Sleep is important for your mental health and can help you shed a few extra pounds that are circling your waistline.
A recent research study from the Harvard Medical School found that people who fail to get enough sleep suffer from hormonal disturbances that work against weight loss efforts. The culprit is the stress hormone “cortisol” that creates cravings for high carbohydrate foods and tells your body to hold onto fat stores!
Here are a few tips to help with your sleep:
Create a sound barrier. Think of your AC or heating unit as a multitasker cooling off your bedroom and blocking out unwanted noise. If you don’t have AC create an alternate source of white noise with a fan or a sound machine. There is also an app you can download to your smart phone that will give you multiple choices of soothing sounds.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Fight the urge to stay up late by honoring your year round bedtime routine even on weekends and vacations. If you veer off course don’t sleep in the next day to compensate. Instead wake up at your usual time and turn in earlier the following night.
Catch a nap or siesta. A 15 to 30 minute nap (my favorite!) can improve your mood and alertness. If you find time to snooze during the day time make sure it’s not too close to bed time, otherwise it might interfere with your night time sleep.
Exercise. Take an evening walk or do something non-intensive like stretching, yoga or Tai chi.
Any activity can help you to fall asleep faster. 76% of people who exercise describe their sleep as “very good” while only 56% of non exercises report the same. [AARP 2016 Survey]
Sleep is so important for both physical mental and emotional functions. Be good to yourself and go to bed a half hour early tonight. See how you feel after a week of doing this. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to your health and fat loss efforts!