Whether you’re beginning your weight loss journey in 2012 or continuing to fight the good fight, we’ve got a tip for you that could help you lose weight and get healthier at a faster pace: a good night’s sleep.
Sleep? Isn’t that the opposite of exercise, dieting, and all the hard work of losing weight? Not necessarily. In fact, a WebMD article by Dr. Michael J. Breus shows that your body needs healthy sleep to lose weight—sleep loss and weight loss just don’t mix.
Dr. Brues writes that sleep loss affects how your body secretes cortisol, a hormone which governs your appetite, so you’ll crave foods you don’t need. Furthermore, a lack of proper sleep can prevent your body from metabolizing carbs, which leads to higher blood sugar, overproduction of insulin, and fat gain—a process which can point you in the direction of diabetes.
The article outlines a few ways in which you can prepare for relaxing, rejuvenating, and weight loss-friendly sleep:
- Don’t go to bed hungry. Eat dinner close enough to bedtime to where you won’t be hungry, but don’t go to bed on a full stomach, either.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Stay away from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the evenings, and try to make your bedroom as dark as possible.
- Relax. Develop a relaxing nightly routine. You might take a warm bath, read for a few minutes, or have your spouse give you a massage.
How valuable is a good night’s sleep to you? How do you make sure you’re getting one? Let us know in the comments!