusing to eat when your body needs it can keep you up at night or reduce the quality of sleep. Prioritizing snacks is a benefit. It takes the guilt off your already weighted mind—but learn to do it right.
That one cracker with a slice of cheese and apple can be the difference between feeling great and always being tired.
For those who worry endless about weight gain, you can start by making sure carbs and proteins are eaten correctly throughout the day. If that doesn’t work, speak to your nutritionist, and try one small tiny thing before bed time—kabam, my friend, life surprises you and you deserve it.
Personally, after a long day, I might enjoy one or all: a slice of toasted, homemade whole-grain bread, topped with tomato slices, arugula, and a nice cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Or, a couple of dried mission figs or a thimble of nuts, pickles or olives, perhaps a couple slices of an apple, and a few cherry tomatoes cut in half with a just a drop of olive oil, salt, and pepper. These are examples of favorite nightcaps. At times, I’ll add a glass of port. And I do this an hour or two before bedtime, regardless that alcohol is regarded as a no-no. My schedule is, I’m sure, not unusual. Being I’m a business owner, I retire to bed with my computer and work for hours before I fall asleep. Therefore, the small snack is essential for brain and sleep power, so it’s logical and easy to eat 1-3 hours before I fall asleep.
In the natural flow of healthy eating, I’ve enjoyed freedom my whole life around food. My eating habits have evolved into a lifetime of love. I adore foods and never having feared what I eat, I’ve never been influenced by the idea of pre-bedtime snacking as taboo, or that eating in the middle of the night would set my jean size off. I’ll be honest, I’ve never eaten a low-fat diet or a restrictive diet of any kind for that matter. But, to the surprise of some, I’m cautious about eating poor choices. I’ve created habits to eat right and that, my dear sweet friends, is as valuable as a hired coach by my side day and night for 25 years! In other words, my health and fitness didn’t come from my genes: it came from conscious choices and great habits over the years.
Now, I probably sound like a bragging brat, but it’s not intended that way. It’s a lifetime of learning, growing, and now I’m sharing. I’m not the only one in the world enjoying the benefit of this freedom. But, over the decades of my adulthood, I’ve been saddened to see friends, family, and what feels like the majority of America torturing themselves under the guise of false information that led to horrible diets and stressful failures. These failures include sleepless nights due to the fear of eating.
Again, not everyone can eat the same way, but there’s a substantial number that can, who are clueless how to manage it. Start slow, and your focus should be on relaxing. It’s more critical than calorie counting. What many miss in this weighing of the calories is that a good night’s sleep actually helps you lose weight the next day. (I will write an article on it, look for it later.) The next step might be to take more courses on the subject. They’re free when you subscribe to my website.
STRESS MAKES EVERYTHING YOU EAT FEEL LIKE YOU’VE EATEN A COW
In the name of fear, the ideas to be thin continues to promise the world a happy life, that whatever we want, we should have it as quickly as possible. These values do nothing but stress us more. And stress has a huge effect on sending every bite of food we eat to the wrong places. Our basic natural need for sleep, food, and love is put aside while we drink “Frapu-fuckme-ccinos” that shorten our lives while pushing away precious things. Valuable things that heal our bodies and offer us health for essential things like sleep. If you don’t want to give up your “Frapu me bad health,” then what excuse do you have not to give your body a snack at night? Okay, I sound harsh, and I’m not judging. It’s just facts. (You can come back at me with, “Efrona, why do you do too much?” It’s similar.) There are great Frapu’s that aren’t harmful to the body, and you’re worth what’s good for prioritizing your life better.
I could go over the, “Do you feel hungry?” “Do you suffer from brain fog, fatigue, digestive gurgling’s?” or “Perhaps your mind shuts down after 6 p.m.?” We could also talk for hours on these questions. Or, I could tell you that if you’re not sleeping well, you’re either thirsty, hungry, haven’t moved all day, or it’s all three, and I’d have a considerable chance of being correct.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
I’ve tried to list the properties in some of the foods that affect sleep to help justify the logic behind eating certain foods at night. Still, I’ve found that the best sleep in this life — the kind where you wake up feeling young again or just awesome — this sleep doesn’t rely upon knowing which foods are listed with tryptophan or melatonin. Knowledge is powerful – and we should always seek it, but we forget that our bodies are the cheapest and most reliable laboratory we own. If we learn to understand our cravings, comforts, and discomforts, we can have all the inside information we need for exceptional sleep, life, and love by listening to our bodies.
Try having a small snack pre-bedtime and keep an open mind to what combos will work for you. It could be 4 tomatoes and 4 crackers just for the crunch rather than the carbs. We, humans, are complicated. When you bake a cake, it won’t rise to perfection without a balance of items and some practice, but it’ll become a cake with the smallest effort even if it’s not perfect. Relax your mind and optimize water, movement, and snacks into your own unique recipe. It can be your miracle or, at the least, a great start to baking the perfect life.
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death. — Leonardo da Vinci
PRIORITIZING SNACK MANAGEMENT
Below are bedtime snacks to mix and match. Many of the items are rich in tryptophan and melatonin. Your body uses tryptophan (Amino acid) to make both serotonin and melatonin, which aid in sleep.
You can safely choose two of the choices below. Many can mix 3-4 together for proper nourishment without fear of gaining extra pounds. And the idea is to have a bit more carbohydrates than protein.
Make your own list from your own cultural influences. I’d love to hear about them. So, please write to me—but prioritize the right amounts and times to have them. For me, usually having a snack 2-3 hours before bedtime is great. But on days where I’ve worked too hard and not taken care of myself, I will make 3 crackers with my favorite toppings and eat them right when I go to bed with a shot of port perhaps. This works like magic for me. I usually curl up in bed with my cute little plate and sip my port reading before drifting off.
- 1 ounce of goat cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, blue cheese, or any cheese you like with whole wheat crackers or toast. Do not eat low-fat cheeses.
- Tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter on a slice of whole-wheat toast. Make a P&B sandwich!
A portion of fruit: figs, apples, grapes, bananas, cherries, kiwi, strawberries, pears, blueberries, berries, watermelon, and so on.
1/4 cup dried fruits: figs, dates, pineapple, raisins, bananas, cranberries, and more. (peaches, balsamic & cottage)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.
- 3/4 cup Barley salad, a mix of cooked barley and your favorite herbs, with tomatoes, chickpeas, and cucumbers. The melatonin in barley is an excellent sleep aid.
1/3 cup of olives, pickles, or other pickled vegetables not preserved in oils.
- A slice of turkey.
- Hardboiled egg, which is rich in hunger-satisfying protein and tryptophan.
- 1 ounce of raw nuts. Pistachios have sleep-promoting vitamin B6 and melatonin. Almonds have melatonin and magnesium. Walnuts are rich in tryptophan and melatonin. Hazelnuts pack a punch with serotonin, melatonin, and epinephrine, which all affect mood and the sleep cycle. Vitamin B6 in hazelnuts enriches these chemical connections in the brain.
- Peanuts are a rich source of niacin, which is another nutrient that helps to increase the release of serotonin in the system. Brazil nuts are interesting with selenium: a diet that’s low in selenium may make you more likely to have sleep problems.
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds have tryptophan and magnesium along with a delicious flavor over toast and cream cheese. They work exceptionally well mixed with carbohydrates and dried or fresh fruit. Sunflower seeds are high in tryptophan.
- Herbal teas like chamomile with some dark chocolate.
- 1 ounce of salmon, tuna, trout, or mackerel, to place over toast or crackers.
- Edamame rich in tryptophan is a lovely snack.
- A small bowl of popcorn! But not the “microwave kill me now” packages overloaded with oil.
- A small bowl of popcorn! But not the “microwave kill me now” packages overloaded with oil.
- 1/4 cup of cottage cheese.
- 2 cups of arugula with 3 cherry tomatoes, olive oil and salt, and pepper.
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal.
- 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, barley, and rice, are high in melatonin.
- 1/2 cup of milk and honey, milk is rich in tryptophan. Use cinnamon and turmeric to make amazing flavors that not only help you sleep but are pampering and pleasant.
- Fruits high in water: cantaloupe, watermelon, mango.
- Hummus & whole grain chips. (I love hummus and onions!)
Sometimes being in control is letting go and not giving a shit, knowing that being happy is really what matters.
Remember the fun when we were kids? The standards and expectations of life were simple: we picnicked under the sheets with a flashlight. The rest of the world disappeared. Then came adulthood! The days of spontaneous fun vanished into the oblivion of maturity.
Try to remember that it’s not just what we eat, how we sleep, drink, and work, it’s life, a balance of happiness that makes the body healthier.
If there’s this amazing cake in the refrigerator, be careful with fatty sugary foods at night, they do stress the digestion – but I can’t tell you how many times I’d grab a half a slice of pizza or a cup of Chinese food for a pre-sleep snack. Pizza is on the forbidden list with tomato sauce, but I make whole -grain crust with quality cheeses, and it’s not much different than a slice of toast and cheese as it’s not laden with meats. It’s almost more important sometimes to satisfy the body than to rule yourself like a military compound. If you’re over the age of 25, you’ll probably agree that diets and regiments have never worked; therefore, why not try the fun path? Prevent eating the whole refrigerator by loving and trusting yourself – and build habits that prevent eating the entire fridge. It starts with education and letting go.
The moment something isn’t forbidden, it’s easy to let it go!
Balance your decisions for no-pressure eating styles.
One rule to consider would be snacking 2-3 hours before bedtime for those who have digestive disturbances.
Thank you for joining me, and I hope you found THE THREE SECRETS TO WAKING UP LIKE NEW helpful. Let’s meet again for another adventure into Prioritizing Your Life and Love.
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All the best, the sky waits for you,
Notes on movement:
- HarvardHealth, Everyday Stretching
- LifeHacker, Stephanie Lee, A Full-Body Workout You Can Do In Your Office Chair
- SleepFoundation.org, The Best Foods to Help You Sleep