For many people, that goal of having a healthy lifestyle involves improvements in diet and exercise but rarely sleep.
It is easy to fall off the wagon when it comes to achieving health goals.
However, with even one simple modification, it is possible to get back on track to becoming a healthier you.
Experts suggest that good nights’ sleep may be more important than exercise and healthy diet.
Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night is important.
The consistency in the time of day those sleep hours occur plays a major role in regulating our internal body clocks, which regulate sleep-wake schedules, metabolism, and immune responses.
As long as a person is consistently going to sleep within the same hour or two each night, the body will be able to maintain its schedule more efficiently.
Indeed, sleep, diet and exercise are each important, and if you neglect any of them, it’s not ideal.
When sleep is compromised, it doesn’t allow people to mentally, emotionally and physically recover, which commonly holds people back from being all they can be.
And as we all know, when we are sleep-deprived, it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet or get enough exercise.
Diet is essential to maintaining health, but the various recommendations are endless and overwhelming.
Experts recommend people should follow the guidelines of Choose MyPlate, which emphasizes that small changes—such as simply reducing the amount of sugar-loaded drinks consumed—matter.
They also recommend avoiding foods, like fast foods, cheeses or pizza, that contain high levels of saturated fats.
These types of foods disrupt the internal timing of the body clocks by shifting their settings and essentially making them experience jet lag.
Working out tends to be one of the more difficult regimens to maintain because if results do not appear within the first couple of weeks, people get discouraged and often give up.
However, noticing results depends on what type of exercise goals were set, whether it was to be healthier, lose weight or get stronger for performance.
When someone starts being active, they will use muscles they have not used before and will become sore, but people can start feeling better and notice they are getting stronger after a couple of weeks.
However, exercising to lose weight takes longer, often a few months.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week.
Alternating aerobic and resistance exercises are important for keeping the entire body fit.
Doing a high-intensity workout later in the evening may make it difficult for the body to wind down prior to bedtime, but it is more important than not exercising at all.”
It is commonly said that health benefits ratio of diet to exercise is 80-20.
However, when sleep is factored in, the three would be 60-30-10, sleep, diet and exercise respectively.
All three factors are very important for overall health, and all three are necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
Given that sleep is the most neglected, a little extra shuteye and regular sleep-wake times may prove quite beneficial to your health and get you back on track with your health goals.
So try this one goal: go to bed within the same hour every day this week; you just might start to feel better.
Source: Texas A&M University.