Did you know that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you should be following a sleep plan, to allow for the best quality sleep every night? Researchers have found that with the decreased sleep time we seem to be getting these days (6-7 hours rather than 8), there’s been a sharp global rise in obesity. It’s an interesting link that’s still being researched and, as always, hormonanl changes are the prime suspects.
“When you’re sleep deprived, there’s a rise in the hormones involved in appetite,” says Vivienne Parry, author of The Truth About Hormones. “This tricks the body into thinking that it needs more fuel, as it must be daytime. And let’s face it, when you crave food, you don’t want the good stuff – you want to eat sugary, processed foods that’ll give you a quick energy boost.” Some experts feel that an extra hour of sleep could cut 420 kilojoules a day from our intake!
Your sleep plan
Try a ritual of bathing, reflexology and self-hypnotism from wellbeing guru Glenda Taylor to ease you into sleep:
- Spritz a little aromatherapy body oil over the surface of your bath water, swish and then relax in it for a while. Dry off and spritz more over the skin.
- Massage your feet. Each area reflects parts of the body, so work the big toe – head, the arch – digestion, and the balls of the feet – chest and lungs.
- Finally, slip into bed, relax and close your eyes. Make an affirmation in your head about what you want most – a smaller waist, maybe? Then count from 10 back to one. Glenda says she hasn’t managed to reach one yet!
The temperature of your room, even the colour of your walls, can determine the odds of a great night’s sleep. Sleep expert Lisa Artis gives her seven golden rules for creating a haven…
Be temperature aware
Feeling too hot or too cold in the night can lead to restless sleep and wakefulness. The ideal temperature is between 16 and 18°C.
Tune into your togs
Use the right tog-rated duvet for the time of year, and layer with sheets or blankets, which can be removed easily. If you get cold feet, wear a good pair of thermal bed socks.
Paint yourself sleepy
Rich colours such as purple, gold and red stimulate you, resulting in poor sleep. Bedrooms painted blue tend to see the best rest, followed by green and yellow.
Embrace the dark side
Light is a common sleep “robber”, so invest in a pair of well-lined curtains, which keep the room dark as well as blinds.
Keep it quiet
Sudden noises disrupt sleep. Double-glazing on windows reduces external noise, but a cheaper option is a good pair of earplugs.
Ditch the distractions
The bedroom should be a haven for calm and relaxation, so banish your cell phones, computers, TV and anything else that’s likely to distract from sleep or wake you up once you’ve nodded off.
Take your bed seriously
We spend a third of our life in bed, so buy the best mattress you can afford; ideally not too soft or too hard – and the bigger the better, so you and your partner don’t disturb each other.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.