A good night’s sleep may be something you only dream about (no pun intended). This can be extremely frustrating! If you suffer from poor sleep, you likely know the common problems this causes such as fatigue, inability to concentrate, low libido, headaches and irritability. However, from a weight loss perspective, there is a lot more going on when you don’t get a good 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Studies show that lack of proper sleep may put you at risk for weight gain and the development of obesity. As a quick summary, it contributes to higher levels of ghrelin (which stimulates your hunger), lower levels of leptin (which suppresses your appetite), increased evening concentrations of cortisol (which promotes the development of insulin resistance – a risk factor for obesity and diabetes). Thus, lack of adequate sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. In fact, according to a pasat study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.
So how can you get a good night’s sleep? 3 strategies that will help you do just that are: routine, exercise and helpful supplements.
As my wife and children can attest, I am a very “routine” oriented guy. In fact, that’s a common trait among many surgeons (which is really important when it comes to our expertise in the operating room). Not only does this help in the field of medicine, it helps me personally to get a good night’s sleep (except when duty calls at work or at home). No matter when I get home, I make sure I have had a good work-out that day. I follow the same adequate protein/controlled carbohydrate way of eating that we teach our patients. I complete any additional work that needs to be done and do everything I can to have completed my evening regime so I am quietly reading by 9:30pm (I love to read) and lights out around 10 or 10:30pm. For me, this routine helps me get a good night’s sleep and studies show that an evening routine along with the following tips will help you get a good night’s sleep:
1. Set a regular sleep schedule (I know this is hard but just give it a try).
2. Create your own relaxing bedtime routine (read a book or magazine, take a warm bath, listen to music, stretch, make your plan and simple preparations for the next day)
3. Eat right (follow the guidelines set forth at CFWLS and exercise
4. Make sure you have a comfortable bed and pillow
5. Keep your bedroom cool with few distractions
6. Consider having your hormones checked (you can do this easily at CFWLS or Center for Hormone Health and Wellness (www.centerforhormonehealthandwellness.com)
7. Consider evening supplements
Yes – sleep is that important! It’s time to feel your best so you are ready to conquer the day – no matter what your age.