Helpful Tips on Improving your Sleep

Helpful Tips on Improving your Sleep

Consider the phrase, “weight loss strategies,” and it may bring to mind images of long jogs, mystery powder dusted over raw eggs in a blender, or jumping on the scale every morning.  Chances are, getting a good night sleep isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.  A quick Google search will reveal several studies that highlight just how significant 8 hours of sleep a night is to weight loss.  The following strategies will help you wind down your day and improve the quality of your sleep.

Media silence: Television shows, commercials, and websites are all designed to keep your attention, which can stimulate your brain.  Instead, opt for activities that cut the cord on electronic devices as much as possible 1-2 hours prior to sleep.  If you have a reader with web access commit to limited surfing and focus only on the book.

Create a parking lot: If you are having a difficult time turning your mind off at the end of the day, PARK IT!  Keep a note pad next to your bed and write down any issue that comes to mind with the intention of dealing with it the following day.  Understand that there is nothing you can do about this issue now, no matter how much you worry.  Tell yourself you need a good night sleep.

Reduce ups and downs: While it is obvious that caffeine is a stimulant and should be avoided before bedtime, you may not be aware of the different foods it can be found in.  Take a look at the piece of chocolate you have every night before bed – it may have just enough caffeine in it to keep you tossing and turning.  While alcohol is classified as a depressant it does have a stimulating effect when consumed in small amounts.  Alcohol consumption within an hour of your bedtime also disrupts the sleep cycle resulting in a less restful night sleep.

Exercise: The more active you stay throughout the day, the better you will sleep at night.  Think about those days where you are running to meetings, moving from place to place…at the end of the day you are exhausted.  Regular exercise pushes your body to a place where it wants to sleep and rejuvenate in response to depleted reserves.

A good night sleep is as significant as balanced nutrition and regular exercise when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.  If you have had difficulty in the past reducing your waistline or you have hit a plateau in your current progress, a good night sleep might be the missing puzzle piece.  If you can’t commit to improving your sleep regimen now, please promise to “sleep on it.”