This one hack will surprise you more than the others – like breathing, stress resilience, mindset, and menopause – to getting that fitness you want. Read on to learn a simple step you can take – starting tomorrow morning.
Of all of the challenges for my approach to wellness I encounter with my concierge clients, sleep tops the list… by far.
They just can’t believe that quality and adequate sleep can get them to that fitness and confidence I profess.
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Most of my concierge clients find their sleep nirvana within the first six months of our work. They report one, two, or many of the following, which makes me so happy:
• No middle-of-the-night awakenings
• More refreshed
• Fewer cravings for carbs and sugar
• More energy for training and daily life
• Less reactive
• Just overall more positive
And, yes, some other clients continue to struggle and search high and low for other strategies to tackle. As usual, they want to focus on food and exercise. They can’t believe it is sleep that will get them “there.” Until they finally get there…
Those who make sleep a top priority see greater results than those who aren’t convinced their sleep will lead to less stress, better decision-making, a faster metabolism, and a slimmer waistline.
For so many years, those of us between 45 – 60 were sold a bill of goods. Eat less and exercise more and you will get thin. Our moms told us – and their moms told them – to eat less and exercise more – specifically sweat – to lose weight or to stay “skinny.” Every magazine professed the perfect diet and exercise plan.
Frankly, still today, women ask me about this or that diet and exercise plan that they heard about, or they tell me about their friend who lost 15 pounds in three weeks and looks like Jennifer Aniston. (She does now. Let’s see where she is in one year.)
What hogwash. And especially during perimenopause or menopause. It is simply not the way our brain – or hormones work(s).
So today, if you are someone who struggles with getting at least seven hours of quality sleep each night, I am offering the simplest strategy literally ANYONE can do to start your super sleep.
I hear it every day,
“I’m too busy to get to sleep by _____.”
“I need my me time.”
Those who choose to make sleep a top priority will find that they are calmer, have less stress, make good decisions, are healthier, and yes, slimmer.
My one tip: Get morning sunlight as soon as you awaken. 30 seconds, 1 minute, go crazy – 5 minutes. It sets the tone for the entire day.
Morning sunlight leads to:
• Better sleep
• Greater alertness all day
• Less stress
• Feeling less depressed
• A better mood – Serotonin, the happy hormone, the neurotransmitter that regulates everything from mood to sleep, is increased.
All of these lead to a greater likelihood for better food choices, consistent exercise, less reactivity, and a happier day.
Other benefits of getting morning sunlight are:
• Serotonin converts to melatonin, and bam, sleep is better at night! The bodies’ processes, like sleep, hormones, mood, and appetite, naturally rise and fall over a 24 hour period and like to know when the day is starting to shift their systems.
• It sets the brain up for when and where you are – morning and the start of your circadian rhythm – and leads to better sleep that night.
• It kick-starts your day.
• Cortisol and melatonin work in opposites. When one is high, the other is low.
See! Sunshine is a real human and primal need. Now, get yours tomorrow morning!
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications.
After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton.
Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix.
Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow.
Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body.
She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you.
Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves.
Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.