As a fitness lifestyle coach, one thing I have noticed about first world people is their habitual nature to go, go, go. Most people from industrialized countries are workaholics who are poorly fed, highly caffeinated, dehydrated, under exercised, over stressed, and lacking enough sleep. All these factors cause major health problems in the long run. The one area that I find troubles most working adults, and adults with children, is the lack of sleep. Even adults who claim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night are often getting less than that due to stress induced dreams, trouble staying asleep, trouble breathing while sleeping, or some other sleep impairment. Without enough sleep it makes it ten times more challenging to reach fitness goals. To avoid having to use any type of drug to promote sleep, I recommend paying attention to the micro-nutrients in food that promote better sleep.
Over the years, I have learned the value and importance of fiber rich diets. Fiber rich diets not only support better digestion and feeling full, but fiber rich diets also help with better sleep. Often times, when we increase our fiber content from foods like dark, leafy greens we start to crave less sugar and processed foods. Our body's brain begins to recognize what feels good and we start to crave more of the good stuff and less of the bad, processed stuff. What is actually happening when we eat right is a release of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone which helps to control our sleep cycles. In fact, you can find melatonin in fruits and vegetables, not just through supplements. A diet rich in fiber increases the amount of melatonin in your system, which helps to promote restorative sleep. My clients know that I make veggies a free food. I would never restrict the amount of green veggies that they eat throughout the day because I want them to feel full and satisfied. If my clients feel satisfied after a meal they are less likely to crave processed, high sugary foods. This improves their overall health, which includes their sleep habits.
Other micronutrients to consider for improving sleep are vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B. Both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, can be found in foods like salmon, sardines, yogurt, nuts, and eggs. These foods help to regulate the release of serotonin in the brain, and help to regulate sleep cycles. Magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B help the body to be more relaxed and feel good. When the body feels good and is relaxed, we produce more serotonin and our central nervous system can be more at ease. Being at ease helps sleep patterns, reduces the risk of disease, helps people overcome mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and helps people to conquer weight loss goals.
Below is a list of researched micronutrients and hormones to help support sleep cycles. The foods listed are all part of the diets I create for each client. As a coach, I am not just concerned with the outer appearance of my transformation clients. I am highly concerned about what is happening internally. Before we can change our outside world, we have to take care of the inside world. May we all have deep, restful sleep, so we can be happier, fuller people.
1. Melatonin: Bananas, cherries, flaxseeds, bell peppers, raspberries
2. Serotonin: Bananas, kiwis, pecans, pineapples, plums, tomatoes, walnuts
3. Omega-3: Eggs, flaxseeds, salmon, sardines, trout, walnuts, potatoes
4. Magnesium: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, extra dark chocolate, salmon, yogurt
5. Potassium: Squash, avocados, bananas, salmon, sweet potatoes
6. Tryptophan: Eggs, spinach, turkey
7. Vitamin B: Avocados, bananas, bulgur, pistachios, salmon, brown rice, sesame seeds
8. Vitamin D: Eggs, mushrooms, salmon, sardines, turkey, yogurt
list supported by
Journal of Medicinal Food
Let's admit it, successful people are captivating. When we see a person we deem as successful we notice many wonderful merits about them. Successful people just have spice, flavor, and magic to them. It's almost as if they can walk on water! For people who are struggling to get even the basics down in life, successful people can seem like gods, or even non-human. The funny thing is that successful people are no different than any common person. What makes successful people successful is the difference in how they use their 24 hours in a day compared to a person just floating through life. In all my research, self-practices, and encounters with success and successful people I have found ten things that cannot be ignored for creating life-long success. To have and maintain success there are 10 methods which need to be adopted into daily life.
Brenna's 10 Methods for Success
1. Set and Commit to Daily Goals/Agenda/Commitments with a Calendar.
Setting daily goals/agendas/commitments with a calendar is much different than a to-do-list. To-do lists are great, but a calendar marks your actions throughout a month in a big visual way. Plus, with today's smart phone technology, successful people use the calendar system to remind themselves to do everything from working out, eating on time, getting to bed on time, and/or waking up early. My most successful clients calendar everything and make dates/commitments with themselves.
2. Consistent Routines.
We all know that consistency is key for lifelong habits, body transformation, and reaching goals. Being consistent is part of every successful person's vocabulary.
3. ACTION DRIVEN, PERSISTENT, and HARDWORKING.
Successful people are the ones who walk the walk and talk the talk. They are persistent toward all their goals and visions. They simply won't quit. Their work ethic is just impeccable. They know when to rest, but they have the drive of a thousand horses.
4. Efficient with Energy and Time
Successful people are the best at time management. They often get up early, set bed times, and know how to delegate tasks based on level of need or challenge. Successful people are resourceful. They know how to get help with tasks, and aren't afraid to put together frames of structure, so that tasks can be completed more efficiently.
Successful people know how to network. They are generally people persons. They understand the value of politics, and they understand that no man is an island. They welcome collaboration, cooperation, and communication. Successful people understand that in order to be successful they need to work with the best in whatever industry is their niche.
6. Practice Self-Care
Successful people take good care of themselves. They eat right. They want quality food in their life because they value their health. Successful people make time for exercise for the same reason they eat right: they know their health matters. They also stay on top of doctor visits and routine check-ups.
7. Reflective and Intuitive
Successful people are reflective individuals that have developed a skill for self-awareness. They reflect daily on their thoughts, actions, and words. In fact, many top successful people meditate. Meditation helps to be more reflective and open to the possibilities of one's future and life goals. Successful people are very intuitive, mainly because they are so reflective. Their ability to reflect is also why they have high emotional intelligence. They are self-aware and tapped in. They can also read people extremely well because they are great at networking and putting themselves out there. They are always listening, whether to themselves or to the people in their network.
8. Accept Responsibility and All Actions
Successful people are beyond responsible. If they say they are going to do something they do it! They also admit when they made a mistake or were wrong. Successful people never blame or play victim.
9. Move Forward
Successful people move forward no matter what. They do not see mistakes as failure. They never give up.
10. Lifelong Learners
All successful people desire to keep on learning and growing. Successful people invest in themselves. They either hire a coach, trainer, attend seminars or retreats, or take classes to keep them at the top of their game. The best like to learn from the best.
I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.