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Time To Hit the Hay and Sleep for Weight Loss

Zzzzzz…

Hey, wake up!

Hunh? why?

Because I want to talk to you about a great way to help you lose weight!

Oh yeah, what’s that?

Through sleeping!

groan… Wake me up when you have another brilliant idea from cloud nine.


IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

For those of you trying to jam in one more workout, that last report, just a few more emails, or… STOP! If weight reduction is a goal, or in fact proper health at all, then you need to read this article.  Our bodies are not machines. They require adequate sleep, which consists of approximately 7-8 hours of sleep each night. While some people need more, and a few can get by on less, a regular and consistent sleep schedule is key to maintaining proper health and can even lead to weight loss.

 

BENEFITS OF SLEEP IN WEIGHT REDUCTION

Weight loss you say?

Why yes, research is beginning to support the idea of sleeping as a form of weight control. You cannot exactly drop 20 pounds as you drool on your pillows every night, but if you aren’t getting those precious and needed zzz’s, then you might find the pounds starting to creep up on you. That is primarily because our bodies are regulated by hormones. While we are sleeping, our bodies are regulated by the sleep hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is an active hormone that tells us when to be active and go, go, go. When your body is sleep deprived it creates more ghrelin, keeping us more active and also hungry for more. Leptin, on the other hand, is the hormone that tells us when to go to bed, as well as decreases appetite. We produce less leptin when we are tired. The combination  of more ghrelin (eat) and less leptin (stop eating) equals weight gain. Compound that with the fact that our metabolism slows down when we are tired, and your body just cannot keep up.

 

EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REGULATE SLEEP

We all crawl into bed every night, but some of us sleep better than others. If you want to improve your sleep habits in the hope that you might say goodbye to a pound or two, take a look at your bedtime routines. Here are some suggestions for giving you the best chance at receiving those precious 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

  • Set a regular schedule of when you get up in the morning & when you call your day done. A regular sleep schedule helps your body to regulate  its 24-hr clock and thus get a better night’s sleep.
  • Try not to eat before bedtime. While sometimes having a light snack before bed can’t be helped, heavy meals are a no-no. This includes alcohol, caffeine and even some people’s precious nicotine.
  • Avoid heavy exercise routines right before bed. While any exercise is great, exercising right before bedtime increase endorphins. There are some that can get away with it, but for the rest of us, give yourself some down time.
  • Create a sleep routine. No naps after mid-afternoon (3pm). Turn off all of your electronics about an hour before you plan to go to sleep (yes, that means TV, laptop and even your blackberry). Have a bath to unwind. Release all the days worries into a notebook to allow your brain to stop actively puzzling over them.
  • Create a sleep haven. Darken the lights, reduce the noise, turn down the temperature and make sure your space is reserved exclusively for sleeping (no work allowed!).

You might still have nights when sleep is elusive, but by creating a regular routine at bedtime, your body will respond. If you can’t sleep, read a book until you are drowsy, then turn out the light. The other bonus is that the fridge is all the way down the hall, so snacking is that much harder. Sleep well!

If you need further help with your weight loss goals, Premier Fitness Camp is a great place to turn. This five-star weight loss camp has helped thousands of clients attain their weight and lifestyle goals. Isn’t it time you met yours?

 

SOURCES

http://caloriecount.about.com/does-sleep-loss-mean-weight-gain-b519382
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52027
http://www.shape.com/health/family-health/everyday-solutions/how-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep

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