Why Sleep is so Important for Losing Weight & How to Get More of It – Part 3

Posted: March 21, 2018 in Blog, Health, Series
What not to do before you sleep | Herbal One

In Parts 1 and 2 of Why Sleep is so Important for Losing Weight & How to Get More of It, we looked at several reasons why sleep is crucial for your weight loss, including the fact that lack of sleep actually changes how your fat cells work, that it reduces how much benefit you get from healthy changes in your diet, that it increases cravings and it reduces your level of activity.

But, way back at the beginning of the series, in the very first paragraph, we talked about some or all of the things you might do to help you sleep at night. From stretching exercises and a glass of wine, to having a nice warm bath, we outlined a few of the common relaxation techniques that people do to make themselves drowsy and ready for bed.

And them we told you that all of those things can actually make it more difficult to fall asleep. And when you lose sleep one night, you can never really get it back later, including the harm it does to your weight loss efforts.

If you find yourself tossing and turning for hours on end, even after you did one or more things to make yourself sleepy, you may be doing the wrong things.

Among others here are 7 things you should never do right before bed.

1. Take a Hot Bath

It turns out that your internal body temperature goes down at bedtime as your body shuts off its systems. A warm bath keeps your body temperature high, making all systems a ‘go’, and keeping you up until they can shut down again.

2. Eat Chocolate

If you save your treat for the end of the day, be prepared for a spike in your energy and blood sugar levels from the caffeine and sugar. You’ll be ‘on’ when all you want to be is ‘off’.

3. Play with Your Dog

Lots of dog owners like to get one more moment of quality playtime together with their pets before bedtime in hopes that the pets will sleep better. Except that just winds up the tow of you. On the other hand, cuddling with your dog has been shown to help both of you relax.

4. Have a Glass of Wine

It interferes with your sleep because alcohol upsets your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycles. You might fall asleep fast enough, but you’re far more likely to wake in the middle of the night. And, as a diuretic, alcohol increases your chances of waking up at night to go to the bathroom.

5. Stretching & Exercising

It seems to make sense. Work out, get really tired just before bed and you’ll sleep like a baby, right? But it doesn’t work that way. A pumping heart starts the adrenaline pumping too and it’ll be a while before its effects wear off and you fall asleep.

6. Have a Cuppa

Of course you wouldn’t have caffeinated tea. But if you feel that herbal tea relaxes you, it is still not good to have one just before bedtime because it increases the chances of having to go to the washroom in the middle of the night.

7. Use Your Mobile Device

It feels good to recap the day by checking out all your friends feeds, texta and likes. But it’ll keep you up for two reasons. First, the blue cast of the device’s screen is similar to daylight, which tricks your body into thinking it’s still wakey time. Second, when you text someone they will text back, and that cycle might end up repeating for hours.

To learn more about how to keep your weight loss program on track, call or visit your nearest Herbal One Centre and talk to a nutrition consultant who can answer all your questions.