SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND WEIGHT LOSS
15 Ways To Get Better Sleep
Have you ever considered that the amount of sleep you get can affect your health and your weight?
Sleep deprivation and weight loss may be more connected than you know. Let’s face it, when we’re tired we tend to make fewer healthy choices throughout the day, and we reach for the quick-fix energy boost we need, often in the form of sugar-filled options and processed snacks. When we’re tired, we also tend to skip the workout we had planned for the day.
For many people this is an ongoing cycle that’s tough to break. Adequate sleep sets the stage for everything else.
“When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite. Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.
Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs” – WebMD
Sleep can also affect your immune function, aging process, memory, learning and metabolism. Yes, adequate sleep is a big deal!
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re certainly not alone. It’s estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation!
If you make ‘getting more sleep’ a priority, you may see some changes. It can take 2-3 weeks until something may start to work for you, so if after a day or 2 of trying one of these tips, don’t give up. It may just take some time for your body to adjust.
First, start with setting an intention of when you want to be in bed. For example, if you want 8 hours of sleep and you need to wake up at 6:00, plan to be ready for sleep by 10:00. This means you’ll want to start getting ready for bed by 9:30.
Here is a list of 15 things you can try to help improve your sleep:
1. Eliminate/reduce caffeine and alcohol (these increase urination and can cause restless sleep)
2. Don’t have chocolate (or caffeine) within 7-8 hours of bedtime
3. Turn off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
4. Finish dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime
5. Drink a calming tea like Chamomile in the evening
6. Sleep in a totally dark room (all sources of light off) or wear eye covers
7. Set your bedroom at a comfortable temperature
8. Exercise in the morning, afternoon or early evening (not late at night)
9. Take a soothing hot bath at night
10. Listen to soft music before bed to help wind down
11. Use relaxing breathing techniques or meditation
12. White noise at bedtime – a fountain or fan
13. Relax and read before bed
14. Yoga or Tai Chi or stretching at night to de-stress
15. Write down a list of things you want to get done tomorrow or put it on your calendar (dump your brain of details, so you can relax).
So, how did you sleep last night? Do you find these tips helpful? Leave a comment and let me know and remember to get a copy of my FREE ebook 10 Steps To Better Health And Habits.
For further reading on how sleep deprivation affects weight loss, visit http://blogs.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/2012/12/partial-sleep-deprivation-hinders-weight-control.html. and