The Simple Secret to Weight Loss

There are so many diets out there and weight loss tips. Many of them can work if integrated into a healthy lifestyle plan. We've talked about all types of weight loss strategies and trends recently on the blog. From intermittent fasting and weight loss myths to juicing and detoxing for losing weight, there are sure no shortages of tips. However many people make a lot of mistakes when they choose to go on a diet or lose weight. Perhaps the biggest mistake of all is not evaluating their sleep habits and hygiene. Sleep is the most important factor for weight loss. Here's why. 

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It is not news that we need sufficient sleep to maintain our health.  Yet despite this knowledge, and advice from media and medical communities alike, many of us struggle to get enough sleep every night. This has led many Americans to seek help from their doctors in order to get the sleep they need to stay healthy. 

But sleep has a deeper connection to weight loss than previously thought.

It's quite a vicious cycle. When we're tired, we tend to drink more coffee or look to sugar for energy, which then leads to eating more calories. Even further, when we feel tired, we're definitely not going to exercise. 

Here are seven tips for getting the right amount of sleep for weight loss: 

  • Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. Caffeine lingers in our system and often we don't realize how much it has hit us until we are lying in bed at 11 p.m., wide awake.
  • Keep away from sugary drinks (including wine) and heavy foods like bread and pasta in the evening. These foods make our digestive system work harder overnight rather than letting our body rest and recover.
  • Aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime. Research shows that the time between 10pm and midnight is the best time to achieve a deep sleep -- think of this time as your hours of power!
  • Keep screens out of sight. The glow from electronics signals your body to wake up when you are trying to power down.
  • Don’t drink anything with alcohol in it. Although it will help you get to sleep, the properties of alcohol actually depress your sleep cycle as well your metabolism.
  • Minimize distractions in the bedroom. Your bedroom is for sleep, and it is good for your body to associate it with a relaxing setting, free of things that will keep you awake.  Make sure TVs, other electronics, work, pouncing animals, etc. are out of sight.
  • Read. Or do something else, like taking a relaxing bath, before bed.  This will help your body and mind turn down and get ready for a good night’s sleep.