Jennifer Hanway

Helping You Live Your Best Life Through Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Category: New Chapter

Ensuring Restful and Restorative Sleep Tonight and Every Night With New Chapter’s Turmeric Force Nighttime

This post is written in partnership with New Chapter, however all opinions are my own. I only work with and recommend companies whose products I love, and I’m so excited to share these with you!

 I love to sleep. Sleep is sacred to me, I protect my 8 hours a night fiercely, and I ask my clients to do the same.

And for good reason. Sleep is one of my key tenets of optimum health, and without consistent, restful, restorative sleep we can suffer from reduced cognitive function, an impaired immune system (studies show you are nine times more likely to fall ill at cold and flu season), an increased risk of inflammation, and even reduced longevity. But in our modern day, 24/7, hyper connected lives sleep is becoming harder and harder to prioritize, and our health is suffering from it.

One of the main reasons for this is that we are neglecting to manage our cortisol levels (our stress and energy hormone) throughout the day, leaving us super switched on but exhausted by the time we think about ‘winding down’ before bed. A healthy cortisol curve is one that is high in the morning (giving us a boost of energy), stable during the day, and lowers in the late afternoon and evening, preparing you for a night of restful and restorative sleep. Our cortisol curve is governed by our circadian rhythm, which is in turn is governed by zeitgeibers (think of these such as regulators) such as light, heat, food, exercise and social interaction. When these regulators are out of sync with our natural rhythms (i.e. those bright lights and loud music at your 8.30pm spinning class), or the blue light that stimulates your pineal gland as you scroll through social media just before you go to bed, we upset the natural balance of our regulatory endocrine system.

 However, ensuring great sleep every night is not impossible, in fact just by implementing some of tips I share below you can establish a healthy sleep routine that will boost your energy, brain power, and all-round health and vitality!

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Keep It Consistent

Even more important than getting your six to eight hours a night is to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time, seven days a week (yes, even at the weekends). You may have a little flexibility (30 minutes at the most), but consistency is key to quality sleep. If getting to sleep in the evenings is a challenge try moving your bedtime forward 15 minutes every week for a month to help you adjust gradually to the change.


Know Your Chronotype

We used to identify with 2 sleep/wake personalities, the early bird or the night owl, but the fascinating research from Michael J Breus, Ph.D. has identified 4 personalities, or chronotypes. Your chronotype affects everything from the best time to go to sleep and wake up, to workout, eat, drink coffee, and even sit for a test or interview for a job! I am a Lion chronotype which means that I am at my best early in the morning (I’m usually up by 5.30 at the latest without an alarm), but also means I am in bed by 8pm every night!

 You can find your chronotype at: https://thepowerofwhenquiz.com/


Manage Stress Throughout The Day

 I know this is easier said than done, but getting a great night of sleep starts from the minute we open our eyes that morning. Managing our stress levels throughout the day ensures lower cortisol levels by the late afternoon and evening, which is key to regulate all of the bodily processes we need to fall asleep (melatonin production, lowering of body temperature, slowing of metabolism) at night.

I ask my clients to create a ‘toolbox’ of simple de-stressing solutions that they can use throughout the day and these can include breathing exercises than calm the central nervous system such as Box Breathing (inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts), inhaling the scent of lavender essential oil (lavender has been clinically proven to reduce stress levels), eating a couple of squares of magnesium-rich dark chocolate (this is my favourite), or lying with your legs up against the wall for a few minutes.

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Reduce Blue Light Exposure

 Blue light, the type emitted by our laptops, tablets, phones and TV screens stimulates our pineal gland, a tiny endocrine organ nestled deep in the brain that regulates the production of melatonin. When it is stimulated by blue light coming in through the retina via the hypothalamus and the central nervous system it reduces production of melatonin, one of the major hormones that helps us get to sleep.

 

I ask my clients to limit blue light exposure in the 2 hours before bedtime, and many of our devices now have daytime/nighttime settings that help us do this, reducing the blue light emission and having the screens take on a warmer color. I also love to wear blue blocking glasses after sunset as I am especially sensitive to blue light, and will also wear these whilst travelling and changing time zones to help regulate melatonin production.

Take Targeted Sleep Supplements

 With a heavy travel schedule and frequent trips to and from London, even this sleep loving Lion sometimes needs a little help maximising sleep quality. New Chapter’s Turmeric Force™ Nighttime is a targeted blend of herbs including Chamomile, Valerian Root, Hops and Lemon Balm, that supports the type of deep restful sleep* that is imperative for optimum health.

 I also love that it does double duty by managing my body’s healthy inflammatory response whilst I sleep with whole food Ginger and Turmeric to support healthy aging*. Simply take two capsules an hour before bed (I keep mine on my bedside table and take before I read in the evening – whilst blocking blue light, of course) for a health boosting night of restful and restorative sleep.

 Sweet dreams!

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Live Well: What Your Calcium Supplement Should Contain - And What It Shouldn’t!

What Your Calcium Supplement Should Contain - And What It Shouldn’t!

This post is written in partnership with New Chapter, however all opinions are my own. I only work with and recommend companies whose products I love, and I’m so excited to share these with you!

The majority of my clients are women in their mid-twenties through to their early fifties, and I often hear that they have been recommended by their doctor to take a calcium supplement, though they are unsure how to choose one that is beneficial for their health needs.

Until the age of around thirty women are still able to develop new bone mass, however after the age of thirty bone density breakdown overtakes bone build up, which can cause a gradual loss of bone mass, with women over the age of fifty being at most risk for osteoporosis.

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Taking the right calcium supplement is a great way of increasing bone density and reducing bone breakdown, and in addition to this there are some other simple and easy healthy habits that I recommend you add into your wellness routine (at thirty eight I do these on a daily basis) for strong bones and healthy joint function:

●       Perform weight bearing exercises - this can be anything that makes your muscles work against the force of gravity, and includes using barbells, dumbbells or your body weight whilst performing movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups and planks, or simply, walking, jogging, hiking and running.

●       Consume foods that are naturally high in calcium - plant based options include almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts, beans and lentils, dark green vegetables such as kale, cabbage, spinach and fruits such as figs and rhubarb.

It is imperative to understand that no vitamin or mineral works alone in the body, they have a synergistic effect that must be taken into consideration when choosing your daily supplements. Just as we need fat to absorb certain vitamins, we need a smart combination of vitamins and minerals to ensure they are effective in the body.

 When a client asks me to suggest a calcium supplement I always recommend New Chapter’s Bone Strength Take Care (I also take this supplement everyday as part of my morning wellness routine). I recommend this supplement as it is carefully formulated by New Chapter to include Vitamins K2 and D3, which are essential when ensuring that the calcium is absorbed efficiently and directed to the bones.* It also helps to support joint flexibility and maintain heart health, which are all essential components of optimum health and wellbeing.*

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The calcium complex in New Chapter’s Bone Strength Take Care is derived from a natural plant form of Red Marine Algae (all of New Chapter’s products are whole foods based), and does not contain any limestone, chalk, synthetic fillers or binders or animal byproducts, making it suitable for vegetarian diets (it is also Non-GMO project verified, Kosher and Gluten Free). I recommend a whole foods based, minimally processed diet to all of my clients, and I love that New Chapter offers targeted supplement solutions that emulate that high standard.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References:

National Institute on Aging. Health Information. Publications. Age Page. Osteoporosis: The Bone Thief

 

Live Well: Give Yourself the Gift of Less Stress and Better Sleep

This post is written in partnership with New Chapter, however all opinions are my own. I only work with and recommend companies whose products I love and use everyday, and I’m so excited to share these with you!

The best holiday gift you can give yourself this year? Restful, restorative sleep!

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Health Index of 2014 just 12 % of Americans reported “excellent” sleep, with 35% of Americans reporting their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair”. Achieving consistent, restful and restorative sleep is incredibly important for our overall health, with most people needing between 7-9 hours a night for optimum health. Lack of sleep, or impaired quality of sleep can have a hugely negative impact on our health and wellbeing, and can result in hypertension, activation of the sympathetic nervous system, impairment of glucose control, and increased inflammation.

One of the most popular topics I am asked to speak on is managing stress and improving sleep, and the (much underestimated) link between the two. The key to consistent, great quality sleep is not what we do in the two hours before bed, or just before we fall asleep (often referred to as ‘sleep hygiene), but the daily holistic health habits we practice from the moment we wake up.

Normalising your circadian rhythm (think of this as the conductor of your body’s orchestra) and managing your cortisol levels (your stress and energy hormone) throughout the day (the two are inextricably interlinked) is the key to managing stress and achieving a restful night of sleep. High levels of stress resulting in the constant activation of our central nervous system (our fight or flight mode) can also be terribly damaging, and can negatively affect our immune function, hormonal balance, insulin sensitivity and cognitive function.

When we experience stress our adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that can up-regulate body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, which are useful strategies for when we are in real danger and have to fight for our lives. However, our body cannot recognise the difference between a life-threatening situation, and an email from our boss, losing our phones or that last minute holiday gift shopping just before the stores close!

 Thankfully, implementing some super simple holistic health habits throughout the day can help regulate our circadian rhythm, boost cortisol metabolism, and help you get that longed for 8 hours of sleep:

 Consider a natural alarm clock, instead of emitting a sharp piercing noise that spike cortisol levels (cortisol should gradually rise in the morning) these work as the light activates the pineal gland (one of the main regulators of our circadian rhythm) and suppressing melatonin (one of our sleep hormones) and waking us up naturally and gradually.

 Continue the light exposure by opening your blinds and curtains to get as much natural light as possible. Working out outside in the morning can be of double benefit by getting you in to the natural light, and gives you an exercise induced boost of energy raising cortisol when levels are supposed to be high (working out in the morning gives cortisol levels time to lower by the evening).

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Ensure breakfast is a blood sugar stabilising balance of quality protein, fibre packed veggies and low GI fruits, and healthy fats. Blood sugar swings can also lead to cortisol spikes, and leave us hungry and bad tempered (aka hangry) meaning we reach for the closest high sugar, highly processed treats that can be found everywhere at this time of year!

Following breakfast, I take my New Chapter Perfect Calm Multivitamin – this is my go-to multivitamin at times of stress and a busy schedule, i.e. the holidays! I love this multivitamin as it does double duty as my daily multi and it provides stress supporting vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts such as Holy Basil, Lemon Balm and Chamomile. Vitamin C supports our hard-working adrenal glands and helps promote a healthy stress response (so important at this time of year), and New Chapter’s patented fermentation process ensures each nutrient is available for your body to absorb and utilise (remember, you are not what you eat, but what you absorb)! *

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Throughout the day being conscious of your breathing patterns can be a super simple but incredibly effective way to manage your stress and cortisol levels. Simply by ensuring your exhale is slightly longer than your inhale you can up-regulate your parasympathetic nervous system (your ‘rest and digest’ mode) and down regulate your sympathetic nervous system (your ‘fight or flight’ mode). A simple Box Breathing exercise can be performed anywhere, and is a great tool to use when you may not have time for yoga or mediation, such as in line for groceries the day before holidays, or when about to face another holiday party that you would just rather skip!

To perform the Box Breathing exercise inhale for a count of 4 (through the nose), hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4 (through the nose), and hold for a count of 4.

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 Following these steps throughout the day will help ensure that your cortisol levels start to drop in the late afternoon and evening, preparing you for much needed deep and healing sleep. However, there are a few extra strategies that I love to employ in the evenings that can help even further, and prioritising sleep quality is essential when low on sleep quantity:

  • Finish eating at least two hours before going to bed so your body has finished the bulk of digestion before sleep. This can also be hugely beneficial for gut health and body composition.

  • Minimise electric light at home and blue light exposure from devices two hours before bedtime. As mentioned earlier light is one of the main regulators of circadian rhythm, and minimising exposure at night can help ensure the release of melatonin (a naturally occurring sleep hormone) from our pineal gland.

  • Your bedroom should be cool, not cold, ideally 65 degrees for deep sleep and efficient repair of all body systems.

  • A great eye mask and ear plugs are essential, especially if you live on a busy street, or you go to bed earlier than the rest of the family. 

  • Block all light in the room including ambient light from outside, and any light from electrical devices. We have light sensors in our skin cells that when activated can disrupt sleep.

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About an hour before I go to sleep I love to take New Chapter’s Turmeric Force Nighttime – a blend of antioxidant packed Ginger and Turmeric that helps support a healthy inflammatory response, and Chamomile, Hops, Valerian Root, and Lemon Balm that naturally promote restful sleep.* We keep ours in our bathroom cabinet next to the floss and toothpaste to make it an easy to remember part of our nightly routine.

For all New Chapter products (including my must haves) head to: www.newchapter.com/products

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-health-index-2014-highlights

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15133379

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279390/



 

 

 

 

 

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com