Women demonstrate the different sleep positions.





Sleep Better Tonight.


Think the solution to your fatigue is an earlier bedtime? Getting enough sleep is important, but it’s also the quality that counts and there’s more to it than just a comfortable bed.

Also complicating things: As you get older, your sleep patterns change, making it harder to fall (and stay) asleep.

But that doesn’t mean you’re destined to be sleep-deprived. You can improve your slumber without tacking on hours in bed and it’s not hard to do. Just turn the page to get started.

Every little habit-from what you eat and drink to when you exercise and watch TV-can impact your sleep.
Here’s a sample day that shows you what you can do to get the best AZ’s possible. (Adjust it for your wake and sleep times.)



Skip the snooze button.


It’s tempting to turn over and squeeze in an extra 10 to 15 minutes of shut-eye when your
the alarm goes off but doing that can make you more tired.

“You spend so much energy going back to sleep and waking up again that you. don’t get any additional deep sleep,” says Kathryn Lee, RN, Ph.D. professor and associate dean for research at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing.

And you’re more likely to wake up groggy. “So, you’re using more energy but not sleeping more to make up for it.”





Not only does it give you a shot of energy that’ll help you power through the day but be exercising in the morning may also decrease levels of stress hormones, making it easier for your body to wind down and fall asleep faster, says Scott Collier, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratory at Appalachian State-University.

In a recent study led by Dr. Collier, people who got 30 minutes of moderate exercise at 7 A.M. (compared with 1 P.M. and 7 P.M.) significantly improved the quality of their sleep that night, spending 75% more time in a deep sleep.





Take a breathing break.

“If you don’t take time to stop during the day, falling asleep is harder. Why?

When you finally try, you lie awake thinking about all the things you haven’t had a moment to ponder,” says Diane Renz, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado.

It’s kind of like slamming on the brakes of a fast-moving car and all the junk in the back flying forward. So once or twice a day, close your eyes and take three slow, deep breaths.



Cut out caffeine.


“Caffeine is a stimulant that lasts in your system for 4 to 7 hours,” says Lawrence Epstein, MD, a chief medical officer of the Sleep Health Centers, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Make sure that by the time you’re going to bed, the stimulating effects have worn off.

Coffee isn’t the only culprit: Tea, chocolate, and soft drinks also contain levels that can affect your sleep. (Check out exactly how much in “Caffeine Count,” below.)



Go outside.


Getting out in natural-afternoon light (30 P.M. minutes is ideal-even if it’s cloudy) helps reset your circadian rhythm so that you’ll wind down easier when bedtime rolls around, says Donna Arand, Ph.D. clinical director of the Kettering Sleep Disorders Center in Dayton, Ohio. (It’s also energizing.)

If you can’t exercise in the A.M., use this time to squeeze in a brisk walk.



Caffeine count.

You know that coffees got a lot
(95 mg in 1 cup), but the amount
in other items may surprise you.

  • Coffee ice cream  >>>>  1 cup   48mg
  • Diet Coke    >>>>  1 can    47mg
  • Tea         >>>>  1 cup    40mg
  • Dark chocolate bar  >>>>  450z   25mg



Eat Dinner.


Your body needs at least 2 hours (3 for a heavy meal) to fully digest food.

Eat too close to bedtime, and it’ll be hard for your body to wind down since you’ll still be working on digesting.

Try to eat dinner on the earlier side, and the same goes for drinking alcohol. “Alcohol makes you sleepy at first but causes you to wake up as it wears off,” says Nancy Collop, MD, director of the Emory Sleep Center and President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.



An hour before bedtime, have a protein-carb combo snack.


Your brain needs the protein to produce melatonin and serotonin, chemicals important for sleep; and the carbs help your body absorb the protein, says Dr. Lee.

A few good healthy snack options. Peanut butter and whole-wheat bread or peanut butter and crackers, or 1 Tbsp hummus in a mini whole-wheat pita.



Thirty minutes before bedtime, start your wind-down routine.


“A lot of sleep disturbance happens because we don’t give our bodies a chance to transition from a fast-paced day,” says Dr. Renz.

This can be as simple as taking off your makeup and washing your face under dim lights or doing something relaxing like reading or meditating.

“This signals to your brain that the day’s over and it’s time for sleep,” says Dr. Epstein. Shut down, your computer, too, since surfing the Internet and sending emails stimulates your nervous system, making it harder to unwind.



Get into bed, breathe, and stretch.


Taking a few deep breaths and doing a light 30-second stretch (try sitting up and reaching toward your toes) will help you relax once you’re under the sheets, says Dr. Collop.

It’s OK if it takes a little while to fall asleep (up to 20 minutes is normal). “If you’re out like a light the second you hit the pillow, it means that you’re sleep-deprived,” says Dr. Renz.



It’s all in your sleep position.


Trying to change your sleep position is not a lost cause.

“You can train yourself to switch positions with two weeks of practice,” says Dr. Arand.

And since your form could be interfering with your sleep and your health, experts say it’s worth a try. Here, the pros and cons of each and how to change.



Image result for sleeping position behavior






Sleeping on your left side is good for increasing blood and oxygen flow, says  Dr. Arand.
Being on your side (with a pillow between your legs) can also help with muscle and joint discomfort.
Mid- to lower-back pain is often associated with this position since you’re

sleeping with a curved spine, says Alberto Ramos, MD, assistant professor of clinical neurology in the sleep medicine division at the University of Miami. SWITCH IT Put a pillow between your knees to help align your spine. To change positions, put on a belt and insert rolled towels on each side, which will help block side stance.



Sleeping on your back can help ease heartburn or acid reflux, especially if you prop up your head slightly, says Dr. Ramos. Back sleeping can exacerbate asthma or be snoring because your,

  • airways are more closed off. It can also increase the severity of sleep apnea (a disorder in which you have shallow or abnormal breathing at night).

SWITCH IT: Fill a small backpack with towels and strap it on at night. “This helps prevent you from rolling onto your back,” says Dr. Epstein. Special triangle-shaped or wedge pillows can also help.



It can ease snoring and other respiratory conditions.

  • Stomach sleeping is often the reason for neck or upper back pain because your neck stays in a slight arch all night, says Dr. Ramos.

SWITCH IT: Dig out your old fanny pack from the closet and fill it up with socks or small towels, suggests Dr. Arand. Put it around your waist with the pack in front before you crawl into bed. This creates an obstacle that will make it uncomfortable to lie on your stomach. Or try hugging a pillow to start your slumber.





This frog ate too much, and need to get back on track.





Ate too Much?



Remember last year when you wake up the morning after the annual family holiday party feeling bloated; stuffed, and sluggish? because you ate too much.

Well, not this year! I’m telling you right now that you can splurge without gaining weight you just need to follow this five-step detox plan to a T to flush out the sugary evidence in 24 hours flat.

According to Nutrition Expert and Best-Selling Author  Joy Bauer’s ate too much.

Read it, memorize it, and follow it anytime you’ve had one too many helpings.





The last thing you probably want to do is exercising but starting your day with a 45-minute brisk walk is key.

You’ll sweat off uncomfortable bloat. And, thanks to those mood-boosting chemicals that your body makes when you exercise, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to make healthy food choices the rest of the day.

Taking charge and exercising first thing will also help stop one day of overdoing it from turning into a week of overeating-which is one of the main ways a splurge leads to weight gain.





Having a solid morning meal helps prevent overeating the rest of the day, but not all breakfasts are created equal.

Research has consistently shown that including protein is key. That’s because protein (think eggs, low-fat cheese, yogurt) has the most staying power, so you stay fuller longer and wind up eating less overall.

One study found that dieters who ate eggs for breakfast lost more weight and had more energy than those who had a starchy bagel with the same calorie count.

Potassium (in most fruits and vegetables) is equally important in getting rid of the day-after puff since this mineral offsets the bloating effects of sodium.






A few of my favorite protein -potassium powerhouses:

  • Waffle with Ricotta Cheese and
    Banana Top a whole-grain waffle with
    112 cup part-skim ricotta cheese and 1 sliced banana.
  • Cottage Cheese with Cantaloupe
    Stuff 1/2 cantaloupe with 1/2 cup low-fat
    cottage cheese.
  • Smoothie Combine 1/2 cup nonfat
    yogurt, 1/2 cup milk (skim, soy or
    almond), 3;4 cup fruit (any kind), and 3
    to 5 ice cubes.





One recent study by Swedish researchers found that unsweetened, caffeinated green tea is very effective at helping satisfy your appetite.

Like water, it fills you up with liquid volume, which will take the edge off your hunger.

So, sip a warm mug or chilled glass of plain green tea with breakfast, lunch, and dinner (for a total of three a day).

Green tea can also slightly rev up your metabolism, so you eat less and burn more!





Time to whip out the hot sauce. That’s because new research out of Purdue University suggests that adding spicy seasonings and condiments like cayenne pepper; fresh and jarred hot peppers and hot sauce to meals helps suppress your appetite and slightly boosts your metabolism.

When dieters who weren’t used to eating spicy foods enjoyed soup seasoned with l/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, they ate 60 fewer calories at their next meal and burned an extra 10 calories (every little bit count!).

So, try sprinkling chopped hot peppers into salads or mixing hot sauce into low-fat mayo or hummus to make a spicy spread.

You can also add minced jalapenos or chipotle peppers to omelets, low-fat chicken or tuna salad, stir-fries, and marinades.





Non-starchy ones like broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, and bell peppers are rich in fiber and water, which means they fill you up for fewer calories.

Try to have 1 cup of veggies at breakfast and/or snack time and 2 cups at lunch and dinner. (Avoid starchy veggies, including peas, potatoes, corn, and winter squash, which can add to the bloat.)






Dos and Don’ts. when you ate too much.

  • DON’T weigh yourself until the next week. Water retention from salty, fatty, heavy foods can cause

a 3- to 5-lb increase for up to 2 days afterward, so hold off on the weigh-in until 5 days post-splurge.

  • DON’T use artificial sweeteners. They can trigger a sweet craving. Skip them for a day or two until you’re back to your healthy eating routine.
  • DO give yourself a pep talk. Try something short that you can repeat to yourself when that leftover pumpkin pie is staring you down.

For example, One day of splurging is not the end of the world. I can and will get back on track. Nutrition Expert and Best-Selling Author  Joy Bauer’s ate too much.