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How Better Sleep is Your Ticket to Weight Loss

Most of us equate weight loss with spending hours sweating at the gym, running long distances or pumping iron, but what many don’t realize is that you can loose weight and maintain a healthy BMI merely by getting enough sleep.

How is this possible? Forbes, the New York Times, and WebMD all agree that a more routine and healthy sleep schedule contributes to weight loss and present the science behind this phenomenon. Let’s break down their findings, so you can be on your way to being rested, trim, and healthy.

Stick to a Schedule
Studies have shown that sticking to a routine sleep schedule throughout the week and on weekends helps you maintain a healthy weight. Some scientists believe that sleep effects physical activity (such as working out), hormones, and appetite, so when people maintain a routine sleep pattern, it enables them to control their appetite, be consistent with their workouts, and balances hormones.

Get Pumped with Zzz’s
A more commonsensical reason why sleep helps people lose weight is the correlation between the quality of sleep you get in a given night and your energy levels the next day. It should seem fairly obvious that poor sleep the night before, could lead to a shorter or less vigorous work out the next day. More importantly, research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to skip workouts. That being said, a good night’s rest pumps you up for your workout the next day and can increase your drive and ability to train harder and longer.

Easier Said Than Done?
You may be thinking that all of this information is lovely but that you simply don’t have time to have a successful career, maintain a vigorous workout routine, have a family, meaningful friendships, AND get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night. You’ll sleep when you’re dead. Simply put, this attitude will, indeed, kill you. So, to make time for those precious Zzz’s try introducing a few of these habits into your daily routine:

-Cut back on caffeine products, sugar, and substances that disrupt sleep such as alcohol and dairy

-remove technology from your room by leaving computers, game consoles, and televisions in the living room or office

-Maintain your sleep schedule even on the weekends. If you get up at 7am during the week, try to get up no later than 8am on the weekends. We know it’s tempting to sleep in, but studies have shown that varying your sleeping schedule even by 90 minutes can have a negative impact on  sleeping patterns.

-Reduce stress in your life by any means necessary. Stress has been proven to disrupt sleep, our endocrine system, and cause weight gain. If something is stressing you, try to find healthy ways of managing the stress such as yoga, brunch with friends, or journaling.

Rest well and sleep smart!

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