Your sleep patterns have a huge impact on your eating habits and your body’s chemistry; recent studies show that those who sleep less tend to weigh more. This doesn’t mean that all you have to do to lose weight is get a good night’s sleep; but it does show how important it is to take care of yourself in every way, including getting the rest you need. So here are a few ways to help you get enough sleep.
Put Tomorrow’s Worries Away for the Evening
Many folks toss and turn when they get in bed at night because they’re thinking about all the things they have to do tomorrow or they’re still figuring out how to solve a work problem. Some folks mentally list where the kids need to go and what groceries to get while trying to fall asleep. In this economy, many people’s financial worries creep into their thoughts at night. You need to tell your brain it’s time to shut down; your healthy weight loss program depends on it. Take a few minutes prior to bedtime to write down your To Do list for the next day. Write down your ideas about how to handle that problem at work. Make your grocery list. Do this in your office or the living room, but not your bedroom. When you’re done with your lists, leave them on your desk for the next day. Walk away from them literally and figuratively. This should give you a sense of control; you have a handle on tomorrow’s goals, so now you can relax. Your brain doesn’t have to work anything out, so it can just go to sleep and get the rest you need to stay on your diet plan.
Read in Bed Before You Turn Out the Light
If you’re an avid reader, this should sound pleasant to you. Bring your current book to the pillow with you and indulge in your favorite activity while your body settles into the mattress. This gives you some down time to enjoy and relax, while the repetitive eye movement can help make you sleepy. This also gives your mind something else to think about as you drift off. Your library card could be a helpful addition to your healthy weight loss program!
Take a Warm Bath To Relax You at Bedtime
Sometimes just getting our bodies to relax can be difficult, even if we’re really tired. So encourage your body to find a restful place by creating your own spa time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music and slip into a warm bath. Heat makes your stressed out muscles expand and lengthen and the sense of floating will lighten your mood. Make sure you have a comfy, plush towel to wrap yourself into when you’re done. Doing this right before bedtime can help you get the sleep you need to stay healthy and feel good all day long.
Don’t Eat Right Before You Go To Sleep
This sets your body into motion to do the work of digestion. It’s harder to fall asleep when your body is working hard and the quality of your sleep can be impaired. Instead, eat a healthy dinner at least 3 – 4 hours before bedtime. Many people also find that not eating after 6 pm helps them shed some pounds.
Avoid Caffeine, Cigarettes and Alcoholic Beverages in the Evening
Though a lot of people have a glass of wine before bed because they think it helps them sleep, this is a myth. These three substances have been shown to disrupt your sleep cycle. Of course, no healthy diet plan includes cigarettes, but if you’re having trouble quitting, at least set the standard that you won’t smoke within 4 hours of going to bed.
The good news is that regular exercise should already be a part of any healthy weight loss program. Exerting yourself daily will give you more energy during the day but will allow for deep rest during the night because you body will need to replenish itself.
Every healthy diet plan should incorporate the right foods, some exercise and the right amount of sleep. So remember to embrace a new lifestyle that emphasizes taking care of yourself in every way you can. Make sure you have healthy foods that support weight loss in your home, a good pad of paper on which to jot down tomorrow’s worries, a good book, a determined attitude, a solid support system and eight hours of sleep a night. As you begin to lose weight and see the results you’re looking for, you’ll be glad you made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle.