How can sleep support weight loss?

By author photo Megan Alsford

health

Being in sync with your Circadian Rhythm can support your well being and sleeping well over night is just one way to achieve this balance. In fact, getting 7-8 hours sleep each night (and for some people it’s even more) can have a positive impact on your mood, concentration, memory and even weight.

So is getting enough good quality sleep the missing piece of the weight loss puzzle? Before you jump into bed in the hope you’ll wake up lighter, simply sleeping more won’t make you lose weight. But, a good night sleep on most nights will support your weight loss efforts as when you’re sleep deprived, your body may work against you as sleep deprivation can negatively impact your health.

Poor sleep can impact your weight in several ways:
  • May interfere with appetite hormones
  • You may reach more for foods high in kilojoules to boost your energy
  • If you’re tired, you may not feel like doing your activity
  • If you’re tired and grumpy you may want more comfort foods that tend to be higher in kilojoules.

More benefits of getting a great nights sleep.

 

5 tips for a good night’s sleep

  1. Set a bedtime alarm

Netflix binges, YouTube rabbit holes or cross word puzzle fixes can make staying up late easy. Work backwards from the time you need to get up and set an alarm that gives you at least 7 hours sleep to remind you to go to bed on time.

  1. Create a bedtime ritual

Winding down from a busy day can be challenging but finding relaxation strategies that work for you might help. Try turning off your TV and other screens, having a calming caffeine free tea (chamomile works for me), guided sleep meditation or reading a book. Whatever relaxation you choose, the trick is finding something you can stick to most nights.

  1. Put phones to bed (in their own room)

Keep your room smartphone and smart watch free. Not only can they interfere with your sleep with alerts and flashing lights but bright screen light can increase alertness making it harder to fall asleep and affect the quality of your sleep.

  1. Rest your tummy

If your tummy is busy digesting food, it might keep you up at night, but you also don’t want to go to bed too hungry as it’s a long break before you have your breakfast. Try and aim for a 2-3 hour gap between your last meal and your bedtime. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this then try having your largest meal during the day and save dinner time for a light meal. Following our Rapid Results program can help with timing of your meals.

  1. Get extra support

If you feel you’ve tried many things to sleep better and you still struggle, you may benefit from speaking to your doctor. This is particularly true if you feel exceptionally tired during the day, have severe snoring, wake multiple times at night or if you constantly wake up feeling tired even if you slept for 8 hours.

 

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