Did that get your attention!! It’s true! Research shows that people who are awake more hours in the day gain weight for multiple reasons. Here’s a great article that explains this–>http://www.livestrong.com/article/119644-importance-sleep-weight-loss/
How many of you hit snooze multiple times when it goes off?? Or you have to drag yourself out of bed and the last thing you want to do is make breakfast so you decide to grab a high carb, high sodium (unhealthy) breakfast on the go?? How about rushing to work and realizing you forgot to pack a lunch?? Not a very good way to start your day now is it!?
So how do we fix this problem?? It’s pretty simple but can be challenging for most. First of all you need to change your sleep schedule. For example if you have to be at work for 8:30am that means you need to wake up at least 90 minutes before (depending on your commute) to get up, shower, make breakfast, eat breakfast, make lunch, do whatever you need to do to make yourself look presentable and head out the door to travel to work. Make sense?? Obviously if you have others you need to help get ready (i.e. kids) this requires even more time. So in order to get 8 hours of sleep that means you need to be asleep by 11pm (if waking up at 7am) so you should be winding down by 10-10:30pm. Remember the key to waking up early is getting enough sleep so you must make yourself go to bed earlier. Obviously if you start work earlier (like moi who starts at 6am twice a week) you need to get up even earlier which means going to bed even earlier. Work backwards from the time you start work, your commute, how long it takes to get ready, make breakfast etc.
This might seem really easy and almost silly of me to post about how much sleep you should be getting but one of the common problems I see with my clients is they don’t get enough sleep. It takes practice just like anything else but with consistent effort it will become automatic and you will wake up feeling rested. If your sleep doesn’t improve after a few weeks of trying to go to bed earlier you may need to see a sleep therapist for help.
It’s time to stop thinking that sleep is a luxury, it is a necessity! Benefits include improvements in concentration, short-term memory, productivity, mood, sensitivity to pain and immune function. And if you care about the way you look sleep can help you lose weight and make you appear and feel more attractive! If that’s not enough to convince you to sleep more I don’t know what will.
So the next time you are tempted to cram in one more thing (or snack) at the end of your day-RESIST! Put the chips and cookies away, shut down your computer, turn off your cell phone and the television and instead try turning down the lights an hour before bed, meditating, journaling (perhaps about the worries that are keeping you awake), reading a book (hopefully one that puts you to sleep) or listening to some relaxing music to get yourself into “sleep mode”.
Sleep is something I used to deprive myself of in the past as I started work very early and worked long days at my last job and it caught up to me quickly. I now make a conscious effort to be in bed by 10pm every night and pop out of the bed in the morning much happier with how I look in the mirror (no more bags under my eyes), I am much more productive and focused, my energy is up all day, my workouts have improved and my eating is more healthy and consistent!
Commit yourself to consistently getting more sleep and you are committing to a happier and healthier you!