Sleeping yourself thin!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could sleep ourselves thin? Whilst we all know that isn’t going to happen, lack of sleep can certainly thwart the most dedicated weight loss attempts.
When short on sleep (less than 6.5 hours), we:
- Eat more
- Store more fat – our metabolisms slow down
- Have poor impulse control
- Have lower willpower
- Avoid exercise
- Become irritable
- Make poor decisions
Our daily lives can often be full of stress and continuing to remain committed to getting sufficient sleep is sometimes difficult. Any increased stress in your life, social events, alcohol and a busy life can take its toll.
Did you know that over the last 40 years or so, as our pace of life has increased our sleep time has decreased? We now sleep an average of 1.5 – 2 hours less than our grandparents. So how much sleep do you actually need? With all things in life, each person is an individual and so everyone has his or her own specific sleep requirements. However, most adults require 7.5 – 9 hours sleep each day.
So in the interests of sleeping tight:
- Develop a sleep schedule and try to stick to it
- Take advantage of the nights you are not going out or don’t have any plans – go to bed even earlier than normal – the general increase in stress is fatiguing physiologically and psychologically, so extra sleep is a good thing!
- Make sure your bedroom is the right temperature and free from distractions
- Move away from your devices and bright lights late at night! Screen time is stimulating for your brain and will make your sleep worse.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (except try to avoid this in the last 2 – 3 hours before bedtime).
- Consult your GP or health professional regarding any medication your are taking that may affect your ability to sleep.
- Avoid stimulants, alcohol and beverages late at night.
- Finish your evening meal at least 2 hours before going to bed.
- Limit daytime naps and avoid any naps after 3pm.
- RELAX AND WIND DOWN BEFORE BED!
What changes can you make over the next few weeks to set up or get your sleep routine back on track to ensure you get enough quality sleep?