Have you noticed that when you are tired you tend to eat more? If you are trying to lose weight make sure you are practicing healthy sleep habits by getting enough hours of sleep at night. The truth is that sleep and metabolism go hand-in-hand, since lack of sleep can alter your hormonal balance. This can lead to an increase in appetite by causing you to eat bigger portions of foods and snacking more which translates into extra pounds. So tonight and every night aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep to establish healthy sleep habits.
Here are seven healthy sleep habits from The National Sleep Foundation:
Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes.
Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, fitting in a short nap of 20-30 minutes during your day is a healthy sleep habit can help to improve mood, alertness and performance.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.
Poor sleep hygiene includes consuming stimulants like caffeine and nicotine right before bed, which tell your body to wake up versus rest.
And when it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. While alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
Exercise to promote good quality sleep.
As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality. For the best night’s sleep and to practice good sleep hygiene, most people should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.
Steer clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep.
Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion for some people. When this occurs close to bedtime, it can lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.
Ensure adequate exposure to natural light.
This is particularly important for individuals who may not venture outside frequently. Practice good sleep habits by ensuring that you get ample exposure to sunlight during the day, as well as darkness at night, which will help to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine.
A regular nightly routine is a healthy sleep habit that helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches. When possible, try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before attempting to sleep.
Make sure that your sleep environment is pleasant.
Mattress and pillows should be comfortable. The bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees – for optimal sleep. Bright light from lamps, cell phone and TV screens can make it difficult to fall asleep, so turn those lights off or adjust them when possible. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices that can make the bedroom more relaxing and help you maintain good sleeping habits.
As you can see, sleep and metabolism work together to keep your body healthy. We hope that these seven healthy sleep habits will help you improve your metabolism. If you are still having trouble losing weight, contact us at our San Diego weight loss clinic to see how we can help.