Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Losing Sleep Might Hamper Your Weight Loss Efforts

We are all told how important sleep is for us, but do we really get it? It's the one time of the day where we shut off and recharge our batteries and stop doing things. But we're also told that most of us are sleep deprived. So if it's so important, and we seem to be able to make time for just about anything (including our favourite TV shows), then why can't we take an extra hour to catch up on our Z's - especially if we're trying to be healthy and lose weight.

It's hard to imagine that eating right and exercising might not be enough for some people when it comes to weight loss, but studies show that getting just a little too few hours of sleep each night can significantly hamper fat loss! For example, in one study, people who slept for 5.5 hrs lost 55% less fat than those who slept for 8.5. Lack of sleep actually makes the body stingier when it comes to using fat as fuel! That's a scary thought.

The problem, I think, is that we're so focused on getting things done, that the idea of 'not doing anything' is not high on our list of priorities. We try to squeeze way too much into every 24 hours, and if you think about it, it's a little ridiculous - OK really ridiculous. And the worst part is that very day of inadequate sleep you add on, you compound the negative health effects and take away from the benefits of sleeping, including weight loss. So, today, do something really good for yourself and tuck into bed a few hours earlier. Turn the temperature down a little so your room is cool. Just lay in bed if you can't fall asleep and read a magazine or book. Do this for a few nights and your body will get used to it, we promise. Happy sleeping!