Monday, January 24, 2011

Sleep More, Weigh Less

NEWS FLASH!  Popular post update:

This post from way back in January 2011 needs an update.  All sleep issues in my house have been solved!  No more sleeping in another room to get a good night's sleep.  
"What worked?", you say.

I'll tell you the two things that fixed all my sleep problems.
  •   Going to the gym.  Whoa.  Don't leave yet.  Here is how I now use exercise to get a great night's sleep.  I go to a class a 8:30 AM.  It may be Pilates, or Yoga, or Total Body Sculpt, or Spin, or Step.  It usually includes cardio and a good sweat! 
  •   Getting up early.  My morning routine is described below and it hasn't really changed.
I can almost promise you if you incorporate these two things in your life, you will sleep better.  You may even start sleeping like a baby.  Try it.   

Original Post:
A good night's sleep! It makes us feel better, look better, handle the day better, be in a better mood, perform better and on and on. And, as we've all heard by now, the better we sleep, the more it will help our weight loss. If you are asleep, you cannot eat. That's obvious but there are scientific studies about what goes on in the body during sleep that backs up the weight loss theory. Since, for many of us, trying to lose a few pounds is a way of life why not look at this simple strategy?

Maybe it just isn't so simple. The older you get, the more difficult it becomes to get a solid night's sleep. Some people don't have this issue but many do. What about you?

At my house, our sleep time has gradually turned into a 3-ring circus. And we are old codgers who should really be settling in for a long "winter's nap". To start with my husband's work schedule has him going to bed around 7:00 PM! I'm a night owl so I don't climb in the crib until 12:00 or so. No matter how quiet I try to be, my settling into bed usually wakes him up. The dog is so happy when I finally join them that his tail wagging adds to the "unsettling".

At 4:30 AM the clock goes off. Hubby might hit the snooze a couple of times, more interruptions. Then he gets up. At 5:30 I get up because we like that time together and I like making his lunch. My spiritual time is at 6:00 AM so I don't go back to bed when he leaves for work. Furthermore during the night he makes at least one trip to the bathroom, the dog may bark once and walk around the bed to sleep beside me and then beside hubby. Throw in a little snoring and you have quite an evening shaping up. Don't envy me!

Our solution, and we both hate that it has come to this, is to sleep apart a few nights a week. It's not just that sleep correlates with weight loss. It's also one of the most effective factors of healthy aging. There are other less drastic steps the experts advise us to take. A lesser known sleep inducer is tart cherry juice which
contains melatonin, downed before bedtime. I'm going to try that one. Having a personal care routine is said to help, enjoying a mini-snack from this food list, or even having sex. I say, whatever works!

If sleep is a serious issue with you it may be worth checking to see if you have something that can be treated like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or plain old insomnia. It's very worth seeing a doctor if you suspect any of these conditions.

(P.S. Just found a post on Living The Balanced Life with lots more excellent sleep info! Check it out.)

Share with us what helps you get your zzzzzzzzzzzs. Sleep and be healthy! Sleep and by thin(ner)!

PS: Photo Credits:


  1. Sandra - Love your blog. I've never had problems with sleeping until recently. Between my husband's snoring and getting up in the middle of the night, I've thought about sleeping apart, just can't bring myself to do it.

    Also on charitable giving. We pay tithing and it just seems to work. I'm not sure how, but it does. Thanks for your comments on my post.

  2. Wow! I am really enjoying reading your blog, you've got such nifty helpful info, especially about aging (I'm 53). I'm following you now LOL!

    I find that if I listen to the sound of my breathing, I mean just focus on it, before I know it, I'm in dreamland. And yes, probably routine does help a lot.

  3. Thanks Dianne...I hate sleeping apart too! We never did this in our younger days...and not too often now.

    YaYa, Thanks for the visit and breathing tip. I know that but forget to try it!

  4. Restless legs, insomnia...Magnesium is the answer. Just do a little web research and check it out. For a patient brought in with a heart arythmis, madnesiun i.v. is given first instance...also helos constipation anxiety, depression...and it is simply epsom salts.. The miracle mineral. Blessings always to you.

  5. Crystal, thanks for your valuable information. I really appreciate it.

  6. Yep, the husband has sleep apnea and uses the machine. It only helps about mmmmm, 60-70% though.
    Me, I love my sleep and always have. It is a priority!supp

  7. I have heard this many times regarding sleep and weight being connected. I am a night owl. Might explain the weight. :-)

  8. Me? I'm a night owl too....I try but I love nights! Awake!

  9. Stopping by the SITS.

    and ... I'm a night person too ~

  10. Ironically, I just got to the weight loss part of Taubes' book and from what I've read so far, the studies he cites are all about general weight loss -- there's no distinction regarding % body fat. The studies he cites are all over the place, from 1917 to the fairly recent Hirsch studies with the obese. One of the studies mentions weight lost during bed rest. Hmmmm Now, that's something I'm sure we all want to know more about.


Love to hear your thoughts! What do you think?