Weight Loss and Sleep

by : Leah Watson

Here's a startling fact; according to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 70% of American Women report sleep problems at least some nights.

With the busy lifestyle many women face, balancing career and family, this is no big surprise. Many accept sleep deprivation as a way of life. But if you are trying to lose weight, this can have detrimental effects on your progress.

This is because when you are awake for longer periods of time, your body's metabolism is affected and this causes you to feel hungry. Your body is trying to gain the energy needed to function that it would have received from a good night sleep. Even if you have consumed a normal amount of food, your body will still feel hungry because of hormones such as cortisol and leptin, which regulate your appetite. These hormones have shown to be affected negatively by sleep loss.

This is why getting the right amount of sleep is so important to achieve your weight loss goals. Of course, many of you are now saying to yourselves, easier said than done.

It's true; our modern lifestyles have made getting consistent and regular sleep much more difficult than it should be. And even for people who do have a sleep schedule, they often have problems with falling asleep, staying asleep, and feeling unrested in the morning.

Here are some tips that should help you with these problems:

    - Don't eat before bed; this gives you excess energy you don't need.

    - Get up at the same time everyday, even weekends; this will regulate your sleep schedule.

    - Go to bed only when you can fall asleep; even if for the first week or two you go to bed late, by getting up at the same time everyday, your body will eventually adjust.

    - Drop caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol; this should be obvious :)

    - Exercise regularly; you will then be tired at the end of the day, and rest better.

Try these methods, and you should see your weight loss efforts improve dramatically when you are well rested; not to mention you will feel much better in general!