When we embark on a weight loss journey it’s natural to focus on what we eat, how often we exercise and ensuring that we are drinking enough fluids… simple right?
Well not exactly!
Our body also needs something that is crucial for weight loss and it’s often overlooked or not mentioned by weight loss ‘experts’.
So what is the missing ingredient? The one thing that you can easily adjust yourself and it doesn’t break the bank, cause an injury or make you sweat.
The answer is ‘sleep’. Getting enough shut eye is vital to losing weight and also maintaining optimum health. We’ve become so busy that we often feel we need to squeeze every last minute out of our day. Our ‘busy-ness’ is costing us in the form of extra centimetres around our waistline and this leaves us lacking the energy we need to make good food choices.
It’s a vicious cycle, when we feel tired we drink more coffee and rely on sugar to give us energy when we really need to be alert to keep in tune with our inner health goals. When we feel tired we are less likely to do the exercise we need to help shift those extra kilos… sound familiar?
So how much sleep do we ‘really’ need?
It’s often said that we need 8 hours a night sleep but some of us need more than this and the time we goto bed is also very important. Often our busy-ness means we never truly find out how much sleep our body ideally needs.
Here are 7 tips for getting the right amount of sleep to aid weight loss:
– Avoid caffeine after 3pm, caffeine lingers in our system and often we don’t realise how much it has hit us until we are lying in bed at 11pm wide awake.
– Keep away from sugary drinks (including wine) and heavy foods like bread and pasta in the evening. These foods make our digestive system work harder overnight rather than letting our body rest and recover.
– Aim for a 10pm bedtime (at the latest) most nights, research shows that the time between 10pm and midnight is the best time to achieve a deep sleep – think of this time as your hours of power!
– Shut down screens and phones at least one hour before bed-time so when you get into bed you fall asleep quickly.
– Don’t drink too much water before bed, getting up several times in the night to goto the toilet is a good sign that you are drinking too much before bed-time.
– Take advantage of cat-naps at any opportunity, an half an hour recharge is incredibly good for boosting energy levels and can make an amazing difference to our waistline.
– Start a Gratitude Journal and each evening before bed write down one thing you are thankful for that happened that day. Going to sleep feeling grateful and calm makes it much easier to drift off to sleep.
Have you discovered how much sleep you need each night for your own health yet? If you would like to achieve optimal health it’s so important that you address this area of your life, I hope these tips help you!