There is more and more information out there now supporting the benefits of 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Not enough sleep is also one of the identified results robbers for weight loss and sustaining weight loss. So whether your wanting more energy, needing more resilience on a daily basis,looking to improve your outer appearance or increase your vibrancy the formula is the same 7-8 hours. For many people getting this kind of rest on a daily basis is not the norm. What are the health benefits?
Brain function is improved. You will respond to decisions and situations with more clarity and often more speed.
Improved physical performance. When your body is tired it can exert in workouts etc but the output is reduced.
Improved outcomes for weight loss. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep allows the body to function at a higher level and allows your behaviors to mirror more rested approach. More on this: http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#1
A more rested appearance and increased vibrancy. We have all experienced that feeling of not only being tired but looking tired as well. It goes the same for how we feel on the inside. If we are not rested it is hard to be our best.
While some people can function fine on 6 hours or less it is the exception not the rule. There are lots of reasons that people do not get enough rest and aside from a sleep disorder there are some things you can explore. Here is a little more from ACE:
“Numerous studies have shown that sleep is a key factor in gaining and losing weight. When you do not get enough sleep, hormones that control hunger and fullness go haywire. Too much ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and too little leptin (the fullness hormone) get produced, which leaves you feeling hungry all day and you lose the ability to know when you are full. Plus, more cortisol gets produced, which increases cravings for starchy, sugary and fatty foods. Recent studies on chronic sleep deprivation suggest that the calories you eat are burned less efficiently. Aim for 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night.”
While this is all very scientific the point is the information is not opinion but factual. I have seem ideas that have helped others get a better handle on the process of training yourself to sleep for 7-8 hours. For some people getting more is about habits that can be changed.
Turn off all screens an hour before you want to go to sleep. If you keep your phone on remove it from your sleeping area.
Set a bedtime and get your no screens rule in place.
Go to bed at your set time even if you are not as tired as you think you should be. If you can’t relaxing sleep get up, drink some tea, read, listen to relaxing music and try again in 15-20 minutes. Keep in mind just relaxing in bed is not a bad thing.
If your brain is having trouble shutting off keep a note pad by your bed side to write down the things that are keeping you awake.
These are just a few ideas but they can get you started. If you have a sleep disorder having a conversation with your doctor to come up with more aggressive solutions might be in order. In the end it is my intention to provide you with ideas to maintain a healthy lifestyle, develop life long habits and help anyone that is also wanting to loose weight.