Optimum Sleep for Better Health (Weight Loss)
Sleep has the potential to help most people improve their overall health, inclusive of losing weight too, but not just any sleep will do. It’s important to get an adequate amount of deep sleep every night, as it is the most restorative, providing both mental and physical recovery benefits, which supports a healthy living journey; especially regarding weight-loss.
Most research indicates that less than 7 hours of sleep correlates with being heavier, gaining weight, risk of disease, cancer and struggling to lose weight. Other research suggests than 6.5 hours is a sweet spot and anything more increases inflammation, depression and mortality rates (Walker, 2017). Many experts believe that a range of six to eight hours or seven to nine hours is ideal for most people.
The right amount of sleep depends on each individual’s unique physiology. We often urge our client’s to devote time and attention toward finding what works for them, because it could make or break their ability to live happy and healthy.
Tips for Enhancing Your Sleep
Sleep Influence on Weight Loss
Sleep is the foundation needed to support exercise and healthy eating habits. When people don't get enough sleep, it can become more challenging to control behavior and inhibitions. These people might be more likely to seek pleasure in foods and replace exercise-related activities with those that offer a "quick fix" rewards, such as surfing the Internet or watching television rather than moving their bodies.
Lack of sleep strengthens the desire for rewards, which usually leads to unhealthy eating. More specifically, leptin (which decreases hunger), ghrelin (which increases hunger) and endocannabinoids (which are linked to snack cravings) are hormones that regulate appetite. When sleep volume is low, these hormones stimulate a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods.
Without enough sleep, the body is essentially in a state of duress, which can lead to eating more calories to deal with the “threat” it perceives. Also, the more time spent awake, the more time there is to consume snacks.
Another hormone, cortisol, ideally spikes in the morning, providing energy for the day, and reduces at night, encouraging sleep. When sleep habits are out of whack and stress is high, cortisol levels remain elevated, which may inhibit weight loss and disrupt sleep. A cycle of stress and sleep disruption results. Stress affects sleep and sleep affects stress, which once again makes it challenging to implement even the most well-designed program for weight loss.
Getting enough sleep and rising at a consistent time every day supports hormones to regulate appetite and food choices. We encourage our client’s to take small steps toward better sleep and be gentle with themselves. In other words, don’t let stressing about not getting enough sleep add more stress. One does not need to (and probably cannot) fix their sleep habits overnight, but doing so progressively, yet slowly is optimum.
Finding Your Optimum Sleep Pattern
Did you know you can use sleep to help yourself rid weight by rising within 30 minutes of the same time every day and getting into bed with the lights out at the same time each night? Try to experiment with eight hours of sleep per night, plus or minus 15 minutes, until you find out how much sleep you really need.
Be brutally honest about how much sleep is ideal for you. Many people believe they can get by with little sleep, when they really are not able to. When people get an adequate amount of quality sleep per night, they are more likely to have the energy to exercise and the motivation to make choices that align with their everyday goals.
Are you having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep? We encourage you to try the following tactics:
Prioritize relaxing, stress-free evening activities that help wind you down to rest
Reading a book or a chapter or two prior to drifting off is beneficial
Listening to soft music
Avoid stimulating evening activities until you get into a sleep rhythm.
Practice eliminating the use of electronics and blue spectrum light exposure before bed. (1 to 2 hours prior)
Reduce or, ideally, eliminate alcohol and caffeine prior to heading to bed. (Start with one week at a time)
Aim to finish dinner two to three hours before you get into bed.
Natural Essential Oils
We all to often take sleep for granted because it seems to "just happen" and we seem to get by without getting enough. However, research suggests that productivity increases, car accidents decreases, mental health improves and risk for disease reduces when we get the ideal amount of sleep.
Make a commitment to yourself to start getting better sleep or operating in a sleep pattern that is beneficial to your overall health; one that you can stick with consistently in the coming year and start to practice today.
CBD Oil(s) and/or Natural Essential Oils offer beneficial properties that helps to improve overall health inclusive of sleep. We recommend both of these companies because they pride themselves with taking their products straight from the farm to the bottle without adding chemicals to their processes. Hence we only want the best for you, so we only promote the best.
Who are the Longer Sleepers? Towards an understanding of the mortality relationship. Researched and Written by Michael Grandner.