If I had a dollar for every pound I lost and gained back, well, I’d be writing this from a far nicer couch. The truth is, many of us struggle with our weight and as we age, it can be more difficult to shed those extra pounds. Perhaps you feel like you are getting enough exercise and eating right, but it’s just not making a difference. Did you know without proper, healthy sleep, you may never reach your goal? Let’s take a look at why.
Waking up groggy and tired, ignoring the snooze alarm, then rushing to get ready and out the door. We’ve all done it. This is the time we are tempted to get that extra large coffee with extras; cream, sugar, toppings, and to go with, a muffin that is really just a small cake or doughnut, or other pastry to give us that sweet sugary boost. Later, we might get something quick from a fast food place for lunch that’s full of fat, carbs, even sugar because we didn’t make our own lunch and that leads to the same thing at home, getting take-out because we don’t have the energy to fix something healthy.
Our metabolism is regulated by sleep and too little or too much can mess it up pretty severely. Our hormones can be affected and cause us to feel hungry at the wrong time. There are hormones called Leptin and Ghrelin, and they tell our body to eat or stop. When the body is not rested, they aren’t properly speaking to us, and we are not properly listening.
We all know, the less sleep we get, the less energy we have and the less we want to do. The take-out meals, then rather than be active or see our friends or family, it’s just easier to flop on the couch with more junk food and the remote and click the night away. Not having proper sleep can also make you eat at odd hours, or more often, as your body feels as if it’s lacking something. It is. Sleep. Often dozing here and there on the couch while you watch TV may make you feel worse and make it more difficult to get back to sleep later and then have another night of bad sleep.
So. What do we do?
- Sleep Try to get the same amount of sleep every night. It’s not always possible but try. Set a bedtime and a time to get up and within a few short days, you’ll notice a big difference. Managing your sleep time will help you manage the rest of your time and soon everything will fall into place. Include some relaxing activities before bed, a warm bath, reading, or a quiet chat with your partner.
- Diet This will improve with a good routine. By preparing meals or snacks the night before, you can avoid the sugar, starch and empty calories from the coffee shop. Grains, fruit, vegetables and lean proteins will go a long way to getting that extra weight off. Make your lunch the night before, take your own coffee from home and make a menu for meal planning for the week so you know where you are with it.
- Exercise You may already be exercising but are you doing it properly? Going to the gym because you think you should could actually be doing more harm than good. Pick a time that works best for you, but avoid heavy exercise close to bedtime. This would be a good time for light stretching or yoga. If you work shift work, you’ll need to find what works for you. Please take a look at this link for more indepth information.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the progress you make by this one small adjustment. We all know how important sleep is, but more and more studies link lack of sleep to obesity, in particular in young adults. Get your sleep in order and get your body back!
Bio: Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, Sarah decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine at Sleepy Deep.