So I’ve talked a lot over the past few months about food and exercise and their impact on not just weight management but overall health and wellbeing, so I thought this time I would mix it up a little and look at the importance of sleep.
I’m not talking about just getting an early night to make sure you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the next day, I’m sure we are all well aware of the impact a poor night’s sleep has on our mood and productivity.
Let’s look at the good stuff, how does sleep affect our weight! There have been numerous studies looking at the association of sleep and obesity and they have shown that short sleep duration is significantly associated with more body fat. Yikes, that’s worrying when the National Sleep Foundation reports that many people only sleep for 5-6 hours a night.
Let’s add to that now with more studies that show acute sleep deprivation appears to increase hunger, it has been found that the region of the brain stimulated by food is increasingly activated when sleep is restricted, basically meaning that you are more likely to over eat when you are tired!
I don’t know about you but that’s all I need to hear to convince me that a good night’s sleep is a must when it comes to weight management. So what can we do to promote a better night’s sleep?
- Firstly get comfortable, your bedroom needs to be somewhere you actually want to be! If your bed is uncomfortable or the room is too hot or cold then getting to sleep is going to be more difficult.
- Relax! Watching television may seem like a way to unwind at the end of the day but it can actually hinder your sleep as it stimulates the brain and the same can be said for being on the computer or mobile phone, so turn off the soaps and don’t be tempted to answer any emails. Taking a bath before bed is a great way to relax and unwind!
- Get regular exercise! Ok so I had to get exercise into the blog somewhere! But exercising during the day can actually promote better sleep just don’t do it right before bed as this might inhibit you from falling asleep.
Hopefully you have some top tips for a peaceful night sleep tonight and for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Rachel, our resident nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.