Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

  1. Can’t get to sleep???

    March 3, 2016 by Heather

    Sleep Hygiene

    Are you having trouble falling asleep?  Staying asleep?  Follow these tips below for a better night sleep TONITE!

    #1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep
    Avoid these 4-6 hours before bed. Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.

    #2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
    A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound sleep. To achieve this try earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light. Keep the temperature comfortably cool, between 60 and 75°F, and the room well ventilated. And make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable as well as your sheets.
    Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

    #3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine
    An hour or so before bed participate in some relaxing activities. Take a bath, read a book, have a cup of herbal tea, meditate or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities such as doing work, discussing emotional issues etc. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down in a journal.

    #4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired
    Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep. The same thing holds true for if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Just make sure to keep the lights dim during this time. The worst thing you can do is watch the clock. It can increase your stress level over not being able to sleep. Try turning it away so you cannot see it.

    #5 Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
    Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s internal clock to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on as well. If you did not sleep well the night before, try to get up at the same time to maintain your schedule and keep your internal clock set.

    #6 Nap Early
    If you feel like a nap is necessary keep it short and before 5 p.m. If you nap too late it may affect your ability to sleep later.

    #7 Lighten Up on Evening Meals
    Eat your dinner and try to keep it lighter than your breakfast and/or lunch. A small snack before bed is alright if you have issues with low cortisol/low blood sugar during the night.

    #8 Balance Fluid Intake
    Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.

    #9 Exercise Early
    Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly but don’t exercise too late in the day. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which can keep you awake.

    #10 Shut down your devices early
    Shut down your electronic devices and hour or two before bed as they have been shown to affect melatonin.

    Have you tried any of these? If you do, or have, I’d love to hear how it went!  Leave a comment below or send me a message!

    Peace & Love,


  2. Why Not YOU!?

    July 21, 2015 by Heather

    Why Not I just returned from Nashville for the annual Beachbody Coach Summit.  It was HOT in Nashville!  Oh my!  I packed as many as my fibro tools as I could but this time, despite my best efforts, I suffered a bit.  Did I mention it was HOT!?!?

    How many of you take a beating when you travel?  I always do my best to stick with a routine, drink lots of water, take all my supplements etc. but you know how it goes.  When I went to Cancun in March I actually did pretty well.  This time, not so much.  But I have all the tools now at home to get back on track.  But before I do that, I’m super busy trying to get caught up and super excited to share some new things that are coming out!

    There’s a brand new Fixate cookbook that was based around the 21 Day Fix Program!  The recipes in the book look super yummy!  I can’t wait to try them!  If you want to check out the book for yourself head here…..

    Cize, the new workout program from Shaun T also came out!  Who wants to workout but not feel like they’re working out!?  ME!!!  If you want to check that out head here….

    Beachbody also came out with some boosts for Shakeology and a Performance Line.  Super awesome stuff!  I have to tell you…we were sitting in one of the sessions really tired and failing when we decided to grab a Shakeology from the bar with the focus boost in it.  Holy cow!!!  We were like brand new ladies, and were ready to go for the evening!  I will definitely be getting that on home direct!  I think it the perfect product for any Fibro peep to have in their arsenal for sure!

    But I didn’t just want to write this post to tell you about all the new stuff, despite how awesome it all is!  What I really wanted to ask you is what hopes and dreams do you have for yourself?  Did those hopes and dreams get pushed aside with your Fibro diagnosis?  Are you struggling to get yourself back?  I’m here to tell you that I am no different than you.  And just because you have Fibro, it shouldn’t have you.  And it won’t if you don’t let it.  I was up on stage last week in front of 25,000 people.  Why?  Because every day I help people just like me live a healthier more fulfilling life despite chronic health issues.  Why not you?  I am currently looking to add people to my team that want to help others while helping themselves at the same time.  No health and fitness experience is necessary.  All I ask is that you have a want to help others and a need to help yourself.  I’ll take care of the rest.  We have one life to live.  Why not live it the best way we know how?  If any of this resonates with you, reach out.  I’d love to hear from you!


    Peace & Love,


  3. Top 10 Weight Loss Tips

    July 2, 2015 by Heather

    Top 10

    Have you been struggling with losing weight?  Here are some tips that should get you on the road to reaching your goals!!

    Hunger is often confused with dehydration. Next time you feel like having a snack, have a glass of water.
    Even mild dehydration can alter our body’s metabolism, so aim to drink 1/2 your weight in ounces and limit or remove soda, caffeine, and alcohol. Drinking water before meals can help promote weight loss, and studies show that those who drink two glasses of water 20 minutes before meals feel fuller and eat less.

    Replace refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, and pretzels with complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which slows digestion and promotes stable blood sugar levels. Complex carbs are also packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body. Whole grain carbohydrates should always be chosen over refined varieties. Think about eating foods in their most natural forms.

    A common misconception is that fat should be completely eliminated. In reality, we could not live without fat. The body utilizes dietary fat for energy, healthy hair, skin, nails, vitamin absorption, and normal
    everyday bodily functions. Good fats promote several health benefits such as protection against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression as well as reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Choose sources such as raw nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.

    Our bodies require protein to continuously renew and replenish our cells, stabilize our blood
    sugar, and give us energy. Our bodies are literally made out of the amino acids that make up protein
    in our food. Many foods contain protein, but the richest sources include animal products like meat,
    dairy, eggs, and fish as well as plant sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. When choosing animal protein sources, be conscious of the way the animal was raised andwhat it ate. Grass-fed beef and free-range chicken are healthier and more ethically sound choices than feed lot meats. Organic yogurt and cage-free eggs are great for vegetarians, while tofu, tempeh, and peanut butter are good vegan protein sources.

    By eating a hearty breakfast, you’ll give your metabolism a jumpstart andbe in better control of your cravings. When we miss our first fuel of the day, we are often hungry by mid-morning and more likely to engage in mindless nibbling, snacking, overeating, and over compensating for any calories “saved”
    by skipping breakfast. Studies repeatedly show daily breakfast consumption is associated with
    maintaining a healthy weight.1 But if you’re not ready for breakfast early in the morning, listen to your body and eat when you feel it’s best for you.

    It’s important to balance your food intake throughout the day to help maintain normal blood sugar and decrease the chances of binging when hunger strikes. Try to keep track of your meal choices and balance your caloric intake. Feeding your body on a regular basis lets it know food is available and it’s okay to burn energy rather than conserve and store it as fat.

    Exercise has enormous benefits for your mind and body, with research boasting decreased body
    weight, smaller waist circumference, lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, AND it boosts your
    mood! Strive to be active at least 30 minutes every day to help keep your body strong and lean.
    Try these tips for starters:
    • Get off the subway or bus one stop earlier.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Go on nightly jogs or walks with a friend
    or your dog.
    Even playing with your children in the park or trying a hand at gardening will keep your body active.

    Research suggests that those who sleep five hours or less weigh five pounds more than those getting at least seven hours of shut eye per night. Lack of sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and can lead to inefficient body regulation of energy balance, metabolism, and appetite. Abnormal leptin and ghrelin levels -hormones that tell your body “I’m full, stop eating” – can go away with too little sleep.
    Said simply: Sleep more, eat, and weigh less! Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

    Cooking meals at home allows you to control portion sizes, the quality of ingredients, and cuts your intake
    of sodium, fat, and calories. Try to avoid frying foods by learning how to roast or bake, and eat more raw
    foods to boost flavor and cut calories. Also try experimenting with herbs and spices to reduce salt intake.

    Be a food detective and investigate what you choose to put into your body. Check labels and avoid ingredients such as sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and long chemical names that
    are hard to pronounce. The healthiest foods are those found just as nature intended – whole and
    unprocessed. When was the last time you saw an ingredient list on a stalk of broccoli or a fresh fillet of salmon?

  4. How I do Fibromyalgia…Explained!

    December 30, 2011 by Heather

    I have received alot of questions lately in regards to how I manage to exercise and stay fit while having Fibromyalgia. I have even been accused of not having it. I guess there are some people in this world that would try to pass themselves off as having fibro, but I can assure you that is not me. My goal is to help those that want the help and to be an example that life does not stop with this diagnosis. And it saddens me that someone would do this to people that are just looking for help. I’m also not sure what said person would gain from this…but I digress! I thought this would be the perfect place to address the question, comments etc. so that it can serve as a resource down the road. And I won’t lie, I don’t want to have to keep typing my story over and over! It’s hard on the fingers!!!

    My story! I was diagnosed about a year ago but I have been in pain since 2004. I have been exercising consistently since I was 10. Mom had me running with her then!! So I already had a fitness base. I did not stop when I started having pain and I did not stop when I was diagnosed. Diagnosis was actually a relief for me, as I knew exactly what was going on and I knew I wasn’t doing any damage by continuing to exercise. Now I do realize that not everyone that is diagnosed has the fitness base I had. But that does not mean you can’t start SOMEWHERE. Exercise for me makes my pain levels better, on most days. I feel a difference when I do not move. I will not lie, there are some days, like this morning, that are really rough. Did I really want to go outside this morning in the freezing cold? Heck no!!! It was cold, and we all know what that does to our muscles, and my legs hurt. They didn’t want to go this morning. I didn’t want to go this morning. But I did. And my body thanks me for it. The less you move the more you body atrophies, the more weight you put, and the more stress this puts on your body. Your body needs to be the healthiest it can be to fight this condition.

    Now yes I’m a bit stubborn! Perhaps that helps!!! A parasite three months ago couldn’t keep me down! But the way I look at is, I can let the fibro win or I can fight. Fight like hell and not let IT win! So what does someone do that was exercising but stopped because it hurt or someone who wasn’t exercising at all? You need to start slow and realize that it may hurt at first. Even those people without fibro that start an exercise program hurt for awhile! And there may be days, even after you’ve been exercising for awhile, that it will still hurt. Figure out what exercise works for you and don’t get frustrated when progression is slow. The point is, you are doing something and over time the effects will add up!

    And of course exercise is not the only component to why I “look the way I do” as some people put it. Nutrition is key and is especially key with fibro! There are so many foods that can cause an inflammatory reaction in us. Of course, we are all different and I really encourage using a food diary to figure out what foods YOUR body does not like. And we cannot forget the all important supplementation. I don’t take meds for my fibro. I manage my fibro with diet, exercise and supplementation. Again, as we are all individual, what may work for me may not work for you. Just like with meds, we need to figure out what works for us. Your doctor doesn’t start you on 5 meds at once, right? Or atleast I hope he/she doesn’t. Same thing with supplements, start one thing at a time to figure out what is working.

    You also should take a look at your sleep. If you aren’t getting proper rest you need to really look at how to get yourself to the point that you are. Your body repairs itself during REM stage sleep and if you are not getting this then your body is never repairing itself. This causes increased pain, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Many of the meds prescribed do not allow for REM stage sleep so take a look at what you’re taking and see if the problem lies there. There are so many great natural remedies for sleep!

    Since the day I got diagnosed it became my goal to help as many people with this condition as I could lead healthier lives with the least amount of pain possible. Of course, there are going to be days that are better than others. Just because I exercise and “look good” does not mean I’m not in some degree of pain daily. I am. I just choose to not let it win. Are there really bad days where I want to cry and crawl under a rock? Yes! I get it out and move on. The pets won’t get fed and the dishes won’t get done if Heather is not a functioning member of society.

    Will everyone agree with my methods? No! Will I get criticism and skepticism? Yes! Will I still get accused of not having fibro? Heck yes! Will I still get questions about how I do it? Yes, and I encourage them! I hope to be a source of inspiration to those that need it, a source of information for those that seek it and a friend to those that need it.

    Now bring on the questions!!!

    Be well!!!!