How many hours of sleep do you get each night? How many times do you get up during the night? Do you work nights or swing shifts? The importance of sleep can NOT be overstated enough.
The Sleep Foundation has a lot to say about the relationship between weight and sleep. For instance, did you know that lack of sleep causes dysregulation between neurotransmitters causing increased hunger and decreased satisfaction when eating. Sleep deprivation also causes a shift in the foods we choose, causing people to choose higher calorie and higher carbohydrate foods.
Sleep deprivation can also cause decreased metabolism. Metabolism naturally slows down when we sleep, so if we put our bodies into a constant state of exhaustion, you get it where I’m going with this, we’re slowing our metabolism.
Lack of sleep also causes us to be less active, and that’s the easiest part to understand. If I’m too tired I’m not going for a run. But the importance of physical activity is huge! And remember when trying to lose weight, aim for 150-300 minutes a week of exercise.
So how do we get more sleep?
Keep your schedule as regular as possible. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. I know working nights and swing shifts can make this hard but try your best to be consistent.
Sleep in a darkened room. Light can throw off your circadian rhythm so keep your room nice and dark. Try some blackout curtains or an eye mask.
Limit screen time. Blue light waves from electronics like TV, phones, and tablets are similar to sunlight and mess with your body’s signal for sleep. Turn off devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Lavender scents help with relaxation, as does taking a nice warm bath or shower. Better yet take a nice warm shower and use some lavender body wash.
Don’t eat or exercise before bed. Your goal is to put your body into a relaxed state, not a working state.
Reduce stress as much as possible. Stress and worry mess with your brains ability to relax and rest.
If you’re waking up to use the restroom, because of all the great water you’re drinking, make sure you stop drinking a few hours before you lay down.
If you try these and still have difficulty sleeping, please let us know. We want you to be successful!
For more information on sleep check out the Sleep Foundations website at https://www.sleepfoundation.org/