Desperately Seeking Sleep

So you made up your mind to start eating healthier foods and exercise. You cut back on sweets, started eating more fruits, veggies and whole grains and added some sort of physical activity to your daily routine three to five times each week. You feel better, but your energy level isn’t optimal. If that’s the case, you’re probably missing out on the one thing most people can’t seem to get enough of: sleep.

Why do we need sleep? Research shows along with helping us stay energized, sleep helps regulate our mood and learn and retain valuable information. There are even studies out there linking inadequate sleep to weight gain. I love to sleep, but unfortunately, thanks to my type A personality, my mind often keeps me from enjoying this necessary pastime.

On one such night not too long ago, I thought I’d experiment with something I hoped would help me, a popular over-the-counter relaxation shot called “Dream Water.” (You’ll usually find it not far away from the “5-Hour Energy” shots in the drug store.) According to the product’s website, the 2.5-ounce shot contains three active ingredients to produce relaxation and sleep:

  1. Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid (“GABA”)
  2. Melatonin
  3. 5-HTP

I liked the shot’s blueberry flavor, but did it help me sleep? I doubt it. While I didn’t experience any negative side effects like I did when I tried the 5-Hour Energy shot last month, I didn’t notice any changes in my relaxation level to make me want to run out and buy some more.

If you have any surefire ways to promote sleep, I would love to hear from you! Right now, the only “tricks” that do work for me (though not every time) include:

  • No caffeinated beverages after 3 pm
  • Wrapping up my workout at least two hours before getting into bed
  • A hot shower
  • 300 Micrograms (mcg) of Melatonin

I also highly recommend leaving the texting and typing outside the bedroom and read a book or magazine instead.

If you’ve made the commitment to take better care of yourself, don’t overlook the power of sleep and its cruicial role in helping all of us have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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Posted on September 26, 2011, in Fitness, Health, Nutrition and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Laura- I so agree with not looking at my e-mail, FB etc from my cell. It doesn’t relax me at all. It winds me up. What exactly does the melatonin do for you? Just curious.

  2. Hello Loretta, Sorry for the late reply, I was out on a fitness photo shoot yesterday! (Stay tuned for pics!) For whatever reason, melatonin just seems to “steady” me a bit at night after a long day. I take it about 30 minutes before I want to go to sleep and it helps me unwind. It doesn’t give me any kind of “drugged-like” feeling, but it seems to calm my mind a bit. Also, I’ve never experienced any negative side effects from taking 300 mcg before bedtime. Of course, feel free to ask your physician if he or she thinks taking melatonin is okay for you. Thanks for checking in and please keep the questions coming…

  1. Pingback: Give Yourself a Break « lauralovesfitness

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