Eating right, exercising daily but not seeing weight loss results? Have you considered that it could be the amount of sleep that you are – or are not – getting? It’s an easily overlooked factor in our dieting efforts as we, as a culture, simply don’t give sleep a high priority.
We talk about it a lot. We complain about being tired. We buy all the right bedding and special pillows. However, when it comes down to it, we don’t actually try as hard as we think we do when it comes to winding down and resting at night. As a result, many of us are not seeing weight loss progress we otherwise would.
The reason is that sleep plays a very important role in our efforts to lose excess body fat. The amount of rest we get on a regular basis can determine what we want to eat, how much, how much we exercise, how we perform during workouts, how stressed we are, and many other weight-influencing factors. Therefore, when we don’t get enough sleep, we’re also likely not seeing weight loss results we think we should.
The key is to start focusing on getting more sleep. To do that, consider establishing a much more solid bedtime routine using the following techniques:
Have a bedtime
Remember when your mother used to put you to bed at the exact same time every night? It’s time to start putting that rule back into place. Going to bed at the same time every night helps you to set your body’s natural clock. Over time, you will start getting tired as your bedtime approaches and will find it much easier to fall asleep sooner.
Have a waking time
Just as you put yourself to bed at the same time every night, you should also get up at the same time every morning. This will only reinforce your body’s natural clock for sleeping and waking. Keep up this routine regardless of whether it’s a weekday, a weekend or a holiday. Over time, you may even be able to keep it up without using an alarm clock. Your body will just tell you when to sleep and wake.
Wind down for an hour before bed
About an hour before bed, start turning off screens, dimming room lighting and taking part in calm activities. This will help to make you restful both physically and mentally.