You eat right, you exercise, you take vitamins, but you still aren’t losing weight or feeling that great. So what’s missing? It could be something more important to your body than food: SLEEP!
According to recent studies, sleep may be as crucial to weight loss as diet and exercise. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, the hormones that control hunger and satiety become out of balance, causing you to want to eat more. One study even found that women who were well rested weighed 10 pounds less than their sleep deprived counterparts.
And while insomnia sufferers know that they are missing sleep, many disrupted sleepers may not even realize that they aren’t getting a full night’s rest. So what can you do to make sure this isn’t happening to you?
Here are seven ways to improve the quality of your sleep tonight:
- Get up earlier, and at the same time, every morning (even on weekends). Sorry, for all of you weekend sleep-in-ers out there, but an irregular sleep schedule doesn’t help you make up sleep; it makes things worse. Try setting your alarm 30-45 minutes earlier in the mornings to help make yourself drowsier earlier in the evening. And be sure to stick with your final wake up time every day for the best quality sleep.
- Cut out caffeine after 11 a.m. Did you know that caffeine can stay in your system for up to 14 hours? Do yourself a favor and skip that 3 p.m. coffee, and after a few days of real quality sleep, you probably won’t even want it anymore.
- Stretch out before heading to bed. Stretching is a relaxing ritual that can help your body and mind unwind before settling into bed. Play some soft music, light some candles, and just take a few minutes to stretch and relax.
To see four more tips for getting enough sleep, head over to the Ten Pounds DOWN! community group. While there, why not post your own weight loss tips? We might feature your posts on the FitSugar homepage!