Many busy people have trouble getting enough sleep either because they are over-scheduled and sleep is the second thing forfeited with eating a balanced meal the first, or because they just can’t turn their minds off even though their bodies are totally ready to shut down.If you are having trouble sleeping, chances are you having trouble losing weight too. A recent study by Brigham Young University shows that a consistent sleep cycle will go a long way to help you lose weight. Going to bed and getting up at the same time affects the amount of body fat you either lose or continue to carry.
Why? Well, it seems that if we don’t get a consistent 8-8 1/2 hours of sleep each night we reduce our energy levels to engage in physical activity. That makes sense, right? If you are physically tired and lacking energy, the chances of working out are slim to none. However, there is more beyond the basic “well, duh”. Our physical activity level affects our hormones which in turn determines what foods we crave…like sweets.
The study showed that those who got 8-8 1/2 hours each night and who went to bed and got up at the same time each day (with no more than a 60 minute variation) had the lowest body fat while those who got more than that or less than that had the highest body fat levels.
So what is your bedtime routine like? Is it one to induce sleepiness for 8-8 1/2 or is it hit or miss with more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’?
For one week try going to bed at the same time each day and getting up 8-8 1/2 hours later. Create a sanctuary-like space in your bedroom. Turn off all electronic devices or at least put them on airplane mode. Make sure your room is dark with no LED lighting bouncing around the room. Use some nice relaxing aroma therapy to set a sleepy mood. Take a hot bath or shower. Drink warm milk. Meditate or practice deep breathing. And sleep soundly.
Sweet dreams (yawn)