January 10, 2012

Sleep & Weight Loss

One of my lofty goals in this next 3 months is to develop a habit of going to bed at an early enough time to get 7 hours of sleep each night. Most days my husband is up at 5 in the morning, and then wakes me up around 5:45am! That comes really fast and early in the morning, so I need to be getting more sleep. I notice that the amount of effort I put into my workouts is so much more when I am well rested. So, why seven hours you might ask?

Well, research has recently shown that those who are attempting to lose weight have a greater success when they are sleeping more then 6 hours and less then 8 hours a night. This makes sense, since when I sleep more then 8 hours in a night I feel just as bad as I do if I slept 4! I also have found that my husband is a much happier guy when he gets this much sleep too, and he frequently calls me a night owl with a little bit of disdain in his voice.

So, how can we all make our night’s sleep better and helpful in our weight loss? Well, at sparkpeople.com they have given some helpful tips to share with all of you.

  1. Set the right environment: use your bedroom for what it’s intended for – the use of a bed! We don’t have a TV in our room, mostly because the room is too small, but I’ve come to love not having the distraction in our space either. Turn off electronics and use the room the way it was meant to be used!
  2. Get yourself into a routine: Got to bed at a set time every night, and get up at a set time every day. This helps to develop a sleep cycle for your body and allows it to know when it will rest and recoop!
  3. Limit beverage intake before bed: I have a hard time with this since I workout in the evenings, so I’ll attempt to cut off water drinking about 30 minutes before bed.
  4. De-stress: Going to bed mad, stressed out and emotional can really wreak havoc on your sleeping. So, if its bed time and you still have huge emotions going on or you’ve just had a hard day, write it down, pray about it, and talk with your partner or best friend. Don’t allow it to take over your dreams that night and move into the next day. Allow those emotions to be lifted away as your body regenerates.

I hope these little tips can help you to begin a healthy step to your weight loss. And, if you didn’t get enough sleep, just take some extra vitamins and get in the gym anyways! ;)

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