Now that I’m full swing in to the St. Luke’s $10,000 Weight Loss Challenge, I’m looking at all things that can stand in the way of my health.  One important factor in losing weight is getting enough quality sleep.  That means 7 to 8 hours a night that’s uninterrupted.  Now, being the mom of three small children, some nights I can be up with the kids three or four times.

Some other new habits I’m in the midst of adapting too; trying not to watch TV or use my iPad or laptop too close to my bedtime, no caffeine after 5pm and trying not to exercise too late.  The Huffington Post published an article on some other things that may be getting in the way of your good night’s sleep:

Being an inconsistent eater – Studies have shown that inconsistent eating habits later in the day can negatively affect sleep. Keep in mind that consistency is the key.

Your mouth is minty fresh – While brushing teeth is a regular habit for almost everyone before going to bed, research suggests the scent of peppermint actually stimulates the brain, making you feel more awake. You might want to try an alternative flavor like strawberry or bubblegum instead.

You love a good book – Turning off the TV and picking up a book seems like it would be a good idea. Unfortunately, reading can result in poor quality sleep because it gets your brain buzzing.

You smoke before bed – While might think an evening cigarette calms the nerves, there’s a problem. Nicotine is a stimulant. If you can’t give up cigarettes altogether, start by saying away from them at bedtime.

Thanks for reading and keep checking back for more health updates daily!  Here’s to a good night’s sleep tonight…nighty night!