No matter where you live it’s getting harder and harder to get quality sleep. Stamford, CT is no different. While it’s hard to get a good night’s rest, it’s certainly worth it. It helps boost your energy the following day, makes your work easier and helps prevent health issues. Studies show that lack of sleep not only can affect your heart, it also may make losing weight more difficult and gaining weight easier.
How does lack of sleep make you fat?
Your body has two hormones that dictate when you feel full or when you’re hungry. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. It’s the reason to eat slowly, to ensure it has time to signal the brain. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. When you lack sleep the body shuts down the leptin hormone and boosts the production of the hunger hormone. It even happens when you get poor sleep quality. To make matters worse, when you’re tired, you tend to crave sugary treats to boost your energy level, adding more pounds as you do.
Create a sleep schedule and stick with it.
Getting in touch with your body’s natural sleep-cycle and working with it is important. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time, even on the weekend. You might think you’ll catch up on sleep by sleeping in Saturdays, but you’ll just confuse your body. If you have insomnia, don’t take a nap the next day. Try to tough it out until bedtime. If you can’t function without a nap, keep it short—10 to 20 minutes. If you feel drowsy after dinner, get up and take a walk to stick with the sleep schedule.
Shut off all electronic devises and make the room dark.
Your body’s sleep-wake cycle is regulated by melatonin that comes from light exposure. When it’s dark, the brain makes it. Then you feel tired and sleepy. When you’re exposed to light, the body makes less of it to keep you active and alert. Use that information to your advantage and keep your bedroom dark. Even bright screens on phones, TVs and computers can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. If you must watch TV before bed, don’t watch ones that are stimulating. Choose ones that relax you. Shut the curtains to block light and don’t read books on devices that have their own light source like e-readers. If nature calls in the middle of the night, try to avoid using bright lights. Have a nightlight in the bathroom and/or the hallway leading to the bathroom.
- Get plenty of exercise. Exercise not only helps relieve stress, it helps you sleep sounder. That deep sleep is important for good health. Make sure your exercise ends at least three hours before bedtime.
- It takes time for exercise to give the full benefit of good sleep, so stick with the program. You might find that sore muscles keep you awake at first, but that goes away quickly.
- When you get up in the morning, pull back the shades and expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible immediately. Even drinking coffee by a sunny window area helps.
- Spend more time in the sun and get as much natural sunlight as possible. Take a walk outside on your break or go for a walk at lunch time to increase the time you spend in the sun.