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Sleep and Weight: How Important Is Sleep to Lose Weight?

Get more sleep if you are trying to lose weight

If we asked you what healthy behaviors are most important for weight loss, sleep may not immediately come to mind. Instead, you would probably answer that diet and exercise lead to weight loss.

Those things are important, yes, but sleep and losing weight also go hand in hand.

Are you getting the sleep you need to avoid weight gain?

Or are you suffering from sleep deprivation without even knowing it?

You might not be getting enough sleep. If so, you are not alone. Roughly one in every four U.S. adults report lack of sleep or rest at least 15 days every month.

What Results from Prolonged Sleep Loss?

Poor sleep impacts hormone changes in your body that affect your appetite and fullness. That can lead to impulsive, unhealthy food choices, and ultimately weight gain.

Can You Lose Weight by Sleeping?

If you’re not getting a good amount of sleep per night, it could be hindering your weight loss efforts. When it comes to your overall health, sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise.

5 Strategies to Managing Sleep and Weight Loss

To help you sleep and lose weight, here are five strategies/health tips that will get you “REM-ing it up” in no time:

1. Set the Stage for Sleep

There is a good chance you’re reading this blog on some sort of screen (computer or mobile device). The light from your screen suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. As a result, you may encounter sleep deprivation - difficulty falling and staying asleep.

SLEEP STRATEGY:

Try making the 30-45 minutes leading up to bedtime screen-free. Doing so could make it easier to fall asleep and help you sleep longer.


2. Consistent Activity

The time of day you exercise does not matter as much as consistency with an activity routine.

People who workout regularly or engage in some type of physical activity sleep better and for longer periods of time than those who don’t. While you sleep, your body is hard at work releasing hormones that rebuild and revitalize muscles and joints.

More hours snoozing equals more hours for your body to repair itself!

SLEEP STRATEGY:

A Profile coach can help you incorporate or increase your physical activity. Keep your body moving and your mind motivated during your workout by creating a playlist of tunes that get you moving! Or add simple strength training movements into your routine with our suggested bodyweight and resistance band exercises that are perfect for all fitness levels.


3. Less caffeine = More sleep

Caffeine can be a sleep killer. It should be no surprise that something that wakes you up can make it more difficult to go to sleep. For most people, caffeine wears off in about five or six hours.

SLEEP STRATEGY:

Depending on when you fall asleep, count backward five to six hours from your bedtime and cut out caffeine at that time.

Not sure you can avoid that 4 P.M. pick me up? Consider a cup of half-caf or decaf to reduce the amount of caffeine you’re consuming. If you’re a coffee-lover, try our Mocha Frap recipe for the yummy taste without the caffeine.


4. Nap Wisely - Don’t Sleep too Long

Contrary to popular belief, a long nap does not make up for lack of sleep at night. Give yourself a sleep restriction. Napping is fine as long as the nap does not exceed 30-45 minutes. After that, you’re treading into “deep sleep” territory and will likely wake up feeling groggy and more tired than when your nap began.

SLEEP STRATEGY:

To avoid negatively influencing nighttime sleep, it is good for naps to happen sometime before mid-afternoon. Set an alarm for your nap, so you do not end up oversleeping.


5. Get in the Sleep Zone

Establishing some type of routine or ritual before bedtime can help prepare your body for sleep and a full night’s rest. Some routines that promote sleepiness include:

  • Taking a hot bath or shower
  • Reading (the old-fashioned way: no screens, please)
  • Gentle stretching
  • Journaling
  • Drinking a hot cup of decaf tea
  • Meditation

SLEEP STRATEGY:

Take a few minutes to write down your current weekday and weekend sleep routine. Begin with one item on that list that you would like to change and brainstorm a replacement activity that you think could better prepare you for sleep that you would be willing to try.

Getting adequate shut-eye improves cognitive function, increases your ability to cope with stress, and helps you better manage your body weight. If poor sleep habits have prevented you from getting a good night’s sleep, it’s time to wake up!


 

How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need to Lose Weight and Reduce Body Fat?

While sleeping a certain number of hours per night does not guarantee weight loss, getting anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep a night will help you burn body fat and calories while you snooze, and leave you feeling rested and awake when the alarm goes off.

 

Download our Resource About Weight Loss and Sleep

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We are so excited to now share a great resource our awesome coaches put together to help you avoid sleep deprivation and weight gain. They’re calling it the ULTIMATE guide on sleep for weight loss! It is filled with education and easy tips you can apply to start slumbering the night away with some high-quality Zzz’s. A good night’s sleep is just a read away!

Once you’ve discovered what is standing between you and the ultimate snooze fest, you can get to work on removing them, improving your sleep quality.

What are you waiting for? Stop suffering from sleep loss and weight gain, and download the free Weight Loss and Sleep Guide now!