You might be surprised to know that sleep has also a very important role to play when it comes to human weight. Your sleep pattern and the amount of time you spend sleeping have a direct impact on your weight. It is very important to know when to go to bed, how much to sleep in order to wake up refreshed and with a normal functioning metabolism.
Sleep and weight loss are unusually related. Sleep can seriously harm ones weight loss efforts. A bad night’s sleep can leave you without enough energy for the upcoming day. It will ruin your fitness workout, disturb your metabolism and induce an unwanted state of laziness. Instead if you manage to improve your resting process and have an optimal sleep you can boost your weight loss results.
Sleep weight loss might be an improper term, as sleep does not cause weight loss directly. An optimal sleep will certainly help you to have a proper rest and wake up at the desired time. This triggers a chain of positive events for everyone seeking weight loss. It will help you to maintain a constant meal schedule, which is very important for a healthy metabolism. A great sleep means also more energy for the upcoming day, which converts in more movement and a more active individual, ready to burn an extra amount of calories.
A quick hunt in the health sections of various news websites will produce many articles about the benefits of improving your sleep with a lot of them stating that between 6 and 8 hours sleep is the ideal length of time. A study by researchers at the Laval University in Quebec seems to back this up as they found that people who sleep less than 6 hours or greater than 8 hours were more likely to gain weight than those who slept for between 6 and 8 hours a day.
Similar studies have proved theories like this before and there is some science linking sleep and weight loss. If you don’t get enough sleep, the levels of Leptin (a protein that exists in your blood and reduces your appetite) falls, a hormone called Ghrelin is released that makes you want to eat more and your appetite increases. This produces the result of weight gain. Equally, sleeping too much results in you being active for a shorter time during the day.
Luckily it is relatively easy to improve your sleep and achieve a weight loss boost, if you are willing to try a few techniques. The first thing to do is establish the problem with your sleeping patterns – you need to find out whether you are going to bed too late and getting up early (perhaps for work) or if you are going to bed at a reasonable time and sleeping in far too long. If it is the case that you’re getting up late in the mornings, simply set an alarm at around 7 hours after you usually go to sleep and then make sure you get up when it goes off. After a month or two of doing this your body will know when to get up naturally and you won’t need the alarm.
If, on the other hand, you struggle to sleep on a night, don’t get distracted by watching TV or reading a book, go to bed, close your eyes and just lie there. If you are really struggling it might be worth seeing your physician for some sleeping tablets, but this should be a last resort. However in order to be diagnosed with insomnia you need to fail to fall asleep for several days during a week.
Other important tips for improving your sleep and sleep pattern:
1. Make sure that your sleep in an airy room. Open the windows and get fresh air for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you go to sleep.
3. Your room should be dark during night time. Use shutters if your room is invaded by street or building lighting.
2. Have an optimal sleeping temperature in your bedroom. Make sure that you never get cold feet during your sleep as you’ll risk to wake up in the middle of the night.
4. Check your bed, it should be wide and long enough to allow you to move on each side during your sleep.
5. Sleep on an good mattress. It should not be soft and outworn.
6. The pillow, perhaps one of the most important items of your bedroom. Get one that suits you, it should not be big. It’s even recommended to sleep without a pillow if you can.
7. Mind your sleeping position. Relax your spinal cord and your whole body.
8. Sleeping clothes are also very important. Make sure that you sleep with loose pijamas.
9. Go to the restroom before tucking and you will avoid the need to wake up during the night.
10. Drink a glass of water before you sleep to cleanse your system and avoid to wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.
11. Do not eat at least 2 hours before bedtime. If you plan for a heavy lunch do it 4,5 hours before your night’s sleep.
12. Go to sleep every evening at the same time and wake up accordingly in the morning. Optimal sleeping times are 10-11pm. Do not sleep longer than 8 hours.
13. Do not store electronic equipment in your bedroom. Their magnetic fields can disturb your brain and your sleep, of course. Even unplugged TV’s can disturb your sleep.
14. Make sure that you are relaxed when you go to sleep. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and memories. It will help you to fall asleep easier and experience sweet dreams. If you go to bed upset you might trigger the opposite.