1 Ingredient we ALL need for Optimal Health

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left out this ingredient and suffered the consequences; as I write this now, I struggle to keep my mind focused because I didn’t get my recommended dose. The one critical ingredient we all need to make it through the day and live a long healthy life is sleep. Many of us, myself included, tend to forgo sleep for many reasons, and then have to deal with the negative side effects that come from lack of sleep. Not only do we need sleep to be focused and energized during the day, and also to be successful with our nutrition and exercise plans, but poor sleep puts you at risk for a wide range of health problems.

Living in a nation that is always on-the-go, many of us have become accustomed to 4 or 5 hours a night and then waking up to a cup of coffee, followed by sometimes 2 or 3 more cups throughout the day. I’ve been there. I was doing fine until I began to see the effects. My body wasn’t burning off the calories the way it used to. I was becoming moody, and making unhealthy choices; running my body down. Fortunately, the effects that my body was seeing were minimal compared to the many other risks that sleep deprivation can have on one’s health.

I recently read an article on www.huffingtonpost.com outlining the most frightening effects of sleep deprivation. Researchers found that after one week of too little sleep, there were more than 700 genetic changes that could have major consequences on your health. According to the article “Sleep Deprivation Effects: 8 Scary Side Effects of Too Little Shut-Eye,” poor sleep has been linked to an increase in stroke risk, can lead to obesity, could increase your diabetes risk as well as your cancer risk, can contribute to osteoporosis, fuels memory loss, and can produce chemicals and hormones that lead to heart disease.1 All of these alarming side effects could significantly decrease your lifespan.

What exactly is enough sleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health.2 This may be standard for some of us and outlandish for others. Even if we do decide we want to make an attempt of being healthy and sleeping more, a lot of us have a hard time getting good sleep due to an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

The National Sleep Foundation has a few tips for good sleep:

  • Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends
  • Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep
  • Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow(s)

Additionally, not getting good, restful sleep makes it difficult for your body to metabolize carbohydrates and regulate important hormones like melatonin and cortisol, stress hormones that directly affects your appetite. Good sleep is accomplished when your body cycles through all the 5 stages of sleep about 4 to 5 times a night, no tossing and turning and waking up in the middle of the night; just sleeping. Whenever I’m looking for a goodnight’s sleep, I like to take some Biometics™ BIO NITE™ before bed, which helps promote restful sleep. It includes a unique blend of melatonin, chamomile and valerian that helps with better sleep and I wake up well-rested and refreshed!

Getting more sleep is vital to living longer, younger!

Rocio Ramos
Contributing Writer and Fitness Instructor


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