How Sleep Helps You Shed The Pounds
If you’re changing your eating and physical routine, have you made any changes to your sleep routine? Could a lack of quality sleep be preventing you from losing weight or keeping it off? Lack of sleep shows up the next day and also builds up over time. It affects how you feel and what your body needs which make it harder to shift your unwanted weight and keep it off. Use the power of sleep to revitalize, reduce stress and give yourself a natural advantage to lose your unwanted weight. Sleep is also directly connected to weight because of the hormones leptin and ghrelin – the hormones which control hunger and feeling full.
The big difference
Research shows that people who followed a low calorie plan lost more fat on 8.5 hours sleep than on 5.5 hours sleep a night. If you only sleep 5 or 6 hours a night and you increase your sleep you’ll see big changes in how you feel and your ability to lose weight and stay slim.
If you already get 7 or 8 hours sleep a night but your sleep is interrupted or it’s not good quality sleep, it’s the same as not sleeping enough hours each night.
The weight loss – sleep equation and how to turn it into an advantage
Lack of sleep makes you more likely to seek instant gratification through eating food. This includes comfort foods.
Lack of sleep means you are less likely to feel satisfied after eating so you’re more likely to eat more, and your appetite will be stimulated.
You’ll feel more tired and have less energy so you’ll need to eat more food. Plus your metabolism is not functioning at it’s best which means more food is likely to be stored as fat than to be used as energy.
Do you have a history of obesity or weight problems in your family? Do you feel like you have a disadvantage that you are always fighting against? Well you can break this genetic influence by getting more sleep. You can’t sleep your way to a thin figure, but you can sidestep genetics so that diet and lifestyle influence your results more than the genes you were born with.
Anxiety and stress play are big contributors to belly fat. Getting more sleep is a way to reduce stress and anxiety at the same time.
How to get enough quality sleep
On average we need 7.5 hours sleep a night, if it takes you a bit of time to fall asleep then try for 8-8.5 hours.
Be sure to have your dinner by 7.30pm at the latest, and try lighter meals so that you don’t have a heavy meal to digest right before bed.
Drink plenty of water but stop by around 7 or 8pm at the latest so that trips to the bathroom don’t disturb you in the night. Avoid caffeine late afternoon and early evening.
For at least 60 minutes before bed, wind down and turn off entertainment, TV, distractions, Facebook, smartphone etc.
Establish your own sleep ritual try taking a bath – warming up your body followed by slow cooling causes relaxation and sleepiness. Go to bed and get up within the same 60 min window every day to establish natural circadian rhythm.
Try to exercise earlier in the day or evening so that you are more relaxed later in the evening.
Not enough time?
Try getting things ready before bed so that you can get up a little later in the morning, like clothes or breakfast. Or sleep longer in the morning by watching less TV for example.
Go to bed on the day you got up!
Lastly – go to bed on the same day that you got up. So if you got up on Tuesday morning, go to bed on Tuesday night, before midnight…and not on the Wednesday.