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The Power of Quality Sleep: Five Ways to Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss Success

It seems that our society has a skewed perspective on sleep. How frequently do we encounter individuals boasting about staying up all night, or claiming they only require five hours of sleep per night, or asserting that they will rest when they're dead?

A cat sleeping on a white blanket - www.motivated
A good night's sleep can go a long way to aiding good health

Sleep is essential for your body. During my student years, when I was working intensely on my dissertation, I nearly had a motorcycle accident at 7 AM after staying up all night trying to get an assignment written, as well as do my dissertation work in the sports lab all day. It's worth noting that driving when sleep-deprived can be equally dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

There are numerous advantages to getting enough sleep, but I'll share just a couple of them.

a fat person with a burger, Ghrelin high, Leptin low, sleep deprivation hunger - www.motivated
Hunger hormones can go awry when we don't sleep well!

Sleep has a Major Impact on Weight Loss and Maintenance

Sleep deprivation significantly affects two regulatory hormones in our bodies. Ghrelin signals the body when to eat, and insufficient sleep leads to an increase in its levels. On the other hand, leptin indicates when to stop eating, and inadequate sleep results in decreased levels of this hormone.

Picture yourself running on only three hours of sleep, with ghrelin constantly signaling that it's time to eat, while leptin is not doing its job properly, causing you to overeat. It's as if these tiny creatures are urging you to keep on eating non-stop!

Adequate sleep can greatly assist in regulating your food intake. Similarly, consuming the appropriate types and quantities of food can also enhance your quality of sleep.

woman sleeping with brain waves being measured
Am I doing everything to help myself sleep well? Sleeping well can help you think more clearly

You Will Think More Clearly

It is a well-known fact that your brain does not function as effectively when you are tired. This is especially true if you are not a morning person and push yourself to attend morning classes, the impact will be noticeable. Similarly, if you are tired in the afternoon and trying to concentrate, your cognitive abilities are compromised.

group of four women enjoying each other's company out walking - www.motivated
Sleeping well makes you able to enjoy things more

You're More Enjoyable to Spend Time With

Simply put, you are much more pleasant to be around when you are well-rested. Insufficient sleep will only make you irritable and difficult to be around. May I never come between you and your crisps!

happy woman driving a bus, taking charge, take the wheel - www.motivated
Take the wheel and take charge of your sleep and your life

Life is Unpleasant When you are Tired

I can't find another way to express this! While it's normal to have days when you feel more tired, you shouldn't let "tired" become your usual speed in life. Do you want to drive your car in first gear all day long, every day? Of course not! Let's step up the pace and ride the express lane to enjoyment!

older woman looking happy and healthy and awake - www.motivated
Getting good sleep will help you look and feel better

You Will Look Better

Isn't that sufficient justification to aim for an average of 7-9 hours of sleep? Who would want to go about with large, puffy circles under their eyes every day if they didn't have to? Generally, when we're well rested we look brighter, hold ourselves differently and our eyes sparkle more.

If you're struggling to sleep well, here are five tips to help improve your sleep:

1. Do a relaxation or meditate before bed. It will clear your head and calm down your whole system. This can take a bit of practice, and you can start with very small / short sessions to begin with.

Sphere on a beach at sunset. Beautiful view.  - www.motivated
Relaxation exercises can come in many forms. Experiment to see what suits you best.

2. Stop drinking caffeine after midday. Caffeine blocks your “sleep receptors,” and keeps your brain whirling all night long, so ditch that afternoon coffee (or tea) habit to sleep peacefully. These days I find decaf options so much tastier than they used to be, and there's loads of fruit/herbal tea options around now to.

herbal fruit tea pot infuser pouring in to a glass mug. Alternatives to caffeinated drinks - www.motivated
Trying some alternatives to caffeinated drinks can do wonders for sleep quality

3. Don't watch TV in bed. Sleep experts say that it’s hard to get to sleep if your television is flashing lights in your face just before bedtime, especially if you’re watching violent or intense programs. We used to have a TV in our bedroom, but have now removed it. It had more of an effect than we realised!

Television TV in a sitting room / lounge with a grey sofa and coffee table. No TV in the bedroom - www.motivated
If you have a TV, keep it in a communal area like the lounge, and out of the bedroom

4. Sleep at temperatures between 15.6-19 degrees Celsius, 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit. Apparently that this is the best temperature range to get the deepest sleep.

Adjusting the radiator thermostat for optimal sleep 15-19 degrees celsius / 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit - www.motivated
Adjust the radiators or thermostat so you have an optimal sleeping environment

5. Invest in the highest quality bed that fits your budget. The quality of the mattress is crucial! You spend so much time in bed that it's such a worthwhile investment, and many mattresses come with lengthy guarantees these days. If possible, visit a bed shop to have a lie on various mattresses, rather than just ordering online. Also, some mattress companies now give a certain period of time to test the mattress at home with a money back guarantee (e.g. 30 days). This can be a great way to really know if a mattress suits you, especially if you've had to purchase it online.

Bed with a good quality mattress for optimal sleep - www.motivated
Invest in the best quality mattress you can afford and test it out first

Please note: This article is intended to be for educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or replace professional assessment or personalised advice.

I do not hold responsibility for the information on any links to external websites within this article and information within these links/websites may change at any time or no longer be accessible. Any website pages/links added are also for education purposes only.

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