Prevent Obesity with a Smart Sleeping Strategy
How to get sleep – a restful good night’s sleep” – is the focus of this week’s challenge. The simple 3-step habit change that is outlined below will help you to “jumpstart” healthy sleeping habits.
For some of you this simple habit change might not be enough. That’s why I’ve prepared a 3 week action plan to take your sleeping rituals to the next level. Learn more about it at the end of this post.
Less sleep leads to more obesity
An ever-increasing number of studies directly connect sleep deprivation and obesity ((Markwald, R.R. et al., 2013, pub. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci.- Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain.
)). There is clearly a cause-effect relationship.
Inadequate sleep boosts levels of ghrelin, an appetite-promoting hormone and decreases levels of leptin, a satiety-promoting hormone ((Spiegel, K et al, 2004, pub. Ann. Intern. Med – Sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels)). Additionally, insomnia is linked to type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, and strokes.
How many hours of sleep are enough?
The amount of sleep an individual requires varies by person and by age. Babies need 16 hours of sleep, toddlers need 12 hours, and the average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per day.
Starting in middle age, falling asleep takes longer and night time waking is more common, especially in men related to an enlarged prostate (BPH).
Consistently sleeping 7-8 hours per night supports optimal health and the production of “leptin” (the satiety hormone).
How much do you sleep?
Do you sleep fewer than 7 hours? Is daytime fatigue a problem? Consider getting more sleep. The strategies listed below can help you to get more sleep. Those of you who sleep 7-8 hours per night may skip this challenge and continue intensifying the previous challenges.
Establishing a bedtime ritual is very helpful. The body and mind need time to unwind.
Finish eating at least two hours before bedtime. One hour before bedtime, turn off the TV or the computer. Brush and floss your teeth. This type of ritual tells your mind that it’s time to sleep, and your body takes this reminder and begins to prepare itself.
Here is a simple 3-step habit change that helps you to get enough sleep:
In order to sleep 7-8 hours per night, use the following guidelines:
Step 1: Finishing dinner should trigger that it is getting close to bedtime
Step 2: Develop the routine of finish eating at least two hours before bedtime, and no later than 9 p.m. start unwinding afterwards.
Step 3: After practicing this ritual for one week, consider an appropriate reward. For example: You could buy yourself an inexpensive reward such as a relaxing magazine or book for attaining this goal.
Do you want to take “how to get to sleep” to the next level? Click here to find more ways to get to sleep.
How to get sleep: What is your sleeping secret
Are already sleeping well? Let us know what you do for a goodnight’s sleep in the comment section below