Daily Archives: August 15, 2011

Sleep and Weight-Loss

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*tee hee* Wei took this picture a while ago. I remembered it and thought that it would be cute for this post:).

You know, ever since I started Hairscapades, I’ve been pulling some serious late nights. I am a lightweight when it comes to sleep and am usually in bed by 10 pm, 11 at the latest. I mean, seriously, I’ve fallen asleep in clubs, at musical performances and at birthday parties on a stage couch (sorry baby;) when that clocks get a little too far beyond my bedtime. But lately, I find myself not hitting the sack until 12, 1 or even 2 am!!! I’m up working on posts, responding to comments or checking out other hair sites! Now, don’t get me wrong … I LOVE doing it! If I didn’t, you better believe I would be in bed in the blink of an eye … in fact, my ability to stay up that late, makes me realize how much I love it! But, I know that continually going to bed that late to wake up at 6 am is not good for my mental acuity, focus, health, metabolism or weight maintenance goals.

So, given that many of us GOCers have weight loss/maintenance goals, I decided I wanted to do a post on the one thing that many of us tend to forget is soooo important. We all know that we need to exercise and eat healthy foods in the right amounts in order to lose weight and achieve better health. However, too often we forget one of the most important and simplest (though to some, most challenging) things we need to do, GET ENOUGH SLEEP!!

via The Huffington Post:

Obesity is epidemic, and has many causes. One of them is that the average nights’ sleep has dropped from nine hours a night to six and three-quarters hours a night over the last hundred years, and sleep is responsible for many weight and appetite controlling hormones, such as growth hormone, leptin, phrelin and ghrelin. So can you really sleep your way to skinny? Many sleep studies suggest you can.

How much sleep is optimal for staying thin? Between seven and nine hours is best. Less than seven hours increases the risk of obesity approximately 30 percent and adds an extra five pounds on average.

In addition, many studies reveal that lack of sleep depresses your metabolism, which can decrease the value of your exercise routine and a controlled diet.

via MSNBC:

Sleep deprivation makes the day drag and appears to put a drag on metabolism too, causing the body to use less energy, according to a European study.

The results, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to evidence that sleep loss can promote weight gain — not just by boosting hunger but also by slowing the rate at which calories are burned.

via Science Daily:

Chronic sleep loss can reduce the capacity of even young adults to perform basic metabolic functions such as processing and storing carbohydrates or regulating hormone secretion, report researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center in the October 23 issue of The Lancet. Cutting back from the standard eight down to four hours of sleep each night produced striking changes in glucose tolerance and endocrine function — changes that resembled the effects of advanced age or the early stages of diabetes — after less than one week.

Finally, it’s important to remember that sleep plays a crucial part in the body’s ability to recover from exercise, repair muscle and metabolize calories and nutrients.

via Bodybuilding.com:

Rest is one of the most important principles of exercise and often the most overlooked. Bodybuilders often look to change the amount of weight they lift or number of reps they perform during their workouts. What many of them don’t realize is that the muscle adaptation, or growth, they’re looking for is actually occurring during this crucial recovery process following their workout.

During this suspended state of animation, your body is doing exactly what you’ve been begging it to do ever since you lifted that first dumbbell: build muscle. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who don’t get enough sleep, you need to take a good look at just how much your sleeping habits can affect your body’s own muscle-building potential.

So remember, it is equally as important (if not more) to include 7-9 hours of sleep in your weight loss and/or general health and fitness regimens to ensure a strong metabolism, high energy levels, promote internal health and ensure that you will reap the benefits of your exercise and diet routines!

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Are you getting enough sleep every night?

My Staples: DevaCare No Poo

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So, next up in the Hairscapades series, “My Staples,” I’ll review a product that has been in my arsenal for a while: DevaCare No Poo.

I started using DevaCare about 6 years ago (maybe even longer). I’d been co-washing for the majority of my natural hair years. I believe it was my youngest sister (a fellow natural) who first hipped me to conditioner washing. I was easily swayed to the concept because I always hated how stripped and dry my hair felt after shampooing. So, the idea of co-washing was welcome. Back then, I was a Pantene girl. I used their regular line for either dry or damaged hair as I guess I intuitively knew that my hair needed moisture (I hated the Relaxed & Natural line! It made my hair hard to the touch and weighed down. I’ve come to realize that this was probably due to the protein and mineral oils that are in many “traditional” products marketed for “ethnic” hair). Years later, I was introduced to the DevaCurl line and sulfate-free shampoos, again by my youngest sister (and she calls ME the PJ ;). However, it wasn’t until I moved to a location that put me in close proximity to an Ulta that I actually tried the Deva line of sulfate-free shampoos.

So, approximately 6 years ago, I found myself in an Ulta near my local mall and looking at a shelf with Deva products. But, the shelves didn’t just contain DevaCurl, they also had DevaCare. A choice had to be made. And, given that I always used products geared towards dry and/or damaged hair, I chose DevaCare No Poo.

What they say: No fade moisturizing cleansers for natural, “blow-fried”, color-treated and chemically processed hair. Enriched with Vitamin C and orange peel extract.
What’s in it: Aqueos Extracts of: Achilea Millefolium, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus, Humulus Lupulus (Hops), Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel; Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Laureth-4, Grape Seed Oil, Orange Peel Wax, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Peppermint Oil, Propylene Glycol, Wheat Amino Acids, Soy Amino Acids, Oat Amino Acids, Diazolidinyl, Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Fragrance, Red 40, Yellow 5.
What’s not in it: Glycerin; Parabens; Silicones; Sulfates

If you’ve been around here a while, you know that I have tried a few sulfate-free shampoos with either ho-hum or disastrous results. I’ve tried shampoos from Shea Moisture, Curls (salon and store brand) and JessiCurl. They have all done a fine job of cleansing, but I’ve experienced horrible tangles, resulting in excessively long detangling sessions, which I’ve never had to deal with when using DevaCare No or Low Poo (I prefer the No Poo, but get Low if Ulta is out). I have found that diluting these other shampoo with lots of water in a dye applicator bottle reduces and/or eliminates that problem. However, I’ve decided to stick with what I know works for me.

When I use shampoos, including DevaCare No Poo, I only apply to my scalp and roots and massage it in a circular motion with my finger pads (no nails as that is damaging to the scalp). I usually begin with my hair in four twists, which were made during my Coconut or Vatika Oil pre-poo routine. I apply conditioner (usually HE HH) to the length of all the twists and then apply the shampoo to one section, eventually removing the twist as I work it into my scalp to cleanse for a minute or so. I repeat until all four sections are done. Then, I put my head under the shower stream to “lather” a little, finally rinsing the shampoo down the length of my hair. My scalp feels clean without my hair feeling stripped or  matted and tangled. Once I apply a daily conditioner to finger detangle before deep conditioning, I am able to detangle my hair in 10-15 minutes at most. This was also the case when my hair was curlier and denser, pre-henna and amla of 2010!

So, if you’ve tried a lot of shampoos and haven’t found the one for you, you may want to try DevaCare or DevaCurl No or Low Poo. I recently discovered, after several failed outings to Ulta resulting in my returning home empty-handed (seriously, if you are ALWAYS out of the product, maybe that means you need to order more of it!), that you can get DevaCare on Amazon.com at a significant savings over the price in store or at some online retailers!  I ordered a 32 oz. bottle on Amazon for $26.93 (with free Super Saver shipping!) versus the $37.95 it costs in Ulta or online (pre- S&H)!! That’s a $10 savings!  This bottle will last me 3 or 4 months at least! However, I would suggest that you go with a smaller bottle until you determine whether or not it works for you ;)!

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Have you tried DevaCare or DevaCurl No or Low Poos? If so, which one and how did it work out for you?