I went shopping for a new mattress this weekend. In preparation for the big purchase, I had to consider how my own sleeping habits have changed over the years. How much I sleep, the quality of my sleep and how the consistent lack of sleep can contribute to other health concerns. In particular, the way that sleep may affect weight loss – and weight gain.
A 2004 WebMD feature article written by Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM speaks in depth about the negative effects that sleep deprivation can have on efforts to lose weight:
“Studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet suggests that sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the body’s metabolism, which may make it more difficult to maintain or lose weight.” Read more…
Can’t Sleep? Here are 10 Tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime.
7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
8. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake.
9. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). Used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep.
10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
For more helpful information on getting a better night’s sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation website and learn more about ‘Healthy Sleeping Tips’.