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Sleep & Its Importance For Health & Weight Loss

Posted May 07 2009 9:22pm

Most of us do not get enough sleep and rest. Most of us don’t listen to our bodies when they scream out I need sleep/I need to rest/I am tired and instead continue to keep going. One of the main reasons for this is that we feel guilty for sleeping more or for resting and may even feel lazy. I remember when I was younger I would feel bad for sleeping in until 1pm as though I had wasted a big chunk of the day on something unimportant. But sleep IS important and you shouldn’t feel guilty for lying in or for having a lazy day to rest.

Getting little sleep and rest can cause you to gain weight and keep it on. A lot of overeating happens due to exhaustion. Often times we mistake signs of tiredness for hunger and end up eating instead of getting the rest we badly need.

These days I have taken it upon myself to make sure I am getting enough rest and if I do stay up to do some extra work and get hungry I often have a glass of water or a cup of green tea to warm/comfort me and keep me going until the end of my project and then go to bed. I used to mistake my tiredness for hunger as well as needing sleep so would eat. I now know that my hunger isn’t hunger but a sign I need to get to bed (not getting enough sleep puts the hormones that control hunger and appetite out of balance causing us to be hungry) and so I do not eat. If I did eat anyway it would cause me to have a bad night’s sleep so that is another reason to avoid it!

Sometimes when I get tired during the day I will take a nap with my 11/2 year old. I like napping with him.

So my advice to you it to learn and to allow yourself to rest when you need it. I know this isn’t always possible, but when you do get the opportunity to, take it! Don’t make excuses about it, it is important. Rest is just as important as eating and exercising and getting fresh air.

You are only as strong as your weakest link – if sleep is a weak link for you, you owe it to yourself and your weight loss goals to make sure you are getting enough. Sometimes all we need is to lie on the couch for half an hour to get more energy, we don’t necessarily need to sleep.

Resting and getting enough sleep are also important because when we lack these, our body also produces hormones that make us hold onto extra weight.

So getting enough sleep will not only benefit your mood and your energy levels but will also aid you in losing the weight you desire and stop you eating late at night and bingeing. When you get enough sleep you are also better able to handle stress and busy work days.

So get enough sleep! Learn to put your body’s needs first and learn to recognize when your body is asking you for sleep or rest. Observe how giving yourself that little extra rest or sleeping time affects your mood, weight loss and happiness – I think you will be surprised.


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