Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Good Night's Sleep is Important to Weight Loss and Fitness

This week's Weight Watchers Weekly (a booklet that members attending meeting receive) introduces us to "The Sleep-Weight Loss Connection" as this months "routine" to work on. This is something that I have tried working on several times in my journey. I know how important it is to get a good night's sleep for weight loss and fitness, but knowing it has not been enough to practice it. I have always been somewhat of a night owl (not in a "party animal" kind of way), my body just seems to function better late in the day; and I have NEVER been a morning person. I work, so I have to try to be a morning person. I even try to get to the gym at least a few days a week in the morning, but a good night's sleep still seems to elude me.

The featured article (sorry, it's not online, otherwise I would link it; I'm willing to scan and share if you send me an e-mail) offers 6 simple ways to get more sleep; and I offer my $0.02/insight:
  1. Schedule your bed time - suggests setting an alarm for 30 minutes before its time for bed. I've never tried this, may have to see if this works
  2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep haven - "It should be cool, quiet, dark and comfortable...” suggests removing television, computer, etc. from bedroom. Remove the TV, sacrilege! While, in theory, this makes total sense to me, it would be hard to put into practice, especially when you share your bedroom with your spouse.
  3. Plan your menu – again, menu planning has been a struggle for me, but I am getting better. The article suggests snacking should stop 2-3 hours before bedtime; I like to have a lite snack with tea at bedtime, guess I shouldn’t
  4. Get some exercise during the day – “Regular activity can lead to sound sleep at night.” So this is one I have been doing regularly.
  5. Nix daytime naps – makes total sense, one I definitely try to do; but there are days that I am way too tired, and I do nap ~ hmmm, could be the problem
  6. Relax – suggests soaking bath, reading, or listening to music; sounds like music to my ears
Other suggestions made in the weekly were:
  • No caffeine in the afternoon – definitely, I’ve learned the hard way, no more 3pm coffee for me.
  • Eye masks, earplugs and whit-noise machines – with the exception of the white-noise machine, I already do this; an eye mask and ear plug have been a great help.
So I guess I still have some things to work on in the sleep department. One thing that I find does help is my nightly tea, I drink Celestial Season’s Sleepytime, but any non-caffeinated, relaxing tea would also work.
There was not a link to the weekly, but I did find a great WW article: Sleep and its Role in Weight Management, which does address the importance of sleep and its correlation to weight loss.
I hope this information is helpful to some of you.  Wishing you all a good sleep!!!

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