It’s all about the Zzzzz’s, Baby “How’d you sleep?” That’s not just idle chit chat, it’s likely one of the first questions Lisa Rado of RADO Nutrition is going to ask you. Did you know that simply not getting enough sleep could be contributing to weight gain and mood swings, among other things? It’s her job to help optimize your health, whether that means losing some weight or just feeling better in your body. And she’ll start with the pillow talk.
As a Certified Nutritionist and Integrative Health Coach, Lisa takes people on a journey to get healthier and feel better and requires starting with basic functions of the body. We often overlook something as simple as rest. It seems there’s always some reason we’re not getting enough and that can reek havoc on our body.
“One of the most crucial anti-aging tools is rest. Sleep is when the body repairs, rejuvenates, restores, rebuilds and refuels on a cellular level, for the next day,” Lisa says. “The less we get and the older we get, the more we start to feel the cumulative effects of lack of sleep. Low energy, fatigue, brain fog, body composition, poor immune system, aged skin, constipation, etc.”
Our Love Affair With Stress
Many of us live with chronic, low grade stress every single day. Our body learns to adjust to this stress, causing disruption to our overall health and general body response and functions.
According to WebMD, rest is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. “Study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.” – from Sleep and Health: 9 Surprising Reasons to Get More – WebMD.
“I like to send a few sleep supplement samples to my clients initially so we can pinpoint what nutrients are needed. I’ll use different products for different people. Sometimes finding the right supplement support is a bit of a process, but well worth it,” Lisa says.
Not Your Average Happy Hour
One of the cornerstones of Lisa’s philosophy is restoring quality sleep for clients. She believes that sleep is the “Happy Hour” for our body, when all good things are restored and rejuvenated. Often, she will pinpoint specific supplements to give clients to help improve their sleep quality.
A few supplements for better rest she might prescribe include:
- L-Theanine – An amino acid that promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improves sleep
- Phosphatidylserine – A phospholipid that normalizes cortisol and calms brain activity.
- Melatonin – A hormone that regulates sleep circadian rhythm
- Magnesium – A mineral that calms the nervous system.
In addition to these supplements, she combines specific formulations with herbal additions, based on client’s individual needs. It’s a Sleep Cocktail just for you! And when it works, it’s like magic. “I eventually get the call, ‘I had the best night’s sleep in a very long time.” Clients will begin to feel the benefits of consistent and quality sleep.
When clients come to RADO Nutrition to work with Lisa and begin feeling the results of restored quality sleep, it’s a total game changer. With decreased stress, improved focus and general mood, and decreased belly fat and inflammation, clients begin to feel better and look better.
So how much sleep should we be getting? Lisa recommends 7-9 hours every night. And here’s why:
- Minimize stress
- Balance out your hormones
- Regulates your mood
- Helps your body to burn more fat
Wait. What? Yes, you read that right. When you’re sleeping, your body burns fat as a fuel source. When you’re getting enough Z’s, your hitting re-set for all of your systems.
Your Muffin Top Needs A Nap
So what happens when you don’t get enough sleep? For one, that stubborn belly fat so many of us complain of can be directly related to a hormone imbalance that occurs when we are stressed and not sleeping enough.
Lisa says it’s a highly complex game of imbalance. “Hormones like ghrelin and leptin, both influence your appetite, as well as cortisol, the infamous stress hormone. High cortisol raises blood sugar and can send the message the body is under stress. It’s a vicious cycle.”
And cortisol is a nasty little gremlin when it’s out of whack.
“Cortisol stores belly fat and contributes to inflammation. If ghrelin and leptin are out of range, it affects your appetite. You’re not feeling full or satiated and this is what often leads to overeating.”
Basically, your body is sending the message that your not full, even when you are. A study from Yale University back in 2000 found that slender women with higher stress levels had higher levels of cortisol and more belly fat.
Shin Ohtake’s of maxworkouts.com explains it like this. “Whenever your body experiences any type of stress…mental or physical, your body secretes cortisol. So when you’re in a constant state of stress, your constantly secreting cortisol. Too much of it is what compromises your health, your metabolism and creates that dreaded belly fat.”
Count More Sheep And Get More Sleep
At RADO Nutrition, Lisa provides a “holistic” approach to their health. A road to optimal health begins with good sleep and rest. There’s nothing better than feeling like we can conquer our world when we’ve had a good night sleep. So hit the hay and seize the day!
Written and contributed by Rado Nutrition writer Rebecca Doubek
RADO NUTRITION’S 5 TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP
- Keep temp cooler, 65 degrees
- Keep room dark with no light source
- Don’t use phone, laptop or TV before bed
- Keep a consistent schedule for bedtime and waking
- Avoid caffeine or alcohol several hours before bedtime