How To Improve Your Sleep For Weight Loss
A question I was asked yesterday was – “Should I be working on my sleep?”
And the answer is – Absolutely.
So throughout the next few paragraphs, I’ll dive into a few considerations of sleep and how to improve it.
The Pattern Of Modern Sleep
So we’re all guilty of staying up late binging on a Netflix show, playing Fortnite or face-timing a pole dancer in Canada.
The next morning you wake up feeling quite woof.
(I had to work a pun in because of the dog photo).
You wake up tired, cranky and pissed off.
Breakfast isn’t going to happen because you can just about get ready for work.
Jenny in the office better not open her mouth until you’ve had your 3 cups of coffee.
And sure a croissant will do fine.
Your entire day is a drag and you cannot wait to get home to bed.
Unless the pizza delivery guy is called Jim then it ain’t happening today.
Roll on 9pm and Netflix appears back on.
Nutritional Choices While Tired
When we run low on sleep, we make poorer nutritional choices.
We tend to skip meals or opt of convenience foods.
The thoughts of cooking a dinner is a dread.
And we generally can only deal with life after we’ve had plenty of caffeine.
Another common issue is that when running on lack of sleep, we tend to be chasing our own tail.
It has been shown to cause an increase in snacking, particularly in higher calorie foods with lower nutritional value.
Sugary foods can be quite common as we feel the sugar rush will carry us through.
But if you’ve ever hung around a kids birthday party, you’ll know the sugar rush brings an hour or two of chaos before you crash and need a nap.
So one of the main factors of poor sleep patterns is the effect it has on nutritional choices AND also on calorie consumption.
The majority of articles I have read show that people who sleep less than 6 hours a night or more than 9 tend to have higher levels of fat mass.
Now this doesn’t mean if you’ve a rough week you suddenly pile on the pounds.
It’s a longer term issue.
It will also hamper your performance.
Whether that’s at work or in the gym.
And if you’re less enthusiastic and tired when it comes to working out, you will likely see diminished results long term.
How To Improve Your Sleep
Consistency – Okay, I’m going to take the form of your mother here.
But it might be useful to set a consistent bedtime and wake time.
While it can be nice to sleep in, setting regular sleep and wake times can lead to being more productive.
By building a similar pattern weekly you’ll develop better, more consistent sleep patterns.
Stimulants – So I am a lover of coffee, but if it affects how you’re sleeping then look at possibly setting a time to stop consuming caffeine.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, then try to avoid drinking it too late into the evening as it will inhibit your ability to fall asleep.
Exercise – Like you do to kids, you send them outside running about while you declare “I tell ya they’ll sleep tonight”.
Maybe try it yourself?
Exercise is a great way to blow the cobwebs off your day and can help you sleep more at night.
It is also a big factor when it comes to looking and feeling great!
Light – When it comes to getting good quality sleep, I do recommend having your room as dark as possible.
So try and avoid artificial lights like TV’s etc.
This way your body will begin to recognise it’s time to sleep.
(Unless you’ve the fear after a big weekend, otherwise leave the light on and have the bible at the bedside).
Relaxation Routine – This has been the best factor for my own sleep.
By the end of the day, you can feel very wound up and can find it hard to get your brain to switch off.
So try and develop a relaxation routine.
Something that will help you wind down.
Definitely avoid TV and phone screens 30 minutes before sleep as the screens stimulate brain activity which will inhibit you falling asleep.
For me, I like to switch all off and read a book until I wake up at 7am with a page stuck to my face.
I would advise to stick towards more fun, comedy stuff too later in evenings so you don’t go to bed while questioning how they get the figs into the fig rolls.
Hot showers/baths are also useful to relax and unwind.
Apparently sex is also a great relaxant, however; I tend to cry a lot after.
Build a pattern to your sleep so you can perform and feel good daily
Recognise what is driving poor nutritional choices.
Appreciate that it’s a work in progress and it will take time.
Try things out and see what works.
Hope you enjoyed this.