Normally, I am pretty good about carrying healthy snacks and not feeling the urge to eat all day long. Today, however, I was constantly hungry and it was all I could do not to grab a giant bag of chips with my lunch “for later.”
It occurred to me about halfway through the day that this need to eat was in large part due to exhaustion. In truth, last night was one of those nights where I just didn’t get enough sleep.
Science (and all of my research) has told me that getting enough sleep (7-9 hours) is essential to controlling the hormones that stimulate hunger.
Too little sleep will make you feel more hungry and can get in the way of weight loss…http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=129.
Also, it is much more difficult to “just say no” to unhealthy cravings when you are tired.
So what can we do about it? Here are a few tips to get a better night’s sleep…
Establish a routine:
One of the most recommended tips for getting a good night’s sleep is to stick with a regular routine. Do your very best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on the weekends). A consistent schedule will reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
One more reason to get some exercise; physical activity promotes better sleep. It can help you to fall asleep faster and to sleep more deeply.
Make your bed inviting:
Do whatever you can to create a space that is ideal for sleeping. Make sure that you bedroom is dark and quiet. Also, make comfort a priority. Why not indulge in some extra-soft sheets or great pillows?
Limit caffeine late in the day:
Everyone responds to caffeine differently, but for most us, caffeine should be avoided late in the day.
Don’t indulge late at night:
It’s best for your system not to have large, heavy, or super-spicy meals too close to bedtime. Make sure that you don’t go to bed hungry (as this can also disrupt sleep), but try to have a healthy dinner and then a light snack if you are hungry later and avoid pigging out before going to sleep.
Learn to relax:
This can be a hard one for some of us, but it is vital. If it is stress that is keeping you from falling asleep, try to find a way to let it go. Use relaxation techniques, try deep breathing, take a hot bath, or read a great book before you drift off to sleep.
Skip the second drink:
It may seem like alcohol helps you to fall asleep (and this can be true), but unfortunately it is known to disrupt normal sleep patterns and can leave you feeling extra tired the morning after.