SSleeping-Womanleep more and lose weight – now that seems like a program that a lot of people can commit to! Although it may seem like it’s too good to be true, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain. Recent literature is touting the importance of sleep in terms of optimal health and fat loss. It is now clear that when the body doesn’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep every night that it needs to rejuvenate, repair and heal, it finds ways to compensate for the lower levels of serotonin and dopamine caused by lack of sleep. The body reacts by increasing appetite and craving foods with sugar and fats that instantly give you the immediate release of serotonin and dopamine.  It also causes you to store more fat as a defense mechanism to provide you the energy to help manage the longer days. So get to bed early and allow your body to function as it’s designed it! As an added benefit, if you’re in bed at a decent hour, you’ll be less likely to be munching of high calorie, late-night snacks.

For those who struggle with getting enough deep sleep, here’s some tips:


Those who exercise regularly experience less issues with sleep. It makes sense that fatiguing your body during a

workout will cause you to be more tired and fall asleep more easily. Plus if I’m asking you to sleep more, it goes without saying that I’m going to also ask you to exercise more! The one caveat is that if you struggle with falling asleep, avoid working out right before bed.

Bedtime Ritual

Practice the same activities that will trigger your body to know it’s time to shut down. For example, brush your teeth,

turn down the lights, meditate, practice some deep breathing, listen to relaxing music, read a book…Figure out a routine that works for you.

Stick to a Bedtime Schedule

As much as possible, get up and go to bed at the same time – even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body’s internal clock so it becomes accustomed to waking up and falling asleep at the same time every day.

Avoid electronics 30 minutes before bedtime

Put your phone away, shut off the TV and wind down. If you are on your phone, but it on nighttime mode so the light is adjusted to not negatively affect your ability to fall asleep.

Stay Cool

Adjust the temperature of your room to between 60-68 degrees which is most conducive to sleep.

Keep it Dark

To help aid sleep, your room should be dark. Use blackout curtains, sleeping blindfolds and make sure no light is on in your room.

Keep it quiet from distractions

Consider using ear plus or white-noise machines to block out any sounds that could disrupt your sleeping patterns.

Invest in a good mattress and pillow

If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for over 10 years, it’s probably time to get a new one. Think of it this way – we spend 1/3 of our lives in our beds so let’s make sure our mattress and pillow are comfortable and allow us to easily fall asleep.

Avoid eating too late at night

Try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Eating a large meal right before bedtime can make it difficult to sleep

well as the body is trying to digest.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed

Drinking caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep so try to avoid it right before bedtime.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio  to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.


Couve Run 2017


Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.



Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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