Get Enough High Quality Sleep - Part 3 of 4

A few blogs ago I began talking about three important things you can do for weight loss and general overall health. Today, I'm going to talk about thing #2 - get more high quality sleep.

Sleep is the time when the body repairs itself and the brain clears the harmful waste produced by the daily working of cells. Getting high quality sleep boosts your immune system, metabolism, and physical energy, improves brain function, lowers inflammation, helps to balance hormones, reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, improves skin health, decreases the risk of stroke and heart disease, and helps boost weight loss.

With all of the benefits that come from high quality sleep, all of us should be aiming to achieve it every night. For those looking to lose weight, it's crucial. Sleep deprivation causes changes to the hormones that control hunger, causing us to feel hungry when we aren't. Also, when we're sleep deprived, we are more likely to crave carbohydrates which are a quick source of energy for tired, sleep deprived brains. This makes even those of us with the strongest willpower struggle. Not only does sleep deprivation lead us to feel hungry even when we're not and to craving those carbs, it may also contribute to extra fat storage! So now, not only are you having trouble losing the weight you already have, but you may be gaining more.

Now, how can you get better sleep?

👉Make sleep a priority, not something that you'll get around to if and when you have the time.
👉Set up the ultimate sleep environment. Remove electronics from the bedroom and black your bedroom out. Ideally, you shouldn't be able to see your hand in front of your face once your eyes have adjusted to the dark. Set up a fan or noise machine to drown out any noises that might keep you awake.
👉Keep it cool! Our house is set to 67 for bedtime. You may not need it that cool but a warm environment may make it harder to sleep comfortably.
👉Quit using screens (TV, phone, computers, tablets) at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
👉Set up a regular bedtime routine.
👉Try to get 5-30 minutes of sunlight in the morning when you first wake up. More is better but if all you can swing is 5 minutes make it happen!

 - Dianne

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